Distance: 16.0 km – Elevation +430 m -160 m
Weather: Sunny. Temperature: High 28 degrees
It was a much later start today, although mostly up, there were just 17 kilometres to my destination of Montefiascone, so I was able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. I started out with a walk on the black volcanic sands of the lakeshore with its distant views to Bisentina, one of the lake’s two Islands. It was a beautiful morning again with clear blue skies and not too hot. After the short walk through the town outskirts, the path joined country lanes and tracks through woodlands providing good shade from the morning sun. In the Parco di Turona, I came across a rest area where I took a morning snack. Out of the woodlands, the path led through open farmland and passed by olive groves and there were views of Lake Bolsena in the valley below. There were many ups and downs as the path climbed to Montefiascone. I arrived at the outskirts of the town and the Basilica di San Flaviano just before 1.00 pm after a tiring last climb of the day. The Basilica is associated with Giovanni Fugger, a pilgrim who died in the town and the legend that gave rise to the local wine “Est Est Est”. After spending time in the cool of the 11th-century Basilica I found my way to the town gate, Porta di Borgo, and followed the narrow street to the town centre where enjoyed lunch in a small restaurant located close to the arch and its inscription that reads “Alla Tomba di Pietro” – Just 100 kilometres to Rome. I had arranged to stay in a small hotel situated just outside the old town and after resting and my usual end of walking day chores I ventured out again and walked to the Cathedral Church of Santa Margherita and then climbed to the Rocca dei Papi, the pilgrim tower with magnificent views to the wide valley below. I then sat enjoying an ice cream and was joined by Chiara and Valentina two young Italian pilgrims who I had first met a couple of days ago.