Author Archives: Bill and Paige

About Bill and Paige

Years ago we were bitten by the Wanderlust bug and the result was a serious case of “we gotta get out of here” syndrome. Pressed for time to see the world – we want to live it, breathe it, feel it and give back! So… we’re on the move!

Day 35 on the Via Francigena

Viterbo to Vertalla – Wednesday October 10th – 11.2 miles in 6 hours only climbing 874 feet.Fun day walking through an Etruscan Via Cava which I’ll translate as a road with tall lava walls.Followed by lush farm land – a Clydesdale horse and super friendly donkey – nut trees and olive production.We’re staying at Alberto da Benedetta. We’re happy to announce that we’ve ditched Ostellos (hostels). We’ve opted for more restful sleep.

Four more days to Rome!

Roxanne’s post and photos:

Humane Italy ♥️Walked from Viterbo to Vetralla.Gear off.Fellow German flip flop pilgrim.BreakfastOlive harvest comb.Picnic lunch.

Day 34 on the Via Francigena

Montefiascone to Viterbo – Tuesday October 9th – 12 miles in 6 hoursWe said goodbye to Lake Bolsena. The largest volcanic lake in Europe and considered to be the belly button of Italy.Bill and I had an off day. Our packs didn’t set well. We walked down from Montefiascone and then became weary with the level shadeless terrain. Just one of those days…Highlight! Roman road dating back to 150 BC.Tonight we are staying at the Palazzo Riario. The gentleman that checked us in ran over to meet us at the hotel in his chef’s clothing. Often times hotels are not manned 24 hours a day. After checking in we promptly dumped our packs and followed him to his restaurant. It was fantastic!Baby alert hence grandparent alert! Congratulations to Troy and Yessmy. Late last night Graciella Faye was born. She is absolutely beautiful and we can’t wait to meet her. Yay! Bursting with love.

Roxanne’s post and photos:

“Coregone” fish caught out of Lake Bolsena. 
The Fab Five walked out of Montefiascone and walked to Viterbo the center of Italy’s military aviation. Roman RoadMorning SnackBelt Modification Lunch breakBaby Announcement Grocery store bulk wine

Day 33 on the Via Francigena

Bolsena to Montefiascone – Monday October 8th – 12 miles in 6:09 hours – climbing 2079 feet

Lago Bolsena the largest volcanic lake in Europe and the belly button of Italy.

Another beautiful day. Today – my easiest. However, we all swatted swarms of bugs throughout the walk. We’re not sure if there was a hatching after the rain or what….

We are within 100 kilometers of Rome – which is a big deal. Within a hour and a half period we saw 3 different signs that said we were within 100 kilometers to Rome. What’s up with that???

Here’s what we saw between signs…

We’re staying at the Hotel Urbano V. Super place! Bar, terrace and sunny places to dry our clothes.Roxanne’s post and photos:

South end of Lake BolsenaOur Pilgrim passports daily stamp

Made in Italy

Day 32 on the Via Francigena

Acquapendente to Bolsena – Sunday October 7th – 14.2 miles in a little over 7 hours climbing 1161 feet.

Pixie dust rained down on us today.

We had packed away our gear before bed last night only to be awaken by pouring rain.Rainbows follow rain…The clouds, mist and a dampened horizon were our first dose of pixie. Freshness.Look below at the tiny people on the horizon.

Roxanne discovered pixie – potato fields. The next pixie was in the most enchanting forest covered with ivy and these tiny purple Shooting Star flowers. It was magical – as if Tinkerbell herself rolled out this delightful carpet.Beyond the forest our next sprinkle of pixie was white butterflies which delicately danced and frolicked.Porcipine quill.Followed by Lago Bolsena – silvery and calm with reflections of white puffy clouds.Tonight we were staying at the Hotel Zodiaco. Super clean with balconies perfect for drying our clothes.All this pixie followed by cheeseburgers and gelato.

Nights always end with wine.“All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust.”–Peter Pan

Roxanne’s post and photos:

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” -Sir Ranulph Fiennes.The Fab Five’s excellent gear-on gear-off techniques. Field is French fries Lake BolsenaWalked from Acquapendente to Bolsena and Bill leads the way.

Day 31 on the Via Francigena

Radicofani to Acquapendente – 11 miles in 6.5 hours. The last 5k we hitched a ride. The road was wet and super dangerous so we begged a woman who spoke a bit of English to help us out. She called a friend who reluctantly and kindly drove us and saved our lives.

There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast. ~Paul Scott Mowrer

We woke up to rain. The gentle kind without wind. It was one of my favorite mornings. The views were breathtaking – fall colors and misty rolling hills. It was like a religious experience. Photos can not do it justice.

We’re staying at Eco Albergo Monte Rufeno and the heat is on… Heat is good after a long rainy day. Just like that – two weeks ago it was hot!Roxanne’s post and photos:

The Fab Five walked through rich color and rain from Radicofani to Acquapendente. 

Day 30 on the Via Francigena

Le Briccole to Radicofani – 9.20 miles in 4.75 hours and climbed 1920 feet.

“Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn — that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness — that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.” — Jane Austen

Chappy stretching his calves.This is our last day in Tuscany. However, the terrain changed so dramatically we wouldn’t know – gone are the vineyards and olive trees.It definitely feels like fall. The colors are captivating. Mother Nature decided to cloud up and rain. She didn’t listen to the weather forecasters – a woman after my own heart.Our Via books told us it would be a relentlessly uphill climb today. We got all cocky when the trail had some ups but not too bad. Then all of a sudden, somewhat like Mother Nature, the relentless climb began.

Yes, (for those who have noticed) sometimes Bill wears his Sketchers if rock-hopping or rainy weather look they would pull out the thong out of his flip-flop. Today was one of those days. Not sure what kind of devise you use to look at the photos but in many you will see a tower at the top of a hill far, far away (on a cell phone you’d have to zoom in). Well, it happens that often we climb to or from that spectacular thing in the distance. Hence, the climbing.We’re staying at Albergo La Torre. It’s so cold in our room that we’re bundled up in bed and it’s only 3 pm.

When staying in an Albergo at our price point the heat is controlled by the front desk. Bill tried to convey that he was cold hoping the host would turn on the heat. Instead he was told that there are extra blankets in the armoire.

** I need some feedback please. I greatly reduced the size of the photos to help with uploading (internet service is marginal). Has the quality of the photos diminished??

Roxanne’s post and photos:

Leaped, walked and enjoyed the seasonal color from Le Briccole to Radicofani.

Days 27, 28 & 29 on the Via Francigena

I’ve decided to combine three days.

It’s going to be a long one so put on a pot of coffee or grab a bottle of wine.

Persevere… some parts might seem repetitious but remember it’s slow going – we average around two miles an hour. We go down to go up. We go east and north to get south. The best part is that it’s Tuscany and it’s magnificent in every way.

First the stats:

Day 27 – Siena to Ponte d’Arbia – Tuesday October 2nd – 17 miles in 7.48 hours climbing 992 feet in elevation (remember we can’t calculate the descent).

Day 28 – Ponte d’Arbia to San Quirico d’Orcia – Wednesday October 3rd – 17 miles in 7.38 hours climbing 2,231 feet.

Day 29 – San Quirico d’Orcia to Le Briccole – Thursday October 4th – 11.5 miles in 5.24 hours and climbing 1451 feet.

I mention the climbing because it’s so darn hard!

When we arrived in Ponte d’Arbia Tuesday afternoon there was only a twenty bed Ostello with one bathroom/shower available. Nope, not this time! Having decided earlier in the day that if the place in Ponte d’Arbia was not acceptable we’d find book a place about a half hour away for three nights and taxi to and from our starting and ending points. Done! We’re staying at a 1200 year old agriturismo called Casa Antica. We all have our own apartments in the same building and are living in the lap of luxury.

The taxi rides aren’t cheap but they’re so worth it.

Three of us lightened our loads and two left their packs in the room.

Siena to Ponte d’Arbia – windy and perfectly cool ~

I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you and I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of whitebright blessed day, the dark sacred night and I think to myself what a wonderful world. ~ Louis ArmstrongSome burro time – miss our Baja burros.Roxanne’s post and photos:
Walked from Siena to 
Ponte d’ Arbia then taxied to a 1,200 year old home called 
Casa Antica.

Paige again:

Ponte d’Arbia to San Quirico d’Orcia ~

Ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe
Don’tcha know that there
Ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough
Ain’t mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough ~ Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
This little girl came running up to us and about tripped me trying to get some loving. I wanted to take her home.
Here’s Roxanne:

A good day, all day!

After walking from Ponte d’Arbia to San Quirico d’Orcia, we returned to the 1,200 year old home called Casa Antica and Paige built us dinner. 

Me again.

San Quirico d’Orcia to Le Briccole

Such a feelin’s comin’ over me there is wonder in ‘most ev’ry thing I see. Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes and I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream.
I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation ~ Karen Carpenter