Following a tasty continental breakfast at the hotel we were slightly dismayed to start the day in grey drizzle. Thankfully this soon cleared and from then onwards we enjoyed sunshine and warm weather for the rest of the trip.
At 18.3 km and more descent than ascent, this was another fairly easy day!
We soon came to the Roman basoli paved path which stretches almost unbroken for nearly 3 km. For two thousand years this has been the passage for kings, emperors, soldiers and merchants.
It was here that we met our first fellow pilgrim! Throughout the week we were to meet a range of people and often bump into them each day as they followed the same route. This wasn’t going to happen with this French guy… starting from his home in southern France he had been running 40 miles a day of the Via Francigena and meeting his wife with their campervan at the end of each day! So no chance of meeting him again!
We passed the Bagnaccio thermal springs which would have made a good stopping place if we had our swimwear with us! There are several pools and the site had proper changing facilities with snacks and drinks. It was fairly crowded as this was on a Sunday so if you are doing this on a weekday it would be ideal!
If yesterday was ‘lake day’, today was something of a ‘poppy’ day as we passed many gorgeous poppy fields. This was one of the best with a mix of poppies and other yellow and purple wild flowers.
Having seen the less attractive urban side of Viterbo a few days earlier as we had arrived at the grey and nondescript train station we had low expectations of Viterbo. We were therefore amazed when we entered the historical centre which was stunning and perhaps one of the most delightful places of the entire trip.
The Via San Pellegrino was near to our accommodation and this medieval quarter dates back to the 13th century.
We had a wonderful time exploring Viterbo during the late afternoon and evening with drinks in a little square and another lovely traditional meal in a historical Italian restaurant.
Well worth a mention is the Il Gallo Nero, the awesome little bed & breakfast we stayed in. Located near the historic centre this place was full of character, the owner was super helpful and the freshly prepared breakfast was delicious. Our spacious room with its pretty Juliette balconies (middle two windows on the right) overlooked the quaint cobbled streets; and we entered and exited up and down the stone staircase.