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Walking along the Via Romea Germanica from Stade, near Hamburg, in Germany south through Austria and Italy to Rome.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

La Storta – day 107, the penultimate day on the Via Romea Germanica.

Today, walking from Campagnano  di Roma to La Storta has been a mixture of good walking and not so good.  Most of it has been reasonably easy, though there were a couple of hills that caused me to huff an puff in the heat.  I always say that the last three kilometres are the worst, and today was no exception.  Near to the end of the day’s walk some 4 – 5 kilometre or so were over, at times, some rocky uneven ground which meant that it was prudent to pay attention to where the feet were being planted.  Added to that the sun was in front of me, and rather than stop and put the umbrella up I continued walking with eyes to the ground in the hope that my face didn’t get sunburnt.  This was a new route – an optional one, and shorter.  Because there were quite a few information boards to read along the way I think it took about the same time as the other route would have.   Then of course the path finished with an uphill stint to the convent where I am staying tonight.
 The descnet from Campagnano di Roma - Just a day from Rome!

I began at the end, and so now I go back to the beginning.  Over breakfast four cyclists, who I had seen at dinner the night before, suddenly twigged that I was a pilgrim walking the Via Romea.  They were full of questions (and praise), and when I was leaving I had to pose for a photo with them as they thought I was “very strong” – a woman on her own seems to surprise (and impress) people, not sure why.  I got friendly waves from them as they passed me going up the obligatory hill for the start of the day.  Later in the morning I was winding my way along the valley floor before climbing up to the village of Formello.  A man walking towards me greeted me with a Buon giorno.  As soon as I opened my mouth he knew he had to speak to me in English, and the questions started.  After establishing that I was an Australian, that I was a “sola pellegrina”, and that I had begun the journey near Hamburg (most people don’t know where Stade is), his response was (the expletive edited!):- “bloomin’ heck, and you’re not twenty”!!!   I think that would make a good book title!
This is the point where my friend said to me "..... and you're not twenty"!
Rest spot in Formello
The descent from Formello

Out of interest, Formello was originally an Estruscan town (Veii), until it was conquered by the Romans in 396 BC.

Today I have seen no pilgrims at all, other than the four cyclists at breakfast, who were intending to reach Rome later in the day.  Since joining the Via Francigena I have met four pilgrims, who were travelling from Rome to Santiago - a young Italian couple, and a couple of young Spanish blokes.  The two Spanish blokes were intending to walk the Via Francigena in reverse, crossing the Alps at Gran San Bernard Pass and expecting to walk about 3,000 kilometres.  I forgot to ask the other couple which way they were headed.
 Heading towards la Storta

Looking towards la Storta
 An old mill just on the outskirts of la Storta
The convent where I stayed in la Storta

It has been a bitter sweet day today, as no doubt tomorrow will be too.  Walking, knowing that tomorrow is the last day had a tinge of sadness to it.  Life is very simple on the road – getting up and putting one foot in front of the other day by day, finding a bed for the night, finding food each day, and most importantly, finding the way, make for a full and interesting day.  Not to mention the extraordinary vistas I pass through each day, the villages and towns, and the wonderful people I meet. Tomorrow I reach Rome, my destination, and these experiences will stop, till next time perhaps! My feet are holding up well, especially after the trials of a couple of months ago, and I feel as if I could walk another thousand kilometres, but tomorrow it stops – hence the bitter sweet day today. 

Photos now updated - another post coming soon.  


  1. Thank you Janet for taking us on yet another wonderful adventure. We understand the bitter sweet bit.
    There are those great coffees to enjoy back home...yes please! ☕��

  2. Thank you Janet. I Was happy to follow your journey. Have a good time in the beautiful old Rome. Best wishes to you from Stade.