Thursday 26 September 2013

Day 17 Montale to Fiorenzuola-d'Arda 30 km

Thursday September 26th - Day 17 Montale  to Fiorenzuola-d'Arda 

Guide book comment - Take plenty of food and water on this stage of the Via Francigena!
Up nice and early at 6 am, and off over the road for a Caffé doppio before heading off this morning.
Bought our usual picnic lunch supplies at Montale before heading off into the farmlands.
Crossed over a ford at the river Nure - managed to stay fairly dry, just slipped my right foot into the water. 
Came across a few Italian hunters out with their dogs today. Don't know what they're hunting, not much wildlife around.
Walking a zig zag route through lots of farmland, massive fields of tomatoes being harvested...

Stopped off at the shady church of Castello Di Paderna for our picnic lunch at 11:15 , both of us very hungry! 
about 18km along the days walk. As we were finishing off lunch a group of 6 or so Swiss walkers stopped also, then... the gates to the Castello Di Paderna opposite the church opened!
 and two ladies came out and invited everyone in for some water, and bagno (toilet) said they like assisting pilgrims.
 You just never know what will happen on the Via Francigena! This visit has made my day, 
The Castello is lovely, not huge, but beautifully maintained.
we were also shown their small chapel. 
complete with frescos 

The family have lived in the Castello since 1500s.
Fascinating how everyone has their own individual Cammino ... Even though Patrick and I are walking together, at the same time, we notice and comment on quite different things - for example, at the Castello, Patrick was enthralled by the old doors and iron gates, how they were weighted, and hinged just perfectly so they would slowly close on their own! (I didn't notice until he commented)

A church in a field of sunflowers waiting to be harvested. Would be spectacular to see the sunflowers when they are in full bloom!

At km 27 , Zoppellaro  we walked across two more fords this afternoon, I had to take my shoes and socks off for one of them, the water was delicious and cool on my tired, hot feet.

Phoned our accommodation to check availability while having lunch, no English spoken but, yes OK
arrived Fiorenzuola d'Arda  at 3:15 pm .. no answer at number 15, or answer to the phone, so we stop off for a drink and relax at the handy bar. Love Italian organization, at the main piazzas in the villages, there is usually the church, parish offices, bar and perhaps panneteria, all in the one square. Accommodation sorted shortly after - 

Accommodation for tonight
Parish of San Fiorenzo 

Address: Piazza Molinari, 15 - Fiorenzuola d'Arda
Phone: 0523 982247


  1. Finally caught up with your blog Anita. Fantastic job, great photos, great writing, really really interesting. Look forward to more. Pete

  2. Love the blog, read it all this morning!