Day65 Miraldo Terme to Corte Sant’Andrea – Wind and Good Friends

I slept a long time – a very long time. I woke at 6:30am feeling 1000% better. Sleep is good medicine and so is water. Today being an extra short day made it all the better.

Morning Update Day65

There was no rush to leave the pilgrim house but sometimes routines are hard to break. There were four of us in the parochial donativo and we were all up and about by seven. Breakfast was meager but we all shared what we had and there was enough.

Allison and I left first and within a few minutes the rain sprinkles began to arrive and we stopped under a tree to don our rain gear.


This was the first of what was forecasted to be a wet day. However, after this first light rain the clouds broke up and we had a beautiful, dryer, and cooler day. The wind was very strong however and we both had to hold onto our hats at times.

When walking, you never know where the path will take you or what you will see; take motocross practice for example:

Crossing the Lambro

The route took us across the Lambro river and through small towns until we reached Orio Litta. Here Allison and I stopped for a coffee and Allison also treated herself to a gelato. For once I didn’t indulge – I’d had a bigger breakfast.

As we were exiting the town, we passed the large mansion/castle of Litta Carnini. Here we met three family members whose family used to own the place. Some misfortune had taken it from them but the family gathers yearly at the “home place”. Covid had stopped it until this year.

They were very interested in the idea of pilgrimage and we spoke to them for quite a few minutes. One of the sisters wanted to encourage the idea to her children. Pictures were taken.

The last few kms were easy and beautiful. But I was eager to get to this historic stopping point. I’d received a few emails over the past week from a friend from our Camino2014. We’d met our Italian friends, Alessandro and his daughter Lara, about 3/4 of the way through Spain but we had so much in common and we’d tried to keep in touch. Time, however, has a way of ripping people apart.

Knowing we’d be walking through Italy we’d contacted Lara and she’d put us back in touch with Alessandro. He drove 2hrs each way to meet us at this spot and have lunch together. He and his wife Barbara drove us to a nearby town (no open restaurant here) and the kindly invited JeanYves to join along.

What a wonderful treat to meet again and how much it meant to reconnect with Alessandro. I truly hope to make an intentional visit to Italy to get to know them even better. Just good people.

Barbara, Alessandro, Me and Allison = Joy

We parted ways and started the whole Pilgrim routine again (shower, laundry, etc). This particular donativo is plush. Amenities include a full kitchen WITH food, a washing machine, dining room, lounge etc. It is decked out. There are only four of us here so far, but it is set up for many more. In fact, as I was typing, a bike pilgrim just showed up. His name is Carlos and he’s walked all the way from Lisbon. Today he walked 50km. That’s nuts.

This place having a washing machine meant EVERYTHING went in – leaving me only my rain pants. Perhaps only pilgrims can appreciate that.

We ended the evening with Allison and I cooking for everyone – pasta of course. It seemed to be appreciated. Carlos had extra pasta – he’d earned it.

One last entry…I’d swear I’d have gained all weight last in France back with all the pasta we’ve eaten. But this place had a scale and if it is accurate I’ve now lost a total of 17lbs (about 10%). That’s a good number to stick with. Allison wouldn’t want it published so let’s just say the percentage is a few percentage points more. Walking is a great diet plan folks. Stop walking however, and you can’t keep eating like we do undoubtedly. Wouldn’t life be wonderful if you could though.

Published by

Mark Dowty

"An Intentional Life"

7 thoughts on “Day65 Miraldo Terme to Corte Sant’Andrea – Wind and Good Friends”

  1. Have followed since Besancon – loving the Blog – you 2 are making it look easy !
    I get it with the washing machine thing.
    One thing I find interesting is you don’t seem to always be staying at the end of the usual stages – can you post an occasional photo of the different types of your accommodation (outside and in) please – especially anything different (municipal or religious).
    A couple of questions:
    Do you need to speak Italian to book the places you are staying ?
    Have you picked up a local sim for your mobile phone – which one and is it any good ? Good mobile coverage when walking ?
    Carrying much water / food ?
    Thank you for your contribution to understanding what walking the Via Francigena entails.
    David (kiwiDave)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dave. I’m glad you like the blog.
      1). It’s actually pretty and immensely difficult at the same time. We’ve told people for years that “anyone CAN” do this and physically that is true. It just isn’t that difficult to walk. But you have to WANT to do it because it isn’t a trip to the spa and the rewards are so different than other efforts.
      2) I’ve posted some pictures of lodging – especially early on but I guess I’ve stopped for some reason. I think I’ll add some pics to the Lodging page. Good idea. We don’t pay much attention to the set stages. For one, we’d never get through the VF in the 90 days allowed by our US VISA for Shengen countries. But the length and difficulty of the official stages are all over the place 16km one day and 33 the next for now perceivable reason. It’s nice to “get in a groove”. It is t always possible though.
      3) “Speak” Italian, no. I don’t at all. I learned how to pronounce it to a passable level and reading it from Google Translate seems to work. I’ve always managed albeit in a messy way. If you know any Italian, even a few phrases. As you likely know, just by trying people’s attitudes change. It’s actually dangerous to get too good at prononciation though. They will answer back full speed assuming you are understanding. I always start “BuonGiorno, parla inglese?” If not I read my phrase in Italian and it normally works. Sometimes even after saying they don’t speak English they will try a few words and somehow we communicate.
      3) I have a world phone for my work – lucky me. Cant help on the phone question.
      4) water, we both carry 1.4l. That’s almost always been plenty for us but everyone is different. In Italy there seem to be fountains everywhere. None in France and Switzerland. I brought a water filter too. I’ve used it three times. It does allow us to go low on water with no worry. Food….hmmm varies wildly. In France in August we needed to carry more than we did. It was a food desert. Italy we don’t carry much at all. It’s alive with food. We normally only carry a lunch and some nuts or energy bars….and sometimes leftovers if we’ve cooked the night before.
      Hope that helps. Reach out anytime.


    2. Thanks Dave. I’m glad you like the blog.
      1). It’s actually pretty easy and immensely difficult at the same time. We’ve told people for years that “anyone CAN” do this and physically that is true. It just isn’t that difficult to walk. But you have to WANT to do it because it isn’t a trip to the spa and the rewards are so different than other efforts.
      2) we don’t really pay much attention to the stages. Sometimes they have a 31km day followed by a 18km day for no perceivable reason. Also lodging is all screwed up this year. You go to what’s open.
      I did take several lodging images at the beginning. Perhaps I’ll post them more often. Maybe in the lodgings page. Good idea

      I don’t speak Italian but I do try to use some phrases. I can pronounce things pretty well and so reading Google Translate versions help break the ice. I haven’t had any problem. I’m not often sure of some details but the main point gets across. A few place speak English and I always ask first.
      I have a world phone for work so I can’t help on the phone question

      4). We carry 1.4l each. It’s been enough 99% of the time. I also have a water filter with me mainly so I don’t stress about water. We used it in France a couple times. Italy has tons of water fountains.

      For food we needed to carry a lot in France In august. It was a ghost country and a food desert during the day. In Italy we only carry a lunch and mostly to save money.
      Thanks for the Q’s


  2. Hi Alisson en Marc, Do you remember that you showed us two ‘bar tricks’ after dinner? With the suggestion I might teach them to my granddaughter? I did. I mentioned to her I had learned a trick with two corks from two American people, I had met in Italy. Before I could demonstrate it and without her saying a word she showed my the second trick, the one the crossed and twisted fingers! You can call it coincidence or just luck, you can call it what you like, I can’t explain it. I hadn’t even mentioned the second trick. Incredible.
    Pace e bene ,

    Liked by 1 person

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