If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.
~ Joseph Campbell The Hero’s Journey
We said goodbye to my parents yesterday to take off on the Via Francigena again, without our usual return by train in the evenings. We decided not to miss out on the iconic ferry trip across the Po River with Danilo. We rang him for a 1pm ride after a train delay and a hot one hour walk from Orio Litta to the middle of nowhere. Relief, he was waiting and had two pilgrims aboard from Czech Republic. This was an absolute highlight. On the other side of the river he babbled in Italian about a cultural tour and proceeded to show us the famous VF icon, Sigeric’s “footprint”, chiding us with a stick when we couldn’t answer his questions. He walked us to his home for a stamp and to sign his huge register of escorted pilgrims. His garden was a wonderland, the experience not to be missed and another tick of approval for the VF.
We walked to the road, anxious to fast track our VF to Cassio but had to settle for Fornovo instead. Danilo’s neighbour, Mannuela, came whizzing past, stopped to check on us, which was our opportunity to get a lift To Piacenza. She dropped us on the outskirts which meant another hour of walking to the train station to get to Fornovo Di Taro. Once there, we spent the night in the parish church accommodation for €10. Soon we were joined by a young Belgian couple, British and Swiss man. Dinner was across the road and it was another faultless pizza. Oh Italia, not sure if I’ll lose any weight on this Camino!