Thursday September 26th - Day 17 Montale to Fiorenzuola-d'ArdaGuide book comment - Take plenty of food and water on this stage of the Via Francigena!
Up nice and early at 6 am, and off over the road for a Caffé doppio before heading off this morning.
Bought our usual picnic lunch supplies at Montale before heading off into the farmlands.
Crossed over a ford at the river Nure - managed to stay fairly dry, just slipped my right foot into the water.
Walking a zig zag route through lots of farmland, massive fields of tomatoes being harvested...
Stopped off at the shady church of Castello Di Paderna for our picnic lunch at 11:15 , both of us very hungry!
about 18km along the days walk. As we were finishing off lunch a group of 6 or so Swiss walkers stopped also, then... the gates to the Castello Di Paderna opposite the church opened!
and two ladies came out and invited everyone in for some water, and bagno (toilet) said they like assisting pilgrims.
The Castello is lovely, not huge, but beautifully maintained.
... Even though Patrick and I are walking together, at the same time, we notice and comment on quite different things - for example, at the Castello, Patrick was enthralled by the old doors and iron gates, how they were weighted, and hinged just perfectly so they would slowly close on their own! (I didn't notice until he commented)
A church in a field of sunflowers waiting to be harvested. Would be spectacular to see the sunflowers when they are in full bloom!
At km 27 , Zoppellaro we walked across two more fords this afternoon, I had to take my shoes and socks off for one of them, the water was delicious and cool on my tired, hot feet.
Phoned our accommodation to check availability while having lunch, no English spoken but, yes OK,
arrived Fiorenzuola d'Arda at 3:15 pm .. no answer at number 15, or answer to the phone, so we stop off for a drink and relax at the handy bar. Love Italian organization, at the main piazzas in the villages, there is usually the church, parish offices, bar and perhaps panneteria, all in the one square. Accommodation sorted shortly after -
Accommodation for tonight
Parish of San Fiorenzo
Parish of San Fiorenzo
Address: Piazza Molinari, 15 - Fiorenzuola d'Arda