Monday, May 23, 2016

Almost there

Our start for today, Chiesa di San Vittore
Robin and I reviewed our schedule in Spoleto, and decided to take a train to Rieti, spend the night and then jump the next stage by taxi so that we would arrive in Ponticelli today, which we have. From here we will get a lift part way towards Monterotundo, and walk 15-20 kms tomorrow into Monterotundo where we will spend tomorrow night. The next day we will take the train into Rome and that will be that. Our sampling of the Way of St. Francis will then come to its end. In retrospect, it has been a revealing walk. The stages we walked were not easy, but were quite rewarding with gifts of beautiful scenery, abundant peace and quiet, and of course the presence of St. Francis. This is a walk that will surely grow in popularity. One of the limiting factors for future growth will be the cost of travel along the Way. As there is no albergue system similar to what Spain has, the cost of lodging rises sharply. However, with some planning, there are various churches and monasteries where beds can be found for cash strapped pilgrims. But, travelers on this road should expect some increase in costs compared to Camino walks in Spain or even in France. The terrain is also challenging. There are many steep climbs and not all of them are short. So come prepared for a bit of exercise. The terrain also accounts for the increased time it takes to cover distances that one might be used to covering more quickly. I also will throw in that the walk to Assisi, in my opinion, is the best of what we saw. Yes, there are lots of medieval hilltop villages to visit beyond Assisi but the joy of our walk seemed to wane after leaving Assisi. From then on it was just how to we get to Rome (so we can get to Santiago) and quite honestly we felt more at peace in Assisi (even with the crowds) then we did in Rome, even (especially) at the Vatican (bigger crowds). But that is just us. So for tonight we are lodged at the B&B Casale Della Stelle in Ponticelli. Giuseppe, our host, is preparing dinner for us and the laundry has been done. So all chores are accounted for. We shall be looking forward to our arrival in Rome on Wednesday, and even more so to our departure for Santiago on Saturday. As always with any journey there have been ups and downs, but on balance it has been a remarkable experience, and is one that I would highly recommend to others to enjoy. Ciao for now.  
Burning off breakfast


  1. Hi, just checked your blog today and found we'd missed your pilgrimage. Nicer to read daily but we're all caught up now. Wonderful photos and another great descriptive blog. Thanks. We haven't been to Italy for 10 years and I think it's time to return. We changed pace and were on a river cruise on the Danube last month. Very luxurious but I think we'll get back again to walking next trip. Enjoy your stay in Santiago. Always nice there. Thanks again.
    Dayton and Karen

    1. Hi Dayton and Karen, we are happily back at "work" in the cathedral in Santiago. We will have been here two weeks as of tomorrow. All is well except Robin has picked up a cold and is struggling to shake it. Glad you had fun on the Danube. Give the Way of St. Francis some thought. I think you would enjoy it.

      All the best, John