Via Francigena

The first rice fields are in sight

19. June 2018

As you may have noticed, at least those who read my journal often may have done so, nothing came from my side yesterday. I simply took the day off. Since I don’t want to risk anything with my foot problem, I decided to take it easy, which was pretty boring. On the other hand that allowed me to fully enjoy the soccer world championship. Today I’m going on to San Germano Vercellese – about 27 kilometers. That is again a bit too far for me, but – what the heck. Today I will come to see the first rice fields on the way. Italy is the biggest rice producer in Europe. This part is rather monotonous. From today on, the only elevations are the bridges over the highway. So – pretty flat countryside.

Deep in thoughts

The surroundings are gorgeous. I like these open views, they usually open up my senses. Today this is difficult. My thoughts circle endlessly. About the past, the future and my next stay in rehab. But this is normal for me, as soon as I am no longer in motion, I fall back into old patterns. Of course, that is why I walk past a signpost and am allowed to do a little punishment lap. It doesn’t matter, because I am here to reflect and focus.

The charm of the Po Valley

For me, the charm of this seemingly endless plains are the people. Here real Italian life takes place. Soon I walk through Santhia – a bigger town. Actually this should be the goal of the official stage. But today I want to visit a real village again and walk on to San Germano Vercellese with about 1800 inhabitants. When I arrive at the accommodation, an older Albergo, I am greeted from far away. The landlord is waiting for me eagerly. There is not much activity here. A construction worker comes up to me and invites me – out of sheer joy at meeting a pilgrim – to a glass of Prosecco. Thank you very much.