Some time after brekkie (we probably let it get too warm), we headed straight for the car, as we wanted to check out a bathing area by a river in the nearish-by forested reserve of Berignone.

The latter stages of the journey were tricky, as we moved from dual-lane road, to single-lane road, to gravelled lane to pot-holed, dirt-track into a carpark, that was largely already full. I felt somewhat overdressed in my usual (t-shirt and jeans). It was hot, and I noted someone had set up a mobile bar near the beginning of the walk to the bathing area – I’d be making a bee-line for it on our way back.

We carefully forded a mostly-dry, but perilously rocky riverbed, and continued about 1.5km along a trail that led to the bathing area.

There were a couple of natural pools people were using; one of which was deep enough to jump into from a rock above. We weren’t properly geared to join, so we mosied around a short while, and feeling self-conscious that people were fairly unclothed around us, we headed back to car park.

On the way there, I must have picked up an insect bite (I don’t get them nearly as often as Niamh does), but it was the mother and father of them. Four months later, and I still have a mark. Anyhoo, we raided the bar area, and I got myself a chocolate and hazelnut gelato cone. Not bad, considering where it was, but no Isola del Gusto! The carpark was jammed by the time we got to the car, and it proved tricky to negotiate our way out past incoming traffic. If ever there’s a next time, we’ll park on the road that leads to the dirt track and walk. Here are some shots of a distant Volterra taken during our trip home:

We opted to go to one of the few (non-vegetarian/vegan) restaurants we hadn’t yet tried: Bar Trattoria Da Bado. Turns out to have been an inspired decision: I had one of the best pappardelle al cinghiale I’ve ever had – the pasta was homemade and so toothsome! We also had a nice antipasto platter beforehand. There were tons of locals eating there, which is always a good sign. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what Niamh had. If I had one complaint, it would be that we were rather close for comfort to other people, given the Covid situation. But anyway, we weren’t infected!

On the way back, I stopped at Isola del Gusto for a lemon granita – the perfect thing to cool you down during a 36 degree day.

Our hunger for pasta was obviously not sated, as we finished off homemade plates of spaghetti al ragu that evening.

That evening we went to Antica Velathri Cafe for some chat and cocktails. Always a lovely time there.

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