👣 18 km by foot – Friday 24 September
We are exactly 200 km past Rome and a statue dedicated to pilgrims was our departure point for today’s stage. I had a great time today: most of the stage was well signposted, flat and in the cool shade of chestnut trees. The only section that we walked on asphalt, along the road, we were accompanied by the Civil Protection force of the town of Pietramelara – which was very nice as it gave us an extra chance to speak with local institutions.
We continued walking among fruit trees and discovered that we are walking very very close to the sources of Ferrarelle water, a famous Italian mineral water – locals told us that Ferrarelle water comes out of their home’s water taps!
We came into the cute villages, adjacent one to another, of Riardo, Pietramelara and Roccaromana, and in each historical center the students at the local school were waiting for us, welcoming us with songs and poems. Principal Vincenzo Di Lauro, together with all the teachers, arranged a full day of hospitality activities for us, making us feel very special. Massimo Tedeschi, EAVF’s president, was here with us and personally thanked the school for the care demonstrated for the Via Francigena and underlining the international value it has for this territory. He also joined us to meet Pasquale di Fruscio, mayor of Pietramelara, with whom he spoke about the potential of the Via Francigena for the public discovery of the hidden treasures of Campania. I really enjoyed today’s meetings: they had a pure, heartfelt feeling which gives me hope for the future of the Via Francigena del Sud! The students will be getting insights about the Southern route, collecting information and writing homework about it…we can’t wait to read their work at the end of the year!
The three villages of Riardo, Pietramelara and Roccaromana are very beautiful and ancient: they were established in the 4th century A.D. and were important towns for the ancient Romans because of their mineral water sources. The churches where we were welcomed in the three towns were all stunning, already from their churchyards where we met the students, and even more inside, where many Etruscan archeological finds are preserved. I was impressed especially by the church of San Leonardo and the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Stella.
We filled our bellies during a refreshment (how many refreshments did we have during Road to Rome?!) in the main square of Pietramelara and a final lunch in the former hospital walls, offered by local administrations. What a special treatment today!
– The historical centers of the villages of Riardo, Pietramelara and Roccaromana
– Meeting the local school students, principal, and teachers
– Tasting some of the best mineral water directly from the public fountains!
Myra Stals, social media manager (EAVF)
Angelofabio Attolico, referent for the Via Francigena del Sud (EAVF)
Giovanni D’Agliano, EAVF’s collaborator
Simona Spinola, communication expert (EAVF)
Annalisa Galloni, RTR ambassador
Joanne Roan, Ragazze in Gamba
Enrico Baroni, videomaker
Roberto D’Arcangelo, videomaker
Several local walkers