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Wandering Loose in Italy: Food Heretic

Pasta “bla bla bla”

This is some kind of pasta. After a while it all runs together, and you have no idea.

Tasty. What is it?

The menus here generally have lots of words that don’t translate into English. So we have ordered lots of food without really knowing what it is. And it’s all over the map.

Pomodora
Carbonara
Pizza always great
Josette reads the menus and asks questions
This wrap in a kebab shop across from the campus was fabulous!
Breakfast
My pizza was basically a crust to hold a salad. Fabulous!
Great bread
Really Really Good
Yep. It’s as good as it looks
Three weeks ago; can’t remember
Cocktail €6. Snacks free

My favorite meal so far-the kebab today. It was a wrap with a salad, French fries, meat. The cook asked me if we wanted everything. I said yes. Three of them. My favorite meal so far. €4.50 each includes water.

Wandering Loose in Italy: crazy?

Long hot bike path

Yesterday we walked 8 km on a paved bike path along a river. There was little shade and it was getting hot. The path led us into busy city streets where we were soon dodging traffic on a road with little shoulder. The farther we got into the city, the hotter. We stopped at a bakery and ate huge slices of pizza and drank down the big bottles of water. We still had an hour to go, headed toward a convent. This is the time when you question this whole affair.

Early morning out of Spello

This is in contrast to the early morning (we started at 6:30 AM) enthusiasm we felt walking through olive groves on the side of a mountain along a path with no traffic.

1 mile out

We are in Spoletto, a very old Roman city, and this part is dirty and trashy and far too busy for comfort.

Chapel inside the convent

There aren’t many nuns to be seen but the rooms are simple but comfortable. Josette found the chapel and took me there.

This underground escalator took us up the steep long hill into the old town
The Cathedral with fabulous stone work 
I rehydrate with beer, Josette with 2 scoops of gelato
We should probably quit spending so much on dinner
Tiramisu

Wandering Loose in Italy: Trevi

Trevi

This hill town tantalizes the hiker from 4 miles out. The final push into town is UP!

Walking the streets of Foligno
Lost gloves in Foligno

Our guidebook said the city of Foligno, which we walked through this morning, was 80% destroyed by Allied bombardment during WW2 but rebuilt with a medieval flair.

Foligno
Poppies blooming everywhere
Wheat fields and a shaded walk
Trail is almost entirely in olive groves
Temperatures warming up at noon
Trevi appears but is still 1 1/2 hours away
Taking a break
Up into Trevi a la 1500 AD
Along the trail
Evenings on the trail

Wandering Loose in Italy: Halfway

Poppies
Flowers everywhere
Flowers around every corner

Spello was an easy 3:30 walk today from Assisi: 12 kilometers if you don’t get lost, 14 if you do. Historic with narrow medieval streets, shops, restaurants, and beaucoup tourists.

Lunch
Santa Maria Maggiore
Excellent Belgian craft blonde beer in a tiny craft brewery with a Belgian girlfriend
Between Assisi and Spello

We arrive in Rome on May 28th. Italy is quite a beautiful place.

Wandering Loose in Italy: Birthdays

Birthday Moon over Assisi

What’s it like to have a birthday on a Camino?

Suzan, Utah, Carolyn

People randomly show up in a piazza in Italy and sing happy birthday to you.

Gabi and friends

You get a happy birthday chorus from Austria

Hector Pedregon

Someone you knew from home meets you to buy you a drink in Piazza Commune

A marching band plays for you
Josette

Someone special shows up at the train station

Josette, moi, Ann, Kenton

And friends buy you dinner! Plus, you got here walking over mountains and through valleys and fording rivers and long, long uphills. Seventy has started very well. Thank you for all your greetings.

Wandering Loose in Italy: My Last Day in my ‘60’s was my best day on this trail!

Snow covered mountain on horizon

Today was my best day on this trail. My attitude was positive and I did 15 miles and 2100 feet of up (and almost as much down).

Stream crossing
Kenton and Ann at the Shrine

We all wrote in the book; of course, Ann wrote in Gaelic

Mountain spring water

We were all out of water with just over a kilometer to go, so we drank cool mountain spring water.

Our village is on the near horizon
View from Biscina

I was tired but not hammered. The last hour was almost straight up. The stream crossing was under the long bridge in this photo.

Goodbye 69

Wandering Loose in Italy: The Wolf of Gubbio

Saint Francis and the Wolf

We are in Gubbio tonight, where the wolf and Francis came to an agreement. The full story is here: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Europe/Italy/Umbria/Perugia/Gubbio/Gubbio/Wolf_Monument.html.

While Francis was staying in Gubbio, a wolf was terrorizing the local people. They asked Francis if he could help. He went to the wolfs lair and the wolf came at him snarling. Francis made the sign of the cross and spoke to the wolf. The wolf sat at his feet as Francis talked with him. Francis promised that the people would feed him every day if he would give up killing people. Francis held out his hand and the wolf held out its paw.

Francis talked to Brother Sun and Sister Moon and called the wolf brother. The wolf is buried under the altar. This story is worth reading and meditating on.

The wolf is buried under the altar

Wandering Loose in Italy: Getting a ride

The axe in Pietralunda

The axe has a story https://www.turismo.pietralunga.it/palio-della-mannaja-the-axe-festival/

Kenton and I decided 30 km with hills would kill is, so we took a taxi 12,km down the trail. It turned out well; the first 12 was in the city or on the edge of a busy road with no shoulder and the part we walked was fabulous. Today we are doing the same, our host is taking us down the trail at the start.

4th century church frescoes

We ate our lunches at a Refugio with an adjacent church. It is a donativo run by volunteers. Quite beautiful and peaceful.

Pieve del Saddi

Our lodging was a beautiful agroturismo just out of town. Our host, Lucas, is very nice. He took us to town and picked us up after dinner.

My room

Assisi on Sunday, where josette joins us.

Wandering Loose in Italy: Somewhat exhausted

22 kilometers today. Beautiful weather and we walked though farm land and mountains. I am tired. Tomorrow Kenton and I are taking a taxi halfway. Neither of us is up to the full 30 km.

Way of Saint Francis trail markers
Early departure from Citerna
Wheat?
Wolf of Gubbio
Farmhouse with flowers

We spent most of the day in mountains, came down to find a place for lunch, then back up again. Citella del Castillo is 40,000 people. We are in the historic downtown. We could see lots of industry nearby from our Mountain View.

Shared the trail with horse riders
Gayden, Kenton, moi. Ann is across town.

Wandering Loose in Italy: Easy-Peasy

Rest break

We had a beautiful 12 km walk today, ended feeling really good! Of course we did twice as much yesterday, and ended up feeling hammered. It’s sunny and over 80° here. We are staying in a beautiful bed-and-breakfast in this tiny town, with a very helpful host. She is young but was for a time a pro volleyball player.

Our host

I had a dream last night about midnight. In it the world was being transformed, and humans were being changed into spiritual beings. But the catch was, you had to be changed in pairs, becoming one. The fortunate people were with their dog when this happened. This may be neither here nor there but if I had taken notes I might have been able to write a book of prophecy (Revelation II?)

Citerna on the hill
Road walking but little traffic

We were following the guidance from our various guidebook and phone maps when a guy pulled up next to us in his car and told us the road ahead was closed, that the bridge was completely out, and there was a detour which he pointed out to us. Gayden said that was an angel, and I will not argue with that.

Detour
We ended up spending lots of time here
The bar in Citerna

The two restaurants in this tiny village are closed, but our host advised us to go to the bar and ask the grocery next door to fix us supper. It was fabulous!

Pici with cheese and black pepper

The local people came to the plaza, it was a happening place. It’s a tiny village and everyone walked.

Downtown Citerna
Sunset