Via Francigena

The fun is back

15. June 2018

Sunshine, gently tickling my nose at 6.00 in the morning – that‘s way too early for me. Not even coffee is available at this hour. So I turn around and doze off again. An hour later it‘s time to rise and shine. I start into a new day of pilgrimage, but before I really get going at my usual speed I drop into the first bar for Cornetto Marmelatta, Cappucino and mineral water. Yesterday all I got was a salad…I mean, this should be Italy, right?

Starting at a speedy pace

There we go, from Verres towards Montestrutto. This means leaving the Aosta Valley and crossing the border to Piedmont today or tomorrow. Now that‘s my goal: the Piedmont, like Tuscany, Burgundy and Bordeaux, is very much en vogue as a wine-growing region and has a reputation all over the world. And they all are famous for their excellent cuisine. Well, to get there means to tackle some more kilometers. The country is rather flat before I start climbing up the vineyards.The weather is brilliant, quite warm and windy, which makes things easier. I‘m making good progress and there is a lot to see (pictures).

A new experience

After some kilometers I am overtaken by another pilgrim – that is a first time ever in my pilgrimage-career – that guy got guts. We say hello anyway. He tells me he is on his way to Rome too, with only little time to do so, which explains the speed. Not bad for a Frenchman. Soon we say goodbye and I stop for a break. When I am on my way I prefer privacy and peace, nobody in front and nobody in my back, which otherwise is rather stressful.

More mindfulness on my way

In the last four years of my pilgrimage I‘ve changed. In the past I raced around at more than six kilometers per hour for more than forty kilometers a day. I really did not know the meaning of the word „break“. Now I walk at a slower pace, but still efficiently. That allows me to drop into a bar three times a day and to enjoy the rest. There even is room for historic sights. To go on a pilgrimage makes a man humble.

Enjoying a warm summer‘s evening

After approximately 19 kilometers I reach Pont-Saint-Martin, known for its bridge which carries the same name. Here Saint Martin fought with the devil. and I decide to stay for the night and find a perfect place close to the center. The day is too beautiful for a small farming village in the middle of nowhere. I‘prefer a lively and pulsating environment to enjoy my time.