Via Francigena

The source of life

27. June 2018

Today is one of those days when I open my eyes fully motivated. Beautiful weather and a nice pilgrimage day is coming up. So pack up quickly and off I go. I plan to walk just over thirty kilometers today. After a few minutes I am not sure if I am on the right track. So I ask a lady for the way. She is really nice and leads me with her bike through the village, chattering all the time. Really nice, but unfortunately I only understand half of it.

No ferry across the Po

Today I’ll take the shortcut across the Po, the lifeline of this region. I called the ferryman yesterday. No problem, I have to be there at two o’clock. But there is nobody there. So I call him again and ask where he is. He says he’s not crossing today, but will be back tomorrow at nine o’clock. Unbelievable. This changes my plans completely. I have two options: to stay here overnight or take the longer route. I decide on the second option.

Beautiful route on the banks of the Po

So I continue my pilgrimage on the dam past riverside meadows. Soon I see the Po – a gigantic river. It will accompany me for the next kilometers. On the way, I only encounter a few cyclists, most of them in swimming trunks. A good tan is very important to the Italian. On the way I also meet a pilgrim colleague. Giorgio is his name and he is a true Roman. He started in Rome and he plans to go wherever the wind blows him. After a short chat our paths part.

Too far for me

Ten kilometers after Orio Litta and still 15 kilometers from Piacenza, I realize that this is not working out. Fortunately I see a bar on the right side. I drop in and ask the owner what possibilities I have to get to Piacenza. He says that it is only possible to get there on foot – no bus, no train, nothing. But then a few minutes later he remembers that he also rents beds. 20 euros a bed. I take the offer, because the place here by the river is awesome. This can‘t be said of the room, but so what, I couldn’t have gone further anyway. And 32 kilometers are definitely enough for me. Tomorrow I will do a short trip. About 15 kilometers to Piacenza. It’s supposed to be a great city, which I unfortunately don’t know yet. But that will change soon.