The first day and the weather was good. A surprise after the heay rain of the previous night. The route officially starts at the Basilica St Croce in the city centre, but since my hotel, about 2km from the centre, is on the route and I had walked from the Basilica to the hotel on the previous day, I felt I wasn’t cheating if I started the day from the hotel. I saved about an hour that walking into city and out again would have taken.
The day was mostly road walking with short stretches of tail. The route went east, first through suburbs of Florence, then through the outlying towns and finally into rural countryside and small towns. It followed the Arno River, heading up into the hills and back to the river several times. Once away from Florence, I walked mostly small rural roads with little traffic.
The landscape was lovely, just as you picture Tuscany. Add to that sunshine, some wildflowers by the road and the occasional cucoo calling in the forest—a pleasant first day.
Pontassive is a small town by the river. It is Sunday; almost everything is shut. But the hotel is open, I found a bar to have a beer and a nice-looking restaurant that will be open this evening.
Some photos (none in Florence, I’m sure you’ve lots of photos of Florence):