This morning was market day but there was no time to dawdle after I bought my provisions for the day.

I had to walk around a big loop to get onto the start of the bridge across the River Po as it passes over the top of the town and the more direct steps have been closed .

Via Romea Germanica

Crossing the bridge took me into my third Italian Region for this walk – Emilia-Romagna. The walk today was largely again on the top of the levee bank with pleasant views of the river and countryside .

Via Romea Germanica FerraraVia romea Germanica Ferrara

I’ve seen many abandoned farm houses. Once there would have been many families living in these houses and working the land by hand or with animals.

I haven’t included many flower photos for a while as there haven’t been that many but I have a few for today .

The path eventually came down from the bank at the little town of Francolino. As I was passing through the town, a man started talking to me in German. I asked him to guess where I came from but we give up after 5 guesses . He was the local tabacco shop owner and he offered me a coffee.

Via Romea Germanica Ferrara

I’ve been impressed by the number of bike tracks there are in Italy on this walk and I had another one to follow this afternoon that covered the distance between Francolino and Ferrara

Via romea Germanica Ferrara

Before long I reached the very impressive and complete walls of Ferrara.

There’s also a path along the top of the walls .

The town of Ferrara is listed as a World Heritage site, The Este family ruled the place for about 3 centuries and it’s essentially renaissance character still predominates.

Luckily my room was facing west so I had lots of sun to dry my washing.

Interestingly, the castle which is a symbol of the town, was built by the Este family in 1385 to defend themselves against the townspeople who were revolting against high taxes and hunger.

There’s no sign of hunger these days.

Via Romea Germanica Ferrara

The castle is very impressive with all you’d expect such as a moat, drawbridge and dungeon.

The so called ‘Palazzo dei Diamanti’ was built by the Este family around 1500 and gets its name from the facade finish.

I’ve been to Ferrara a few times and seen a lot of the sights so I headed off to one place I hadn’t been to. At the convent of Sant’Antonio in Polesine, if you ring the buzzer and ask nicely, a Benedictine nun will let you in and give you a tour of the frescoes.

These were completed between 1300 and 1350 by the School of Giotto.

The nun who took me around was so tiny that I had to bend over double to hear her. I told her about my pilgrimage and she assured me that the 14 nuns in the community would be praying for me.

Via romea Germanica Ferrara

Dinner time !Cappellacci are a speciality of Ferrara.

Via romea Germanica Ferrara

Tomorrow I continue heading south with a 30km hike to Traghetto .