The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.
~ Nhat Hanh
Siena spectacular and 12 days to Rome.
We started back on the path to Rome today with a 29km walk from Siena to Pont D’Arbia.
Today was tough on the body, launching into a full day of walking after a five-day break. We slept in Siena the night before in the Ostello Santa Maria Della Scala (for €19), opposite the Duomo Cathedral, a Gothic church built after 1215 and filled with treasures by Pisano, Donatello and Michelangelo. It was breathtaking. We dined out next to the church.
This morning, it took us an hour to make our way out of this astonishingly beautiful medieval world heritage listed city, winding through its heart, the famous Piazza Del Campo, where Roman forums used to take place. Awe-struck is the word and the feeling.
Off we went, moving over the gentle, dreamy hills of Tuscany, looking back again and again to see Siena dwarfing. It was three hours before we found breakfast at a small cafe and two cups of cappuccino each.
More open spaces unfolded in browns and greens. Iconic lines of conifers came into view and each time, I sighed at the beauty and that I was planting my feet here. I thought of how these intense moments will be visitors in weeks, months and years to come. That’s what a Camino does. Stomp in loveliness enough and it is offered back in vivid hues at random times.
By 4pm we found our accommodation in a renovated historic bridge house which used to contain a water mill. The price is €20 each with our own private bathroom and breakfast is included. On asking, the young Chantal happily took our sweaty clothes away to pop in her washing machine. Dinner will be at the end of the bridge in the village restaurant at 7pm. A glass of happiness, that is Proseco, awaits.