👣 20km by bicycle – Saturday 7 August
Every good day of walking starts off with a good breakfast. This morning we were invited by the municipality to have breakfast in quite the amazing space: at the bridge along the Dora Bàltea river that runs through the city of Ivrea.
This is also where we said our goodbyes to Simone and Silvia, two of Diego Passoni’s friends who have been walking with us since the Great St. Bernard Pass.
We then left off on our way towards Viverone, together with Stefano Sertoli the mayor of Ivrea, and several local walkers from the Associazione “La Via Francigena di Sigerico”.
We are getting closer and closer to the Po Valley with every step we take, and one sign of this is the noticeable increase of humidity that we felt today. Especially in the morning some of us looked as if we had just taken a shower 🙈
Another clear sign of our approaching the Valley is the number of mosquitoes in this area. We were accompanied by these unwanted travel companions during the entire day, and unfortunately for me, my Dutch blood is very popular among these bloody insects so I got bitten numerous times (regardless of the protective spray I used).
We had several meetings with local representatives throughout the day: at Cascinette d’Ivrea, Burolo, Bollengo, Palazzo Canavese, and Piverone. At some of these towns we were welcomed with the “gonfalone”, the official coat of arms embroidered on a big flag.
We inaugurated several official Road to Rome plaques that sign the passage of our group on this specific day, and just before Palazzo Canavese were touched to see the “panca del passeggero”, the passenger’s bench, a rest area created by a local who lives just across the street and who wanted to do something nice for all the walkers he sees passing by every single day. These local initiatives are really heartwarming to see, it shows that the Via Francigena is truly alive in the local communities.
The streets today were quite deserted, as it was the first Saturday of August. The month of August is traditionally THE time for holidays in Italy, so many probably went to the sea or the mountains. For us walkers this was quite nice, to walk in such a calm and deserted area. No cars, no noise.
The thunderstorms that were predicted in the afternoon fortunately didn’t reach us, only some drops of water when we started approaching Viverone. Before reaching the town, the Lake of Viverone pops up on the right of the Via Francigena while the itinerary runs through beautiful green vineyards again.
In Viverone we were warmly welcomed by the mayor, and together with our president Massimo Tedeschi we inaugurated the last Road to Rome plaque of the day.
After a long but satisfying day, we turned in for the night because… tomorrow we’ll be back on our bicycles again!
– Open air breakfast in Ivrea
– The “panca del passeggero” just before Palazzo Canavese
– Local interest in the Via Francigena and our Road to Rome event
– Beautiful vineyards next to the Lago di Viverone
Myra Stals, Social Media Manager (EAVF)
Luca Faravelli, Project Manager (EAVF)
Stefano Sertoli, mayor of Ivrea
Giulia Bertolazzi, videomaker
Several (local) walker