Day 3

The Italy I Love

Day 3, Monday, 23 April 2007 – It has been suggested to me by somebody whose advice I trust (above all in this particular case) that my leg muscles might not be recuperating over night because I’m not eating enough. I especially need some meat, she says.

And so it is that I find myself at Pizzeria New York  in Pont Saint Martin digesting my pizza (tomato, mozzarella, sausage and broccoli) and waiting for my Valdostana steak. For the uninitiated – if it has Valdostana in the name it has fontina cheese on top, in side or in some way incorporated. It this case my steak will be arriving momentarily with a few slices of prosciutto and fontina on top.

While I wait I’d like to share some good news – today I rediscovered the Italy I have come to love, but had momentarily lost yesterday on the SS 26. Today was the Italy of Roman bridges and roads, near deserted country lanes, Medieval castles and snow-capped mountains. There was the majestic Mount Zerbion, the bridge at Echallod, the castle, bridge and borgo of Bard, the Roman road in Donnas, but above all the stunning Roman bridge in Pont Saint Martin.

With a touch up here and there this could become a phenomenal piece of Italy’s Via Francigena. Despite my best efforts I still ended up on the SS 26 for a slightly harrowing piece and trail markers were all but non-existent.

Excuse me for a second, the Valdostana has arrived and it is oozing fontina while begging to be eaten….

Hmm, that was good though I’m not convinced it will do much for my calves.

As I cross over into Piedmont I have some parting advice for the Valdostani with regard to the Via Francigena. You guys are almost there, in most cases the trails already exist meaning all you need is some yellow paint and a bit of will. Try Google Maps to find a discount paint seller in the valley or probably even better deals can be had in Milan. I’m back home in a month, give me a call and I can shop around.

Trip details: Saint Vincent to Pont Saint Martin, 31.1K, altitude change: 416 meters up, 596 meters down.

State of the route: almost no indications the entire way. Get these Valdostani some yellow paint. Water abundantly available.

Weather report: sunny and very clear in the morning with a few clouds forming late I the day, 21 degrees C on departure and 25 on arrival.

Medical report: the blisters persist, but so far fall short of debilitating. Some pain in shins, quite troubling in that it could indicate the arrival of tendonitis. For some reasons both calves are cramping and hurt tons.

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