After more than a month of walking along the Via Francigena, the members of the group were welcomed and fed with a lunch prepared by the Villa Serena kitchen staff, always much appreciated. They enjoyed the wine offered by the Cantina Sociale di Montefiascone, especially the excellent Est Est Est!.
The rain was finally interrupted, giving way to a sunny day. With good weather, a meeting with the guests of Villa Serena took place outdoors in the memorial garden. There was a great turn-out of grandparents who had lively discussions with Jack, telling him stories of their lives and having fun answering his questions. On the wave of enthusiasm for this new friendship, Jack sang some of his songs and improvised with an exceptional audience. In the end, his new friends declared that his performance was very exciting and the only visit made to a retirement home along the Francigena. Jack and his troupe thanked everyone for their hospitality, without hiding their sincere surprise at having met “such brilliant boys and girls”.
Many hugs and goodbyes were exchanged and the group moved on to Montefiascone, an important stop as the 100th km of the Via Francigena. Elisabetta Ferrari of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways accompanied their visit to Montefiascone, starting from the ancient basilica of S.Flaviano, where Defuk’s story originates, as well as the Est Est Est, the wine for which Montefiascone is famous all over the world – they couldn’t miss it! Along the climb towards the cathedral of S. Margherita, they met some people who stopped to chat with the crew and Jack. At the Rocca dei Papi, the landscape blew everyone away, they took many photos of both Lake Bolsena and the cupola of St. Margherita with a view of Viterbo and the Cimini. The visitors were again amazed, as it everyone who passes by here, they don’t expect such a unique and spectacular view.
The group then moved to the Antico Borgo La Commenda, where they found the ancient Via Francigena pilgrim hospice. Here, the owner, Luigi De Simone, explained the hospice’s history and offered dinner and overnight stay. Luigi served a variety of organic products of Il Marrugio, cooked to perfection by chef Clemente.
Jack Jaselli and Francesca Pietrogrande, owner of the ‘Willy The Whale’ production, were enthusiastic about the warm welcome they received at Montefiascone and thanked the municipality, Elisabetta Ferrari and Luigi De Simone, giving everyone a chance to star on the Discovery Channel, where in July the entire documentary will be shown. They then said their goodbyes with the air of someone close to their goal: they’re only a few days from Rome.