Backpacking,  Camping,  Hiking in Europe,  Hiking in Italy,  Via Francigena

Walking in the land of the beautiful roman castles | Day 2 of Via Francigena from Saint Vicent to Verres

We woke up at a quiet campsite that we found yesterday and we had it all to ourselves. Yesterday night there was a thunderstorm that disturbed our sleep quite a lot and so we couldn’t felt asleep at time. Because of that we got up one hour later than we planned and started the day a bit late.

The start of the day was sunny and warm and was very similar to the previous one. The air was more fresh and cool after the rain and it was a great sensation.

We went down to the town Saint Vicent and bought two cherry ice creams to have something sweet after the breakfast. Only here in Italy we discovered the best ice cream in our life and what’s more incredible easily available at any supermarket. The cherry flavor also was very new to us and we loved it.

After having this nice little sweet break we headed over to start the trail. All the first part of it was going nicely through the deep shadowed forest paths and we enjoyed it quite a lot as we knew it’s not going to be forever. Everywhere we saw a lot of irrigation equipment that were streaming a big water flows over the fields and meadows. It was hard to get through them without getting wet but on such hot days it was fine and even refreshing. Also we noticed quite a lot of footsteps of the horse and thought to ourselves that maybe somebody does Via Francigena by horse even though it is a rare sight to see nowadays. Rather it was just a short walking path for somebody.

We were getting through a lot of wild cherry trees and fruit gardens full of nectarines and apricots that were very tempting to try. Suddenly we came across a cycling couple that we doing the Via Francigena by bike and were determined to go all the way to Rome. It was our first meeting with real pilgrims on the way.

Then when we were having a little break in the shadow we saw an incredible show. At first we thought that it was a wasp flying back and forth from the rock wall but then we realized that it was some kind of a fly camouflaged like a wasp. But what impressed us the most is that it was carrying little sticks and rocks to the little hole in the rocks and probably was building her nest this way. We have never thought that the insect like a fly can actually carry any objects. So it was unbelievable discovery to us and it was so special that we got to see it in person.

The trail was swirling between the fields and little villages with the rocky rooftops, the mountains were still all around us giving us a beautiful scenery to look at. We were walking in kind of a gorge between the mountains and the uphills and downhills were still there but not that much. The second day around we were seeing lots of old castles on top of the hills. It seemed like every village had a castle where lived a major or a king. It definetely made the trail more special to walk.

Because we started the day a bit earlier than yesterday and the climate was better to walk we were able to make 18 kms to the town Verres at around 14pm that wasn’t bad at all. We got into the supermarket to do our usual shopping and had a little break at the bench in the town. The clouds were appearing on the sky and we heard the thunder somewhere up in the mountains. Suddenly it started to rain but it didn’t last for long fortunately.

Today we knew that we are going to wild camp because there were no campsites around and we didn’t want to take a bus to the nearest one in 13kms and skip part of the trail. So we got out of the town, crossed the river bridge and luckily found a spot very close to the trail in the little forest. It was quite secluded and in the shadows of the trees nobody could spot us from any road. There were many roads and even a highway close but that was a reality of these places very challenging for this kind of camping. The mountains were quite steep and rocky and all the flat space was usually taken for building and farming purposes unfortunately. So we got to this spot quite early at 18 pm, had a bit of a shower from our water container, had a little snack because we already had lunch not long ago and were good to go to sleep because tomorrow we wanted to start the day even earlier to walk in a more fresh weather conditions. So having done all that we called it a day and fell asleep.

Here is the link to Google map to follow the hike:

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