I had my first ever pizza in Italy last night. The menu had several pages of every type of pizza imaginable including 4 dessert pizzas. I picked one at random because I spotted the word fungi in among the ingredients. I remember it from my student days. Coco went for the most expensive pizza thinking she could discard anything she didn’t like and still be left with something edible. Paul ordered the chef’s special. An old work colleague used to amuse me with stories of his youthful days in a smart restaurant and the chef’s incredible ability to produce his special sauce whenever a dish was considered unsatisfactory by the diner.
Coco’s pizza looked like something from the cover of a cookery magazine featuring Italian cuisine. Mine was smothered with fresh herbs from La Vallee. Eating it was just like the day’s walk: light and airy with crunchy bits, hot but cooled by the fast flowing torrents of beer. And Paul’s pizza fully met my expectations. The chef must have been saving himself all day for the first order of his special. It was sold out afterwards.
Today’s walk was a mere 19km but the path followed a centuries old route taken by some irrigation maintenance man to inspect all the channels at each level. At half way we dropped into the bottom of La Vallee for lunch in Montjovet and then took an alternate route along the river to Verres.
However it was a brilliant walk. We had yet another splendid old castle, more old churches and scenic views up and down La Vallee. We came around a corner and the path passed a magnificent garden and I stopped to take a photograph. The proud owner appeared and invited us in to see it properly. It was Mediterranean with strong Japanese overtures.
Coco told me that she had much fun on the Camino Frances and we shared many happy memories of favourite albergues and villages. I sometimes hear people say it’s overcrowded but that’s not true at all. Spain is a big country and you can always lose yourself. Anyway what’s wrong with lots of pilgrims?
Talking of pilgrims, we met a German couple, C & R walking from Germany along an old pilgrim trail via Lake Constance to Rome and a Dutch lady, T, walking from her home through The Netherlands, Belgium and onto the Via Francigena at Reims bound for Rome. These meetings made the morning a little bit special.
My first pizza in Italy
A group photo: C&R, me, T, Paul and Coco
The splendid garden with a Japanese rock and carp
Still used to wash clothes