It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed.
~ Art Wolfe
Yesterday we walked from Verrés to Pont St Martin amongst a feast of castles, medieval bridges, churches and vineyards. The town of Bard was a standout. The bridge dated back to 1200 where taxes were collected in 1272. (Nothing much has changed!)
We passed the Romanesque style church of San Martino in the village Arnad-Le-Vieux, the exterior datable to the early 15th century and posed for photos.
It was so calming to follow a gentle gradient, unlike all previous days. We walked beside the jade-blue River Dora a while, passed vineyards with fat grapes, ate figs, crushed wild thyme and stopped for cappuccino at a pilgrim-friendly restaurant, which is a rarity here, compared to Spain.
At the medieval Echallod bridge we met a group of friends from Paris who take to the Via Francigena every year together for 10 days.
We ended our 20km day by grabbing a sandwich and sparkling water at the train station, just making the next train to Aosta, which flew past our gentle walk at high speed. We went straight to the hospital to visit my Dad who was in good spirits. Another day in Italy ended with dinner and a glass of Proseco in the fashionable, bustling old village.