I had a nice stay at a B&B la Scaletta in Formello. It was much more comfortable walking today as the lady at the B&B had offered to wash my socks in the machine. They’ve been getting a bit like sandpaper from hand washing .

I’ve been delighted these last days by the amount of wild flowers along the paths.

This abandoned farmhouse has what looked like 4 dovecotes .

This area was sacred to the Etruscans and it did have a special feel to it.

I passed through Veio. This was one of Italy’s first proper cities . Although it’s close to Rome it was an Etruscan City. The Romans finally conquered the city in the 4th century BC.

Unfortunately the ruins were closed as are most museums in Italy on a Monday. Here’s an aerial photo from the information board.

via romea germanica veli etr

The Etruscans  built a irrigation system with tunnels cut through rock to channel river water for agriculture as well as to supply their towns.

This is an old water mill.

Next to the old millstone someone had left this basket behind full of fruit. – very strange

A final fill up of water from a classic Rome water fountain , albeit a bit worse for wear.

The route into Rome has changed since I last did it 3 years ago. The path is longer but it avoids a lot of the dangerous and busy streets

You wouldn’t know you were in the city on this path through Monte Mario Park .

I met two Australians and we had fun picking mulberries.

A few days earlier I’d picked some cherries- a bit immature but tasty!

Acanthus – as on the Corinthian column capital

Monte Mario was known as Mons Gaudi – the Hill of Hope – and was the first place pilgrims would get a view of St Peters

A fancy water fountain in Vatican City

On the way to the hostel I realised Id lost my phone!! I walked back and amazingly someone had found it and rang my wife who’s number was written inside the cover . She described me to him just as I was passing by! A miracle in crowded Rome

I headed for the same hostel I’d stayed at 3 years ago.

Here behind my washing you can see the bell tower of the basilica of Santa Cecilia

A young French couple with a baby arrived with this contraption. They’ve been walking for 8 months.

My boots have jut about had it

Before dinner there was a foot washing ceremony and then we were each asked to share some thoughts about our pilgrimage. I spoke about how few possessions you really need to live after 6 weeks with just a backpack full of belongings. Conversely some very simple things such as a rubber band become important in everyday life and you can get a tiny glimpse into what life for a refugee might be like.

I was asked to repeat this in English for some of the pilgrims who weren’t Italian and a French girl started to cry when she heard so it must have touched her in some way

Dinner at the hostel was wonderful in the company of other pilgrims and the volunteers that run the place.

Tomorrow I’m off to the Vatican to get my testimonium or certificate of completion of my pilgrimage.