Mount Ararat is a volcano in eastern Anatolia near Armenia and Iran. With its 5,165 meters, it is the highest mountain in Turkey and one of the few free-standing five-thousand-meter peaks in the world. According to the Bible, Noah landed there with his ark.More
The Way of St. Francis covers 567 km from Florence to Rome via Assisi. On this magnificent pilgrimage through Tuscany, Umbria and Latium 20000 meters of altitude have to be overcome. There are still hardly any pilgrim hostels on the way. Only sporadically we met pilgrims, a miracle in view of the gigantic landscapes on the heights of the Apennines. Except for a few days, e.g. through the Rieti valley and the way to Spoleto, every day was a small natural spectacle. Weather included, because for Italy it was too rainy for this time of the year. But even that had its charm, one climbs the mountain through streams or thick mud and there waits an enormous view in the color play of rain and light.
From Berlin Tegel we took off with Vueling Airlines to Florence. The crossing of the Alps with light cloud cover was very impressive and we landed on time at the airport Amerigo Vespucci. The shuttle bus took us to the main train station Santa Maria Novella. On the bus we already had to smile, we were in Italy, we noticed it not least at a couple next to us. The man was continuously upset about the fare, the woman talked without pause to him 🙂. From Santa Maria Novella to the center it was only a 10 min walk, soon we were in the historic center. After the first cappucchino (5 € !!!) ran the tourist program: Santa Maria del Fiore, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, and and and ... Only in the evening, after the first delicious Italian pizza, we moved the 4 km to the youth hostel Villa Camerata (18 € per person with breakfast), which is currently probably used as refugee accommodation. Separately accommodated by gender, we spent the first night in Bella italia.
Florenz - Sant'Ellero
Today we had the choice of exploring Florence further and taking the train to S. Ellero in the late afternoon or walking there through the busy suburbs. We then completed our running workload in the center of Florence. The scenic part starts after Sant'Ellero anyway. So we went after the very spartan breakfast in the hostel back into the city. We visited the cathedral again, walked over the Ponte Vecchio, past the Palazzo Pitti. Finally, we wanted to go to the Forte di Belvedere, from there there was a magnificent view over the city. Therefore we had to go to the Giardino di Boboli, but there you have to pay admission. With the countless sights along the way, we were not allowed to start paying admission.
Well, Florence is not short of things to see, so we spent the day here and in the afternoon we took the train from Santa Maria Novella direction Arezzo to Sant'Ellero. From here we immediately went uphill towards Fontisterni, but for this day only a few kilometers, before we settled at the wonderful Farm Podere Fattoio (60 € per person with half board). Together with Dutch pilgrims we had a delicious dinner prepared by Tiziana, all homegrown from the farm. With a house wine we tuned with the Dutch for the next days and weeks.