Just when I thought it couldn't get any better... throw in yet another incredible, breath-taking, amazing experience - by bike!
The second half of 23 May found our EICR bloggers' tour troupe saddling up (well, at least 5 of us!) for an almost 25 km ride on the Via Francigena from San Gimignano into Colle di Val'delsa. It was challenging, fun, exhausting, wonderful, and an experience I feel SO fortunate to have had! We also had two amazing guides, Manuel and Ingo, who kept us from killing ourselves, so we'll check that off as a "plus".
The full story is now up on the official EICR website.
You'll also read of our stay at an beautifully restored ospedale , or way station for pilgrims along the Via Francigena, that is now a top-knotch resort called Relais La Costa. Tucked peacefully into the Tuscan countryside, its charms are many!
So come along and enjoy the ride with me...andiamo, y'all!
**And now for the tease: Next post - follow me as we trek the Via Francigena from Abbia di Isola to Monteriggioni; and oh, the characters we'll meet!
I've just posted my latest bloggers' tour post from 22 - 23 May featuring an ages-old Friars' village and San Gimignano!
As our European Institute of Cultural Routes/Council of Europe "Thermal Spa Towns and the Via Francigena" bloggers tour continued, we found ourselves on the road for the beloved Tuscan hill town of San Gimignano. Famous for its remaining 17 towers and strategically situated on the Via Francigena, this charming town is full of hidden gems awaiting your discovery!
As our tour focused more on the Via Francigena (see earlier post for some history on that), I had another dream-come-true experience staying overnight in an ancient borgo, or village, that was given to St. Augustine Friars in the 900's and served pilgrims and travelers along the Via Francigena! It was a hauntingly beautiful place.
Read the full blog on the official Cultural Routes webpage, but in the meantime enjoy a few more photos from the first part of this exciting day!
Crossing Routes – Blogging Europe is an initiative of the Council of Europe Cultural Routes Programme and the European Institute of Cultural Routes, in the framework of the Council of Europe‐European Commission joint programme on European Cultural Routes (2013 2014). The initiative is carried out in co‐operation with the European Route of Historic Thermal Towns and the old pilgrimage route of the Via Francigena in partnership with Fondazione Sistema Toscana, regional tourism board of Tuscany and local and regional partners.
The groups of bloggers, photographers and videographers will explore the region of Tuscany in Italy from 21 to 25 May 2014, experiencing the atmosphere of the XIXth‐century thermal towns along the European Route of Historic Thermal Towns: Montecatini, Monsummano and walking along the ancient pilgrimage route of the Via Francigena – San Gimignano, Montereggioni, Colle Val d’Elsa and Siena. On their way, the bloggers will reveal the essence of Tuscany to visitors in a novel way.
The group of five bloggers have been asked to share their impressions and experiences along these routes, connecting the cultural, spiritual and historical heritage of Tuscany and its communities and landscapes, taking photos and diary notes, making videos and writing articles as they travel, to create lively, inspiring chronicles of their trips on the Crossing Routes – Blogging Europe platform:
taken from http://blog.culture‐routes.lu/
Paula A. Reynolds
Traveler or Tourist?