Rome – Part 2

Everywhere you look Rome is full of history. Most the time, so well preserved. My days in Rome was spent with sightseeing, drinking cappuccino, spritz, wine, and eating cheeses, and prosciutto, or something like it. Since I was having difficulty walking for a long time, I took every chance to take a break, and have one of those drinks, and/or food:).

There were a lot of famous landmarks, close to where I stayed. Like Trevi Fountain, (one of the most famous fountains in the world), Spanish Plaza, Spanish Steps, etc.. Here are some pictures;

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Small world… a friend from Seattle lives in Rome now, and she sent me a message to see whether we could get together. That was the plan for next evening…

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Rome May 27 – June 5

After a one hour bus, and 20 minutes train ride I arrived to Rome. I liked the paint job on the train:)

When I got off at Euclide station in Rome, I started walking towards my place near Plaza Navona. It was very hot again, and my knee was throbbing. My bag was feeling really heavy. Finally found a taxi. I was early, so my room was not ready. Left my bag with them, and went out to explore. Pain or not, I was going to experience and enjoy Rome, as much as I could.

Google maps helped me to get oriented, and I started walking towards Tiber River. Love the canals, bridges in Europe.

Since walking was quite difficult and painful, I decided to get a ticket for a hop on/hop off, convertible 🙂 bus tour. That was a good decision. The tour was about two hours, and went by all the main tourist attractions, and made me to fall in love with Rome.

Here are some pictures from the first city tour;

After the tour, walked around a little more, admired S. Angelo bridge and castle. Few more pics from S. Angelo;

Stopped for a spritz, and ice for the knees;

They were very creative with what they could put the ice in:)

I found my place. After my unpleasant experience with my previous stay, this was so rewarding. A bright an clean room, with a typical old time street view, and an amazing roof top with the view of Rome.

More from Rome days, later…

Campagnano Di Roma

I think this was the one and only really disappointing place of this whole adventure. When I got to the place, they took me to a room looked like a dungeon, a very dark room with a very small window, and old, stale smell. This was totally not acceptable, so I asked them to change my room. They did, but I realized, in general the place was in big need of TLC. Even though it was advertised, there was no A/C, no wi-fi reception, and the toilet seat was not properly bolted to the toilet, so you were entering there at your own risk. No way, I would stay there 5 days. Was too tired to leave immediately. I cancelled my stay after one night and headed for Rome the next day. There was one street in this town, looked a little interesting, and the Sunday market made it bearable for one day stay.

Here are a few picture from this town;

I left very early, next morning, took a bus to Saxa Rurba, and a train to Rome..

Viterbo

In order to walk less, carrying my backpack, I took a taxi to Viterbo from Montefiascone. After I got out of the taxi, I realized that I was not at the correct address. So much for taking the taxi. Keep walking again. Viterbo is not a very interesting city, until you enter the old town within the ancient walls. Using my google maps, I found the place we would be staying, very nice, but what else, all the way to the top, a lot of stairs. The owner was a gentleman, so he carried my bag to the flat.

I liked my room, especially the tub:). Did not use it, but gave an interesting ambiance to my room;

After a hot shower, I went out for a cold beer, and a little exploration.

Here are some pictures from Viterbo;

After Viterbo, I told my friend, I would be going to the next stop before we get to Rome to wait for her, instead of going town to town and spending one night to get to the next one. This was harder on my injured knees. So, I made a reservation for the remaining nights in Campagnano di Roma. We will see what that town had to offer…

Bolsena and After…

Well.. things did not go the way, it was planned. Bolsena became my last stop for our walking adventure. I was going to take the bus to Montefiascone, and go see a doctor. In the morning Kathleen went for her walk, I walked to the bus station. Bus ride was enjoyable. When I got to Montefiascone, it took me forever to get to the doctor’s office. Kept walking up, up, up. When I finally got there, even though he did not speak English, we managed it. Thanks to google translate. He told me that the ligaments, tendons below my knees were strained too much and produced extra fluid, because of the heavy load, difficult and too long walks, back to back. He said it would be quite painful for a long time, especially if I could not rest for long periods of time. Injected my knees with hyaluronic acid to help the inflammation. And, send me my way, saying, rest, rest, and then more rest, if I did not want permanent damage. This part of my journey was done, after 4 days and ~100 km walk. Bummer.. well s..t happens. However, I decided that I would do my best to enjoy the rest of my remaining time here, even though I would be quite limited with what I could do.

The place we stayed in Montefiascone was just beautiful, with gorgeous views. I wished we were staying more than a day.

Next day was of to Viterbo..

Day 5 – Aquapendente to Bolsena

It was raining this morning, but the temperature was very pleasant. Ran into another walker, he asked us to take a picture of him with his red pancho, then we asked him to take ours;

ll around the path was beautiful again. Many farm houses, very old buildings, wheat fields, wild flowers, etc;

Here a few of them;

We were 8 to 10 kms, close to our break point, but by this time my knee was really bothering me. I was limping, and moving very slow. We got to San Lorenzo Nuovo. Set at a cafe, had coffee and asked for some ice to put on my knee. Some pictures from San Lorenzo Nuovo;

You can see from my picture, I was not able to smile, anymore. Well, after a 30 minutes, or so rest, I hit the road, again. Stopped often, tried to enjoy the surroundings, took pictures, and kept going. I could see the lake Bolsena from a distance, beautiful volcanic lake.

In Bolsena we stayed in a Palaces that was built in 1500s, Il Vesconte – Palazzo Cozza Caposavi. My room looked like something like this, a little smaller;

Bolsena had many restaurants serving fish right out of Lake Bolsena. Our dinner was great at a beautiful restaurant within few steps of our place we stayed.

So next day, I was going to take the bus to Montefiascone.. I did not think, there will be more walks for me, if I did not want to damage my knee permanently, if I have not already.

Day 4 – Rest Day in Acquapendente

Well…. as I said before, this was going to be the rest day. Since a lot of rain was in the forecast, Kathleen decided to take the day off, too. We took a bus from Radicofani to Acquapendente. ~ 1/2 hr drive…

Here are some pictures from Acquapendente;

After we got off the bus, we realized that our place to stay was a bit far from the city center. Of course, these distances would have had no problem for me, if it weren’t for my knee. Walking a mile with a backpack on an already sore leg was really frustrating me. Right when we were getting close, somebody drove by, and stopped right in front of us. It was the owner of the place. He offered a ride, and even though it was a very short distance, I jumped on it. The place was beautiful, again. And… I couldn’t believe my eyes, it had a jacuzzi bath tub. What a pleasant surprise. I filled up the bath tub, and enjoyed a long bubble bath, with jets beating my sore knees and feet.

Since there was nothing to eat before dinner, we walked back to the town, again. Had some spritz and cheese, prosciutto sandwich;

What comes after? More walk.. back to the room.. So much for a rest day.!!

We had a great homemade dinner, at the place we stayed.

I was hurting, but still enjoying the experience. End of the 4th day…

Day 3 – San Quirico to Radicofani

We heard from some people that this part of the path was very challenging, long and uphill. In the morning, we took the bus to Galliani, to cut some kilometers. After a nice coffee break in a local cafe, we started our walk. The first part was on a regular road, so didn’t care about this part of the walk much. It is hard on your feet, also, the heat reflecting from the asphalt scorches your feet and you. However, after we got on the regular path, the scenery and the path became very enjoyable. There were farm houses, sheep, poppies, small creeks.. really enjoyable.

Here are some pictures;

We even ran into a very old church;

We started seeing some signs making us think that we were getting close to Radicofani. However, those signs were not really very accurate. We kept walking, up, up, up. There was a castle on top of a hill, quite a ways from us, and we said jokingly, ” hope that is not where we are going”. And, pretty soon we realized that that castle was where we were going. We were so far away from the regular road, there was no other option, but walking. This was the first time I doubted myself. I was overheated, exhausted, discouraged, but kept going. If I were close to the road, I would have waved the first motorized thing down. We made it, anyway, even though I was close to crawling, at the end of the journey. At least, we were pleased with our choice of stay. Our apartment was right across a big old church, and was really comfortable, charming. After a hot shower, and a rest, things got better.

This was our apartment from outside;

And, this was the church across;

I decided to take the next day off, no matter what.

Day 2 – Buonconvento to San Quirico

Here we go again..,

It was another very hot day, and beautiful scenery again.

We stopped at Torrenieri, had aperol spritz. Boy, that went so well after a long, strenuous walk in the heat.

I was tired by the time we got to San Quirico, and we went to a local bar/cafe to have a glass of wine. We were surprised by a medieval show by the local youngsters. And, we went to our place to spend the night. The place was a monastery, and basically a hostel. My friend had had made the arrangements. One bathroom to share and bunk beds for a few people in the same room. I am such a light sleeper that I had to wear headset and listen to music to try to sleep in a room with 4 other people. It was not a good experience for me. My first and last hostel experience, hopefully. I told my friend, I would make arrangements for private rooms or apartments after now, and she was welcome to join me. She decided to do so, now we have been staying at more pleasant places. After such a hard walk, the last thing you need is to worry about sharing a bathroom with strangers. I am too old for that!:)

So next morning, I was not in a very good mood, both physically and emotionally, but still was excited about what the day would bring.

Via Francigena – Day 1 Siena to Buonconvento ~ 18 miles

Well…. this morning we woke up to a beautiful day. We left Siena at 7:30 am, and started our journey. Bye bye Siena!:)

Hello Via Francigena;

The scenery was amazing. I was having a hard time deciding on keeping up the pace, or taking it easy to take in the surroundings;

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After a 4 hr building, we found a place for a coffee and snack break. A little gem in an industrial area; L’Isolotto;

It was so hot. My ~20lb backpack was getting heavier by the minute. But the scenery kept me going.

We arrived to Buonconvento, checked in to our apartment, it was a a beautiful little place right in the center. After a short rest, went out to explore the town. Not much in this little tow. After a nice meal, we were ready to call in for the night.

Here are a few pictures fro Buonconvento;