Day: January 3, 2021

The Borghi, the Balze and Dinner at Del Duca – 16/08/2020

The Borghi, the Balze and Dinner at Del Duca – 16/08/2020

Borgo Santo Stefano and Borgo San Giusto are small villages, pretty much appended to Volterra, just outside the current medieval walls, found just outside the north-eastern gate (Porta San Francesco). They would have been within the much older Etruscan walls, which stretched as far as the cliffs (Balze).

We took our walk there in the morning, starting off with Santo Stefano (it’s hard to get to Giusto otherwise, without seriously going out of your way!).

First through Volterra…

Then down to Borgo Santo Stefano…

Then to Borgo San Giusto, one of the main attractions of which is the colossal Chiesa di San Giusto Nuovo – always gloriously cool during hot weather.

After visiting the church, we continued going through the rest of Borgo San Giusto, until we saw some views of the Balze.

We took a brief stroll down past the camping grounds carpark, but the main hiking route seemed to have been closed off. I presume this is because of the current pandemic situation. Anyway, we were walking back towards the witches’ rock (see below) to close off our walking loop, when we spied some blue wobbly stuff beyond some fencing. It was a swimming pool!

We wondered… Heading back again towards the rock, we stopped off at the camping grounds reception (Camping Le Balze), and asked if it’s ordinarily possible to use the pool. They said ‘Yes’! This was a huge revelation to us, as we had thought the closest bathing place would have been Marina di Cecina, over 40km away – not 2-3km away! The provisos were that the pool was principally for campers, so if it is full, it’s full. Secondly, you must bring your own stuff, and wear a swimming cap. We could use the camping grounds carpark whilst using the pool too. They have some basic refreshments and snacks on offer too. What a win! But a win for the 2021 season.

Feeling happier, we walked past the witches’ rock (which I talk more about towards the end of this post).

On the way back to the apartment, we took the stairs from the main resident’s carpark (again, due to my improved fitness, not as bad as it used to be!) and past the ruins. I celebrated with a granita from Isola del Gusto – naturally!

We didn’t hang around the apartment too long. Rather than stock up on food, we decided to eat out a bit today. We masked-up and headed out to Ristorante Il Poggio. This is a place which hasn’t exactly blown me away in the past, but I fancied a schnitzel, and thought this place did them, as it has one or two German items on its menu. I now can’t remember whether I had a change of mind due to health reasons, or if schnitzels weren’t on the menu, but either way I went for a Zuppa Alla Volterrana, while Niamh had a Caprese salad. I really liked their soup!

We had booked a table for two in Del Duca, and went that evening. It’s one of our favourite places to go, and I was able to polish off 3 courses, plus a glass of wine and a limoncello that evening! Yay!

I didn’t take shots of all courses, but here you go!

Home again, and slightly merry – probably the first time for me in a long time!