Day 20 Via Francigena, Pontremoli to Aulla, 33.1km

Date: Wednesday 29 August
Distance covered to Rome: 523.1/1027km
Terrain: Mixed. Busy roads and forest paths.
Overnight: Ostello di San Caprasio, €10
Feeling: Excited!!! Over half way now.

You would think that with all this fresh air and exercise I would be sleeping like a log, but No. I toss and turn for hours and then am awake at 400am! Maybe it is the pure excitement of another +30km day! Not!

More edge-of-road walking to start the day. It is not pleasant, but at least there is little traffic at that time of day. Once that was done, it was really pretty walking. I spent most of the day on small back roads and country lanes. The lanes were often lined with old, old rock walls, now covered in moss. Most of the walls are in a pretty sad state and no one seems to bother maintaining them anymore. That’s a bit sad as I can imagine what an important part those lanes played in the past. These tracks would have been the links between all the small villages, like little communication lines.

The disappointing thing is that some people think these lanes are their own personal garbage dump. I was about 500m down one lane and there were all these large plastic bags full of bottles and cans. Why?? Why not walk to the closest recycling bin or simply put them out on collection day? They do seem to have an active recycling programme over here, which makes it even more confusing. I just don’t get it.

After 33km I was desperate for a shower and to pull my boots off, but the ostello was closed until 3pm! That is heartbreaking for a sweaty walker, but those are the hours that most Italians keep (900am-1230pm, 300pm-700pm). It takes a bit of getting used to and understanding which shops and bars will be open and when. First World problem!

Tip of the day: ear plugs are essential when you are sleeping next to the church bells.

9 thoughts on “Day 20 Via Francigena, Pontremoli to Aulla, 33.1km

  1. Fascinating Mel – yeah I will never understand the dumping of garbage or recyclable things! Grr …..congratulations on being half way…… just enjoying a Greek island frappe!


    1. Now that sounds like a real holiday! Enjoy!


  2. Congratulations on reaching over half way. Absolutely loving your descriptions of a walk through Italy. Keep up the good work and putting one foot in front of the other. 👣


    1. Many thanks. I knocked over the 670km Mark today so I almost feel like I am on the home straight! But I had better not speak too soon!


  3. Ha ha the old get caught out by the Italian well let’s say Mediterranean shop hours! When we campered in the van I can’t tell you the amount of time we got caught! Service stations were our saviour. Although somewhat unfulfilling.

    Lovely re reading these as I’m currently driving through the region.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just so different to the way we live in Australia, but I can see the sense of it as so many people love a siesta….not me though! I have never been able to sleep during the day and not wake up feeling like I have been run over by a bus! Happy travels.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha. But Mel I think you’d adapt easily. Spain has a siesta because the way of life and the weather simply dictates it. This it the lure of Europe … the lifestyle. Or for us Aussies the way it’s valued and unquestionably protected. We don’t get this at home. F x

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, we wouldn’t want it any other way! And it has taught me I just need to be prepared and carry more food! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

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