Our wonderful hosts had decorated the breakfast table with flowers and laid out breakfast beautifully for us. ‘Believe in your selfie’ and her sister had said they wouldn’t be there and to help ourself at any time. As we were leaving an Italian man came in – we said hello and goodbye, and as he was going further than us today said we may not see him again. We walked outside and our French friend was standing on his balcony with a massive grin (from a very funny dinner conversation) as we swapped ‘goodbye torch flashes’ beneath the hazy stars.

These Tuscan medieval towns, olive groves, grape vines and pencil pines certainly lend a unique charm to our recent daily meanderings. As we walked past splendid aziendas and villas this morning along our gravel road (1 car or tractor every 5 minutes) Corrie dropped her scarf (that incidentally matches all her outfits), but on a camino you don’t go back with a heavy pack. Other walkers just pick things like this up and keep them until they reach the owner. When we stopped for 5, that Italian man had his very important hankie in 1 hand and the scarf that matches all, in another – we did see him again, and all is good.

Well, for a while! Then we heard 1 shot, then 2 quick ones to our left then soon after, 3 shots to our right. We had a pretty good idea that the only danger we would face in Tuscany would be a ‘too close car’, so we debated about what the shooting was about and decided it would be the ubiquitous hare or bunny being pursued.

Soon after a small car stopped, not quite in the middle of the road, and Mario wound his window down for a chat. He informed us that some Australians had passed through a week ago – a couple and 3 others. When more shots were fired, he told us that Italians hunt pheasants, rabbits, hares, deer and boar in the woods – the deer because they eat the grapes. He expressed his thoughts on religion and the troubles of the world, and asked if we were carrying a backpack full of “pecatinis” – sins to Rome. It wasn’t the best time to explain our reasons as cars manoeuvred between Mario, his car, and us, but we will check our backpacks just in case.

We’re in San Gimignano, and have decided to spend 2 nights here – since, confessionally, and somewhat serendipitously, Corrie stuffed up the hotel booking (mind gone to mush from too much walking, she says;  and it’s not doing too much of anything) – not true. Anyway, it’s a magical place, one which she has always wanted to return to since our day trip in 2007. Our room in a Palazzo sits on the fortifying walls, from where we can help protect the town, as we survey nature’s gently rolling hills.