Day 85 Acquapendente to Bolsena – 24th August

I left before my Italian friends. This was their final day of walking on the Via Francigena and we arranged to meet later in Bolsena for a farewell dinner. Yesterday I said farewell to the beauty of Tuscany and today I will be walking in the much flatter environment of the Lazio region. The route out of the village followed the main road and then diverted off onto secondary and minor country tracks. It was a beautiful morning again with temperatures around 25 degrees and I made good progress passing vast fields displaying brown earth with a few potatoes on the surface indicating a recent harvest, and I thought that the potatoes that had been left by the harvesting machines would have made a good meal for someone. I arrived in the small town of San Lorenzo Nuovo just before 10.00 am and stopped in a small café that lay directly on the Via Francigena and was just finishing a late breakfast of my usual cream croissants and coffee when my Italian friends arrived. Leaving them to enjoy their own breakfast I continued on through the town and on the outskirts I saw my first glimpse of Lake Bolsena and it was there I realised I had left my phone behind in the bathroom of the café. I dashed back and fortunately, I found it in exactly the spot I had left it. From San Lorenzo Nuovo the path becomes a little more up and down and took me partly through wooded shady areas but mostly along hot dusty white tracks past olive groves with views of the lake below. About 5 kilometres from Bolsena I met the three pilgrims with whom I had shared accommodation in Radifocani and walked with them briefly before they turned off the Via Francigena to their beds for the night. I reached Bolsena just after 1.00 pm and descending through the narrow streets I stopped in a small bar for a refreshing beer before reaching the lakeshore where I booked myself into a small hotel. Later after an invigorating shower and a change into fresh clothes, I walked to the village centre where the narrow streets were alive with visitors. I wandered through the market in the village square and then visited the wonderful Basilica of Santa Cristina, where I sat and reflected and prayed. In the evening I joined my Italian friends for a farewell dinner and after a final stroll through the narrow streets, we enjoyed ice creams and a final group photo before saying our goodbyes. 

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