Day 6 (18 October) We Found the Beef — 17 Miles

We headed south after leaving the Campo. We passed the Philadelphia Bar on the Via Roma. Was it a good omen for what will happen to the Phillies and Eagles? We had no sightings of any other US city name in Tuscany or the often seen Yankee logo on caps.


We left Siena Centro by the Porta Roma; like the Via Roma, an obvious name given that we were headed in that direction. We soon left Siena’s city limits and could look back on this beautiful historic city. We could see Siena in the distance for almost our entire walk.

Porta Roma
Siena City Limits
Siena Looking North

Our walk took us by a fellow who was harvesting as well as pruning one of his olive trees. We had seen the green netting underneath olive trees before. It is used to catch the olives as they fall from the trees. As we were turning a bend in the road, we met four cyclists who were heading to Siena — an older couple from Switzerland and the other couple from Germany. We had an animated conversation about current affairs in Switzerland, the UK, and the US in that order. The couples were not related. They had met at their last lodging. One never knows with whom one will share this journey.

Harvesting Olives
Meeting Other Pilgrims

We were in high spirits until we entered into an industrial zone a few minutes after our meeting with the cyclists. As with my other walks, you encounter highs and lows. We walked by an auto wrecking facility and what appeared to be a dumping ground for used recycling bins (ironic, no)? Shortly, we were on the equivalent of the Lehigh Street auto mile — Nissan, Peugeot – dealerships along with service areas. What topped it all was this cylinder shaped structure that stood out for miles around. We later found out that it was built as a fruit crushing facility with the promise of bringing financial prosperity to the area. It operated for only six months and has become an eyesore on an otherwise bucolic setting.

Auto Wreaking Company
Recycling Dumping Grounds
Nissan on the Auto Mile
The Eyesore

Putting the crushing machine in our rear view mirror, we continued along the VF meeting a friendly local and her dog, and walking up and down the Tuscan fields growing alfalfa or laying fallow until we reached our hotel, the Borgo Antico in village of Monteroni d’Arbia.

Out Walking the Dog
Tuscan Fields
Green Hills

Borgo Antico is a family affair — Paolo, father; Sandra, mother; and Leonardo, the son. The hotel is impeccably designed. That’s my Campari Spritz and Rich’s beer on the bar top. The openness of the dining room creates an atmosphere of anticipation of the dinner to come.

In addition to a split portion of Pici in tomato sauce, we decided to experience the universally praised Florentine steak. We had not to this point because we were maintaining portion control. Leonardo convinced us that he would cut the smallest piece possible containing the required t-bone — still a bit more than 1.4 kilos. You can view the sequence of our dinner below including Leonardo and his mother in the kitchen. We had three people pieces of steak left which we reserved for tomorrow’s breakfast; I really should say I did. To pair with the king of Florentine cuisine, Paolo chose a Brunello de Montalcino for our wine. We completed our dinner with a cheesecake in glass for Rich and semifreddo for me. We found the beef!

Pici in Tomato Sauce
Cheesecake in Glass
The Brunello

3 thoughts on “Day 6 (18 October) We Found the Beef — 17 Miles

  1. I wonder if the calories gained equal the calories shed on this walk. I look forward to hearing the untold stories when our lehigh valley treks resume in a few weeks. Your experiences are amazing especially the vistas and the human encounters along the way. Laird


  2. Wow! Your gourmet meal could be the reason I decide to do a walk! This Tuscany/ Rome walk seems to be the best- food wise! I also love the peaceful scenery and the people you meet along the way. Keep the pictures and story going. I don’t want this walk to end!!


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