Distance: 23.4 km – Elevation +60 m -40 m
Weather: Sunny. Temperature: High 35 degrees
Today, so different from yesterday. Temperatures were in the high twenties and the town was wakening as I set out to walk through the outskirts of Piacenza, dust carts were busily clearing the previous day’s rubbish and I was greeted by one of the operatives with a beautiful smile as I passed. I don’t know why it should be, but it seemed to me, that this young and beautiful woman dressed in the municipal overalls, was an unusual and unexpected sight as she carried a rubbish bin to the cart. I passed a small bar/café just opening and the owner standing at the door beckoned me over and invited me to sit at a table whilst he prepared a coffee for me and then sitting next to me, he said in very good English, that his brother and he had always wanted to complete the pilgrimage to Rome. Before leaving he took a photo which he sent to his brother – there was no charge for the coffee. Traffic volumes were beginning to grow as I approached the Via Emilia, a busy thoroughfare, which the path followed until it reached the bridge that crosses the river Nure. After the river, I passed through the village of Pontenure, and from there the path took a route through the flat Piacenza countryside. There was little shade as temperatures rose and I was so glad to have the benefit of my hands-free trekking umbrella. The umbrella strapped to my backpack amused a couple of farmworkers who waved and shouted as they took a brief break from their toils. I came to a barn where two men were sitting inside, they called to me to join them and I was able to replenish my depleted water bottles and sit resting in the cool of the shaded barn. By mid-afternoon temperatures were approaching 40 degrees and I was tired and exhausted when I eventually arrived in Fiorenzuola dʼArda after walking close to 32 kilometres. I had booked a room in the Hotel Bastimento which was tucked away in the quiet back streets of the town and a short walk from the town centre.