Day57 Verres to Pont St Martin – History and a lack of Pizza

We woke up early for a 7 am breakfast after a rough night on a super saggy mattress. Mix that mattress with a sore back and not much sleep is forth coming. But we had hot croissants for breakfast which I covered in Nutella. I am hopeful lots of sugar will help revive me.

Morning Update Day 57

We began our journey walking along the road into Issogne where we toured a church with some beautiful paintings and all the inscriptions were in French. It took me a few seconds before my brain understood I could read all the inscriptions. That meant the words were not in Italian.

<Mark> We struck-out today in terms of “open” sights. First we took a small detour into Issogne to see a Castillo with pilgrim roots – closed.

But crossing the Torrent on a big bridge offered a nice view of the sun coming in over the mountain tops.

The sun piercing the valley.

Next we attempted to visit the St Martin Parish church in the village of Arnad. It reportedly has an interestingly large statue of St Christopher – closed.

Bust #2 Image from the window.

Side note: Arnad is famous for its aged herb-flavored lard….well, you have to be famous for something, why not lard?

Famous lard!

Finally, in the town of Hone the “Modern” church of St George has glass floors revealing 10th and 11th century architecture and foundations – you guessed it – closed. Grrrrr

Picture from an information sign.

On the positive side the weather was lovely if a little warm. But we had few hills to climb so the extra warmth wasn’t an issue. It had been a pleasant, easy day when we passed a graveyard dedicated solely to Cholera victims (a reminder of our frailty, and then got our first sight of the Fortress of Bard. This impressive fortress commands a pinch point in the valley. The current structure isn’t ancient but there has been some defensive structure here since before the Romans.

The Fortress

The fortress itself is in the village of Bard and is accessed from the north by the town of Hone. Hone is most recently famous as a town of iron and steel forges. It is the cute working class town of the touristy Bard.

The Bridge at Hone (fortress in background).

Bard itself makes the most of the tourists visiting the fortress. Walking tours and quaint shops dot the Main Street. There is a cog rail used to visit the Museum of the Alps at the fortress proper, but we’d seen the Alps up close and personal so we didn’t think a museum was too critical.

Caught your attention!

Next as we entered the city of Donnas we actually walked along a roman road called Via Delle Gallie. You can see the grooves from Roman wagons and chariots in the rocks of the road. Of course there is also a mileage marker of sorts just to remind the Romans how far they were from Aousta or better known to them as Augusta Praetoria.

Roman Road Video

About 1pm we walked into Pont Saint Martin. We were very hungry and finding a store or restaurant open was challenging. Either we hit early siesta time or shops start to close down for the weekend. Our host says the market will open back up this afternoon so I am hopeful that we will be able to resupply our food supply since we currently have no food items in our packs. Tomorrow is Sunday and all stores will be closed.

Only lunch spot open in town.

Our day ended with a short walk to the Pont (bridge) that makes this town famous. It really is an amazing Roman engineering feat and beautiful to boot. Although the town was bombed by the allies in WWII, the bridge survived.

Ponta Romano

Published by

Mark Dowty

"An Intentional Life"

6 thoughts on “Day57 Verres to Pont St Martin – History and a lack of Pizza”

  1. As always interesting and love the scenery and history lessons. I sent this on to Nathaniel who studied lots of Latin in HS and I thought he’d be interested in the Roman road to Gaul!
    Happy walking and hope you have a better night’s sleep! ❤️🙏🏼


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