53km and 850 meters of climbing ( for those in Victoria that’s 2.5 Malahats )
Gord: Today we left the rice paddies of the Po valley and climbed into the Appennine mountains towards Tuscany. Like the meseta on the Camino many pilgrims skip the Po valley. While I am glad that we are covering the entire Via Francigena under our own steam, and there were interesting and memorable aspects to the Po valley, we are very pleased to move onto the next region on the route. The villages already have a different look, huddling on ridges and nestling in valley bottoms. The building material of choice has also changed to stone from the brick of the Po valley. The villages also seem more ancient, perhaps because they did not suffer as much damage during the Second World War.
Ruth: We are staying in a hostel in Casio that is a pilgrim’s dream. The Ostello Via Francigena charges only 16€ per person for a room that is more like a B&B then a hostel, but wait… that’s not all. This place is not only equipped, it is overflowing with wine, beer, every food item possible (there is even a pineapple in the fridge!!!) All of this is available for a donation. We are the only people staying here and we have the run of the entire three story house. Pictures describe it better than words.