A linear route from the hilltop town of Montalcino to Fattoria Pieve a Salti Agriturismo with constant views over the Crete Senesi.
Begin by locating the ancient gate of Porta Burelli in Montalcino, where the walk begins and descend into the valley walking past vineyards. Ascend out of the valley, past a winery and up onto a ridge. There are views of Montalcino on the hilltop behind. Pass many farms en route and perhaps run into some sheep being herded. Follow the Via Francigena for a little while before heading into a field and down a dirt track. Ascending once again to the final ridge. The last 3 kms to the agriturismo are flat. On arrival, weather permitting, there’s the chance to relax by the swimming pool.
Alternatively, there is an easier walking option today ‘Walk Montalcino to Buonconvento (alternative shorter walk)’, which is slightly shorter and is a gentle downhill route into Buonconvento village. If you are staying in Buonconvento this evening, then we would recommend taking this option. If you are staying at Fattoria Pieve a Salti Agriturismo then please arrange the transfer (from Buonconvento at the end of the walk) the night before.
Shorter walk to Buonconvento: 12kms/7mi Ascent/Descent: 43m/396m
Take a picnic lunch with provisions brought in one of the shops in Montalcino. There are many lovely places to stop and enjoy this enroute today. At the 4.2 kms route note mark there are great views over the countryside. It might be too early to stop here for a picnic, but it is certainly worth pausing to take in the views. Alternatively eat the picnic lunch on arrival beside the swimming pool in Fattoria Pieve a Salti Agriturismo.
The Fattoria Pieve a Salti Agriturismo is a sprawling property, so when nearing the end of the walk, keep an eye out for the reception sign, so as not to accidently walk pass this.
There are a few sections of the walk on small country roads and along pavements of busier roads today including a section along a main road for about 600m (at the 8.5 kms mark). There is a fair amount of traffic on this road including trucks and buses so it’s important to be vigilant. Walk behind the metal barrier, if possible, especially where the road curves, or stop and step back from the road to wait for larger vehicles to go past. On smaller roads where there is no pavement or grass verge, please take extra care. The general rule for road walking is to walk on the same side as oncoming traffic, in order to avoid having your back directly to oncoming traffic. Be prepared to walk in single file and to stay as close to the side of the road as possible.
There may be sections where you will be walking through fields containing livestock. Be vigilant and respectful of all animals. At times it’s possible to encounter barking dogs. Most dogs on farms and in the countryside are very territorial so they begin to bark when they hear you coming and do not stop until you are past the property. We recommend just keeping your head down and walking at a normal pace past the house. They were behind a fence, so there was no risk they could escape.
July and August are the hottest months. At that time of year, the temperatures can rise into the 30 degrees Celsius during the day. Always make sure to stay hydrated and carry plenty of water. There aren’t many water fill points along the way. It is also advisable to wear skin protecting clothing and use sun cream/screen. We recommend starting the walk very early in the morning to arrive at the abbey before the heat of the day. We recommend inquiring about the day’s forecasted weather before setting out on the walk. A useful website for climate information specific to towns and countries is www.weather2travel.com or www.yr.no
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Food & Drink
As there is nowhere to purchase a picnic lunch today or any restaurants or cafes enroute it’s necessary to buy provisions in Montalcino before departing for the walk. It’s recommended to explore this lovely town if you haven't already. There are plenty of shops here.
Please make your transfer arrangements for the walk tomorrow, this evening.
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Montalcino (567 m), with a population of about 5000, is a classical walled Tuscan hill town whose appearance has changed little for 500 years. Its 14th century fortress is well preserved, and you can walk along its parapet to get a panoramic view of the town and the surrounding countryside. Within the fortress walls is an Enoteca, where you buy your ticket to visit the fortress, and where you can sample the Brunello wine for which Montalcino is famous.
You can see most of the sights by walking the town’s length from south to north along the Via S. Saloni, Via Matteotti, and Via Mazzini. For more views, climb west on Viale Roma to the Madonna del Soccorso church and then turn left to follow to follow the Viale P. Strozzi along the western wall.
This depends on the time of year; if traveling in the spring or autumn it can be cool in the morning, but it soon heats up in the late morning and afternoon so make sure to bring some layers. During the summer months, the area can be prone to afternoon thunderstorms, so waterproofs or a rain poncho are also essential in case of heavy showers. In the heat of the day, sun cream is essential, and a sunhat is highly recommended. Whilst there is some shade today, for most of the walk there isn't any, so sun protection is especially important. Otherwise, normal hiking gear in a 25-litre rucksack will suit.
A sturdy pair of well broken-in walking boots are recommended. Most of today's walk is along gravel roads, which can be tough on the feet.
Walking poles will be a big advantage on the ascents and descents.
A fully charged phone is essential; if in doubt that the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
It's best to be prepared and bring a picnic lunch and snacks today. It is recommended to drink 0.75 litres of water per hour of walking, so refill filtration bottle/s along the way.
Other essential items are blister treatments and a first aid kit, insect repellent, biodegradable toilet tissue, and a whistle and torch.
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