After a long sleep, only interrupted by the cock crowing at daybreak, I enjoyed a selection of home made jams at breakfast.

My favourite jam was the More (Mulberry).

It was only about a 5km walk to the town of Monteleone di Spoleto through pleasant countryside.

A good thing on these hot days is that so far there have been many sources of clean, fresh, cool water along the way. I carry 2 litres but drink much more every day.

Animals like these sheep were all looking for shade.

One of the nice things about walking is that you never know what you’ll see through the day and what will be around the next bend in the road.

The path up to Monteleone seemed to be quite an ancient one.

Before Italian reunification commenced in the 1860s, the town of Monteleone di Spoleto was strategically placed as a strong point on the border between the Papal States and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to the south.

One of the gates to the town.

Monteleone has one of the oldest surviving post boxes in Italy, dating from 1707.

I had a chat with this couple who were sitting in a cool shady spot high in the town. The gent was 90 years old.

Close by is the small town of Ruscio which was a customs point on the old border. In the 1840s, after an agreement between the two states, 686 numbered stone columns were placed along the border between the Papal States and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies from coast to coast.

In 2014, column number 499 was found where it had fallen and was re-erected in the town .

For a while I was walking on asphalt but eventually it became a dirt road.

A weed with pretty flowers growing from a crack in the road.

The only problem was that there were several quarries nearby and some truck drivers drove a little too fast, covering me with dust.

Cough cough.
Lunch time for these donkeys.

My end point was the small town of Leonessa. Similarly to Monteleone, it was a border town founded in 1278 when the Kingdom of Sicily was ruled by the Angevins.

The town went through a period of development from 1538 when Emperor Charles V gave it to his daughter Margherita of Austria as part of her dowry. It retains today many signs of elegance.

Like other towns in the area, many buildings were damaged in the 2016 earthquake and are slowly being repaired

I noticed that there are many buttresses and arches throughout the town, probably built over the centuries to strengthen against tremors. They give the town a unique character.

I went to a local restaurant, ‘Locanda Lesse’ and I felt very much at home. The first question I was asked was ‘bianco o rosso? – red or white wine, not whether I wanted wine or how much. ( 1/2 litre)

I chose from the verbal menu fettuccine with fresh mushrooms, a pork chop with cicoria and tiramisù. Of course they brought me an espresso coffee without my having to ask . All up €20 ($AU32)

Tomorrow I cross the Reatini mountains reaching 1,500m altitude before descending to Poggio Bustone.