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Via Francigena, Buonconvento to San Quirico d'Orcia

Wednesday 16th October 2019

 

Distance Time Elevation in meters

Km
Elapsed
Hrs-Mins
Moving
Hrs-Mins
Gain Loss Min Max
22.4 5H00 4H49 541 272 137 416

   

   
 

The Via Francigena is an ancient 2000 kilometer long pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome, entering Italy via the St Bernard pass, following the route of Archbishop Sigeric in the 10th century. The route passes through Lucca and San Gimignano before approaching Siena. After Siena it goes through Ponte d'Arbia, Buonconvento and Torrenieri before reaching San Quirico d'Orcia. Since Wednesday was a free day and since this section of the Via Francigena was nearby, I decided to walk from Buonconvento to San Quirico d'Orcia.

Map courtesy of The Via Francigena by Roberta Ferraris (Terre Di Mezzo)

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Buonconvento

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Ready for off

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Old style marker

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The route follows the road for 200 meters, then turns right just after the petrol station

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The estate is situated on the north side of Montalcino and extends for 400 hectares, of which thirteen are cultivated as vineyards.

In the centre stands the castle, originally built in the thirteenth century by the Altesi family and completed in 1441 by the Tricerchi family. It served as a fortress for pilgrims marching to Rome on the Francigena road. Many of its decorative and structural features have been attributed to Baldassare Peruzzi.

In the sixteenth century the castle was occupied for a time by the Spanish who made it their own stronghold.

Until it went back into the hands of the Tricerchi’s when it once again became a fortress for pilgrims on their way to the Vatican.

It was during the sixteenth century that the chapel, originally located within the fortified walls (as demonstrated by the presence of the belfry), was relocated to the path to the front of the castle and dedicated to the Virgin of the Veil. A fragment of the Veil, certified by a Papal Bull, is still in the church.

In 1982 the Altesi castle was declared as an artistic and historical heritage site.

 

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2000 litre barrels of Hungarian oak

Unique barrel breathing valve

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Entrance to Carparzo

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Towards Torrenieri

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Dropping down from the ridge to Torrenieri

Torrenieri

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The Co-op was closed, but I managed to get a slice of pizza and a beer in this small shop

Most of the walk was along the tarmac road after Torrenieri. The pizza-shop man told me it was 9 km to San Quirico; the sign said 6 km; in fact it turned out to be 8.4km

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Approaching San Quirico d'Orcia. I had to pass under an elevated road bridge and then climb up a dirt track to come into San Quirico under the road arch.

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