Today’s walk followed the Aniene River up it’s valley. Water from this river was diverted into underground acquaducts to supply ancient Rome’s domestic beds as well as baths, fountains, and for stadiums where naval battles were held.
The path was often next to the river although with varying surfaces. It was mainly flat but with climbs here and there. I made good time.
It was still very hot, hovering around 38 degrees. The cool river water looked very inviting, but the thought of getting back into my totally sweat soaked clothes after a swim decided me otherwise.
Luckily, there were some water fountains along the way and as there was some shade, my water bottles didn’t get overly hot. I think I drank about 5 litres of water through the day.
I’ve missed out on finding open shops or bars to get lunch for a few days now so I was very glad to spot Luca’s caravan. He was so excited about meeting someone from Australia that he a photo of us together to send to his wife.
We got to talking about walking in the heat and he mentioned that he goes truffle hunting with his dog on moonlight nights to avoid the heat. He actually rang up his dad to bring some to show me.
After slogging away for some 7 hours, I arrived at Subiaco, dominated by the Borgia castle.
There’s also an beautiful medieval bridge across the river.
My plan, however, was climb for a few more kilometres to an area in the hills behind the town.
Here Saint Benedict lived in a cave for some years after his experience at Vicovario. There are a number abbeys which comprise one of the highlights of this walk.
There’s only one place up there that offers rooms as well as meals. It’s owned by an abbey but run on a very commercial basis. I’d had a lot of trouble getting their attention to organise a booking.
When I arrived they told me that they had problems in the restaurant and weren’t serving meals. It would have been impossible to walk down to the town for dinner and back up again in the dark.
I was totally stuffed by this point so I rang a friend. This cammino has amici in each town. Here it was the fantastic Antonio who drive up to pick me up and organised a room for the night!
After a late dinner I had a short walk around the old part of the town.
I’ll be walking past the monasteries in the hills again tomorrow but probably won’t get a chance to see inside.