I had the typical Italian coffee and pastry breakfast at a bar this morning. When he heard my foreign accent, the young guy working there asked me where I was from.

This got into a discussion of what I was doing and what retirement was all about, He said he’d like to do a walk like mine in 50 years time. I thought – hang on I’m not THAT old- but perhaps this is how long he’ll have to work before becoming eligible for a pension!

I passed through Ferrara and followed the road heading to Bologna for quite a few kilometres.

Finally the route turned off this road but there was still some nasty traffic for a while .

The walk today was on a mixture of asphalt, gravel and track across the flat plains

There wasn’t much traffic once I got off the main road .

Via romea Germanica Ferrara

I saw even more of the white fluffy seed from poplar trees that I mentioned a few posts ago.

These chooks looked happy.

Sardines for lunch!

A lot of today’s walk followed what looked to be just another canal .

However this the ‘Po primario’ or the previous course of the River Po. In the year 1152 the river broke its banks and changed its course further to the north.

I met this 84 year old who can’t walk much due to a bad hip, but spends his day pottering around down by the river. He told me he hardly ever catches fish with his net contraption !

Via romea Germanica Ferrara

In the afternoon, I spent some time walking along the banks of the old Po along an attractive path, although the long grass was a bit difficult at times and it took a while later to get all the grass burrs off my socks

At one point the path was lined with grape vines. It would be nice to walk along here in summer with grapes on the vines.

I eventually reached Traghetto but I hadn’t been able to find accommodation in this small village so I had to walk another 3 km off to the side of tomorrow’s path to Molinella .

As I was walking through Traghetto, someone called out in Italian ‘Are you Paul ‘ It turned out to be Werter, a fellow member of the Via Romea Germanica Association who’d been following my posts on the Facebook site and recognised me!

He kindly drove me to Molinella saving my feet from those last few kilometres !

Molinella is yet another town sporting a church bell tower with serious structural problems

Via romea Germanica Ferrara

As I’m in the province of Bologna, it seemed the right thing to do to have tagliatelle with ragù, a Bolognese speciality

Via romea Germanica Molinella

Tomorrow I continue my walk through the lowlands to the Comacchio area.