A pleasant path took me on my way from Poggio Bustone this morning. I was a bit stiff after my fall yesterday, lo but the swelling on my chin had gone down a bit and my knee wasn’t hurting.

Leaving Poggio Bustone

This part of my route is in common with the Via Francesca so perhaps I might meet other pilgrims on way for the first time today .

Today I came across many fountains fed by springs. In ancient times, this valley was occupied by a large lake, fed by these many springs.

One of many fountains in the Valle Santa.

It was drained by the Romans in the year 290 to create farm land. A few small lakes remain. The valley is often called the Valle Santa as Saint Francis spent some time here .

One of the remaining lakes is visible in this view of the valley.

I wasn’t long before another town, Cantalice, came into sight, clinging to the side of a hill.


That’s a nice view to walk past, I thought. But no, the route took me right up to the top of the town .

Just before I got there, I passed a row of lavender plants, full of butterflies and bees.

Around the corner a lady was just opening up her little shop where she sells her handicraft. I’ve got a little bundle of lavender now to sweeten up my backpack .

Looking down from the top of the town.
In this view looking back, Poggio Bustone is visible at the lower left. Behind are the mountains I crossed yesterday.

About 5km before my destination of Rieti, I passed La Foresta. This was home to Saint Francis when he had just a handful of followers.

The cave where Saint Francis slept.

I was given a little tour by Roberto, one of a group of lay people who live a simple life here and maintain the property .

He told me that the place had been at risk of being sold by the Church.

The little cloister at La Foresta.

I got to the outskirts of Rieti at around 1pm, and as I’d only had a basic Italian style breakfast, I was getting a bit hungry. The porchetta stall was just what I was looking for.

Rieti has an impressive set of walls .

The walls of Rieti.

As I’d woken up at 4.30am and walked 18km, I was a bit tired and I headed off for a shower and nap. With today’s heat, I might give a walking tour of the town a miss.

A typical Rieti street.
Swimming at the ruins of the Roman bridge – what a great way to cool off.

Tomorrow I continue down the valley and then up into the hills to Rocca Sinibalda.