Hiking Through the Tuscan Countryside

Trip Start Oct 04, 2006
Trip End Oct 21, 2006

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Sunday, October 8, 2006

We woke up to a nice, clear sky -- a relief after yesterday's rain. We had breakfast at the hotel -- then did a final spin around Florence before meeting up with the tour at noon. All of the spots that were jam packed with tourists yesterday were empty on Sunday morning so we had the town mostly to ourselves!

So...at noon we met our group in front of the hotel and piled our luggage into the bus. The trip to Volterra was about an hour. We were let off at a trailhead outside of town and we soon plunged into the brush and began our hike...mostly uphill and some of it pretty steep. But we did well, I think, and the scenary was breathtaking. Our guides, Stephanie and Angelica, did a great job of pointing out interesting sights and answering our questions...and by 4:30pm or so we arrived at the gates of Volterra, the fortress (which is now a penitentary, housing some of the most dangerous criminals in Italy so we were told) looming above us.

We checked into Hotel La Locanda --then took a city tour with Deeka, a very interesting Dutch woman who moved to the area with her husband and is, understandably, very proud of her city. We visited the Etruscan Museum (too quickly...the artifacts and funeral urns were fascinating) and saw the Roman theatre and ruins. Then the group had a little wine and pizza together. Loved the pizza pomodoro -- but the lard pizza, not so much. It's a local favorite...but had a very different consistancy.

Dinner at a local ristorante was delicious. The pasta with local mushrooms was out of this world. So was the trio of desserts -- especially the panne cota.

It was after 10pm by the time we finished so we wearily trudged back to our room. Did a little laundry in the sink...now to bed!
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