Honeymoon on the road
We are just married but our aggregate age is 113, so we decided if we were ever going to walk the entire Via Francigena now is the time to do it. We have taken 6 months (maybe a little more) to walk from Santa Maria de Leuca back to Canterbury.
We know! We are going the “wrong” way. But it actually makes more sense to us to start in the south in the relative cool of March and walk North. As we go it also has given us a chance to meet so many lovely pilgrims walking the other way. It’s amazing to meet people each day at about the half way point and exchange a quick conversation and words of encouragement.
So far we have made it to Lake Geneva and have loved pretty much every step of the way. Getting over the St Bernard’s pass 10 days ago was awesome and a day we will never forget.
We knew Puglia already (or at least we thought we did). We had visited Monopoli before and places like Alberobello of course. But it’s been amazing to find hidden treasures such as Conversano where we ate some of the best food we have had on the trip (and that is saying something as the food has really been amazing!).
The region of Campania however we had not yet visited and this has been a real delight. Benevento for example and it’s amazing kilometre of churches, statues, the arch and the castle. And the town of Vitulano is an oasis in the mountains and we were sorry we had to move on so quickly.
Lazio and Tuscany? Both amazing of course, but surprisingly Lazio would win out for us if we had to choose between the two. The combination of beaches (I actually cried when we hit the west coast), great hill walking, and amazing hilltop towns plus lake Bolsena somehow for us beats the incredible beauty of Tuscany. But the walks up to Radicofani, the incredible places like Siena and San Gimignano as well as Monteriggioni and Bagno Vignoni made Tuscany very special as well. I also will never forget the Monastery of Bose. What a place of peace and calm!
We knew we loved Italy but we now love it and its people even more. We love the importance of food and wine and the joy that people seem to have in feeding us. We love the double horn we get from passing cars encouraging us on the way, the waives we get as we pas through villages and even the general looks of amazement as we explain what we are up to.
I now wish we had given ourselves a full year to do this so we could spend more time stopping along the route. But I’m not complaining. My only complaint? The dogs that incessantly bark at us. Please give us some love!
While we walk we are raising money for a youth mental health charity – Beyond. We have both lost family to suicide and so the charity means a lot to us. Ironic that the walk is showing us how important walking is for your mental health. There is a link to the just giving page on our Instagram page below.
➡️ Click here to go to Jeremy & Lisa’s fundraising page
➡️ You can follow their adventures on Instagram