I’m told it poured last night, but I
didn’t hear a thing. By morning there was light rain but not even enough to bother with a rain coat when I set out with Jean -Michel whose leg seems better after a rest.
The walk today was only 17 km and across very flat country, but almost all on asphalt which is hard in the feet. We also had a few tricky big roundabouts to traverse. The traffic was very heavy as it was almost lunch time and everyone was in a hurry to get home . This is a good example of the strong cultural conformity in Italy. It seems everyone one has lunch at about 1pm and even the national news on TV is timed for this do you can watch it at lunch.
Normally lunch is a bread roll under a tree but today we came across a restaurant along the road offering a ‘Menu di Lavoro’ or worker’s lunch for €11 or about $17- not bad for two courses, wine and a coffee and we had the time to spare .
As I mentioned, the countryside is very flat and there used to be a lot of marshy land as well as it being infested by brigands and wolves. This made it difficult for pilgrims, so a hospice was founded here in the 11th century on one of the few pieces of high ground. The hospice took the form of a small walled village. Over time the town grew around the hospice. Our hostel is in one of the original old buildings recently renovated by the town council. The church bell here was called ‘La Smarrita’ or the lost one. It would sound every evening to help pilgrims still coming or lost in the marshes to find their way.
We met three other pilgrims today one French one italian and a Belgian so we have 5 in the hostel tonight.