Vercelli to Nicorvo – 14.8 miles and 7 hours
We spent the night at the Hotel Garda near Milan’s Central Station. Bill and I stayed there last November. It’s simple but clean. We cranked on the air conditioning and shivered the night away.
Up at 5:50 am for a train bound to Vercelli. Back on the Via.11.2 miles and 6 hours.
We started walking through the bustling town of Vercelli (the rice capital of the world).Then teetered on the shoulder of a busy road and timely jay walked as a police car pulled up to the intersection. They smiled and shook their heads in disgust.This lead to a gravel road that meandered through fields of corn and rice which soon became fields of neglect. It was hot and humid. Gravel is a bugger to walk on for any length of time. It surely conditions every single muscle from the knees on down.A pizza and salad lunch was in the cute town of Palestro. You know what they say about eating your way through Italy. Good golly we surely can’t be walking enough to offset the calories.Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock – all playing at different times like Row Row, Row Your Boat. The cadence of walking sticks. Apparently, 4 out of 5 hikers recommend them. However when going down steep muddy trails the remains 20% wish they had them. I love the sound. It’s harmony to my ears.We strolled into the heart of Robbio where a bunch of men were visiting outside the local cafe. They were excited to see us pilgrims and wanted to know where we were from and told us we’d be staying across the way. However the lady who was to let us in the donativo (donation only dormitory) told us we only have a reservation for one not five. When asked if there was another place in town they all chit chatted amongst themselves and the gal got on the phone to arrange for us to stay in another donativo four kilometers away. One of the men kindly offered to drive us there in his van.
So here we are in the tiny town of Nicorvo. We’re in an Ospitale – which translates to hospital which translates to a place to take care of pilgrims and run by the church. Three of us are in one room – two in another and we share one bathroom. The town has one bar and one restaurant which is all we need.This is what an evening looks like. Laundry, bar, C rated movie in Italian, killing flies, visiting, drinks and more food!
Roxanne’s post and photos:
Thank you Primos for the side trip to Milano.♥️
To return to the Via Francigena the Fab Five took an $8 train ride from the city of Milano to the city of Vercelli. From Vercelli we walked out of the Piedmont farm land into the Lombardi farm land.
Italian teenagers like French fries and put them on pizza and call it Pizza Americano.
In the town of Palestro.