Assisi d6 / Over hill, over dale…

Over hill, over dale,
Through bush, through briar,
Over park, over pale,
Through blood, through fire,
I do wander everywhere…

Thanks Billy.

Ahem, I mean William.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Today certainly was over hill, and over dale. I’m not sure what a dale is, but I’m pretty damn sure we walked over it. And it felt like it was through blood and fire too.

Today was hard.

Three big hills, and three equally big descents. Only 20.5kms, but it felt more. The hills really tested the legs, and heart and lungs.

But it was beautiful. We left the villa later than we wanted –

Angie taking shot of villa Heading off...

-then climbed steep and fast, and then we’d stop for a break and look around at some breathtaking vistas. Literally breathtaking!

Photographing village on hill climbing up hill d5Pete taking pic

house on hill

We stopped for a picnic lunch at a farm that made Buffalo Mozzarella. This place is famous for its Mozzarella As we walked in some well dressed dudes walked out, carrying fridge bags, stuffed with Mozzarrella. They’d bought the place out. We were pissed. Five minutes sooner, and we would have been able to buy some.

Walkling down long hill

To add to the indignity, the farmhouse dog ran off with my Swannies cap!

Dog with swannies cap

We had a picnic beside the farm, and bought some of their other cheeses, which were delicious.

picnic lunch

By we, I mean Peter, Ken and Angie, Ivan and Giovanna, and me. The others – Jennifer and Marie and Patty had started off later than us, walked up the hills we struggled up, and were hoed down in an Agriturismo further back having home made pasta and cheeses and chutneys. Oh and wine.

This is our group – the Serious Walkers Group – (not the Let’s Have Lunch at an Agriturismo Group) – in a chestnut forest.

under chestnut tree

(By the way, an Agriturismo is like an Italian B&B, except they also serve lunches and dinners to passers by who aren’t staying there. They’re particularly fond of pilgrims on this route, and give them cut rates on rooms and food.)

We headed off to complete the day’s walk – the ladies of leisure stayed back to try some more of those delicious cheeses and chutneys, then walked some more, vanned some, and ended up at our end destination – Citta di Castella – at a bar knocking back Prosecco.

We meanwhile detoured past the buffaloes –


– and hit our third straight hill – our legs by now feeling like lead – and then we had a steep descent into the small medieval town.

shot of shot of walkng away going down hill 2

Peter and Ivan talked almost the entire way today – which really pissed me off because I had trouble breathing, much less talking.

And when we arrived in Citta di Castella there was a show in the main Piazza of vintage Fiats, going back to the original model.

Vintage fiats

Walking through CdC square

Later we had dinner at a lovely restaurant, and we caught up on what the others had done during the day.

Quite a lot!

dinner at CdC

Tomorrow is the hardest day of the walk – 30kms, without any town along the way in which to have a meal or drink – and a total ascent of more than 800m.

I know now what that feels like –

But once again the beauty made up for the degree of difficulty. Vistas which don’t photograph well… you just had to be there.

Or not.

Ivan under signs

11 thoughts on “Assisi d6 / Over hill, over dale…

  1. That countryside truly must be breathtakingly beautiful. Thanks for the updates Bill….appreciating the time and effort. Puffing and laughing along with you all. Especially laughing at the Dog with the Hat. You must have the hat back again or there would have been mucho grumbling.
    Cheers to all


  2. I think I ate where you lunched in 2000 — but I was on a different Way, so turned right from there where you guys turned left.


      • That’s probably the only couple of Ks of our pilgrimages that we’ll have in common, and without the photo I wouldn’t even have been sure about whether our paths crossed at all or not — my own Way was a good deal West from yours — well, except at the very end on the Assisi > Rome Way on the other side of Assisi, but I don’t think you’re going that far, are you ?

        The view that I saw from right up at the top of that mountain range over the wide valley below was I think the most beautiful I’ve seen anywhere on a hiking trail, but I think that was nowhere near your own route.


        • Hi Julian, yes the vistas on this tour are the best I’ve seen on any walks I’ve yet done. And yes, I think your route went west of ours. Very hill in this neck of the woods, no?


  3. So that’s what happened to the Swannies yesterday. That pesky little Italian dog, disrespectfully taking your hat, led to the downfall of our team, Bill.
    Are you sure he wasn’t a Western Bulldog??
    Loving your blog, photos and updates.


  4. Dear Bill,
    Just crossed the Austrian/Italian border and finally having Wifi again.
    Roland and I had a great weekend birthday party in the Abbazia San Donato di Moiano.

    Yes, you can do parties in a monastery – I also was very surprised! 🙂
    We met lovely, unique and very funny Italians doing songs, sketches and improvisional theatre to entertain the birthday child and us guests. What a surprise. Not to forget the fantastic Italian food!
    But Roland and I both agreed that meeting you all in this beautiful Italian village Citerna was the highlight of the weekend. It was great seeing you again and meeting your wife Jennifer and your friends. You made us feel if we were part of your pilgrim group.
    How much I’d have loved to walk on with you in this amazing countryside. Maybe one day?!?

    You must be in Pietralunga by now and I hope you are all doing fine (you could fight the cold and Jennifer has her voice back!)

    Take care and a big hug to all of you,


Comments are closed.