Our accommodation last night was a sterile B&B in San Lorenzo Nuovo. All very nice but it’s the sort of place in which you’d question the meaning of life if you were alone.
Paul and I departed the B&B at 5.30 and made our way down to the Via Francigena to start our 31km walk to Montefiascone. We walked along a huge volcanic lake and stopped at a town called Bolsena which is a rundown holiday resort on the edge of the lake. However the cost of our Frizzante refreshments, cappuccinos and croissants will probably kick start the local economy.
The rest of the walk took us through gnat woods where a thick cloud of these insects escorted us along the way. I pulled my buff up over my face, pulled my hat down over my eyes and dug in. It was a beautiful day except for those gnats. Why does a little one of God’s creatures with a life expectancy of less than a week spend so much precious time irritating me?
We arrived in Montefiascone in time for Sunday lunch and then sought shelter for the night. At this time I put on my pilgrim outfit and banged on the door of the huge monastery San Pietro in the historic centre of town. Eventually a sister opened it and I asked if she could accommodate two pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena to Rome, to pray at the tomb of St Peter. The door opened and we were admitted and upon payment of 12 Euro, shown to a dormitory with eight beds. It is everything that the modern pilgrim needs. In addition to the beds there is a shower and the option of dinner and breakfast for a further 14 Euro.
Sadly we are alone in here at the moment. Hopefully a few pilgrims will arrive later. I like to stay in pilgrim accommodation. It reminds me of the point of my pilgrimage and if I can meet some of the other lost souls wandering across Europe in search of Divine inspiration and redemption then so much the better. Paul doesn’t enjoy the Monastery lifestyle quite so much. Obviously there are no large white fluffy towels but we have our trekking towels and anyway you are soon dry in this climate.
Olive trees everywhere
The gnat infested wood
How to tackle a few gnats
Spoilt for choice tonight
The church in Montefiascone