Sunday, October 6, 2013
Walking with Angels. Orrio Litta to Piacenza
After a nice gnocchi pasta meal last night we had a good rest. We were down to the local store before 8am and they made us up a fromagio and piscutto bun each for lunch. The three of us were off to meet Danilo Parisi the ferryman on the Po. It had rained during the night and was overcast and misty when we left. We only had 3 or 4 kilometres to the river so we walked leisurely knowing we would have lots of time. Around 9:30am we heard an outboard motor coming and it pulled into the dock. He greeted us with a smile and put our packs into the front of the open bow. Down the river we went with the three of us in the back with the cold misty weather. The wind froze us for about the next ten minutes, Simon and I both in shorts and Simon with no jacket even. Finally he pulled over on the otherside of the river. He told us that the river had dropped so much in the last three years, he can't get into his regular dock. Danilo booted up over the dyke with the three of us in tow. Then into his house where he brought out a humdenous ledger with over three thousand names of pilgrims who have passed through. He had us write our names, country, ages etc and then with much fanfare he stamped our credentials. He is very much into the VF and gave Charlotte and big bravo when he saw what her age was. He is an institution when it comes to the Via Francigena. Then it was on towards Piacenza and the tourist office. Simon wanted the train schedule and we wanted a place to stay here and in Florenzoula our next stop. This is where we say goodbye to Simon he us off on the train to Sienna and walking to Rome. He was good company and we will miss him. He reminded us of our son Richard, both in diimeanor and character. It might have been because of their similar military backgrounds. We are staying at the Affittacamere Locanda Commercio on Via Colombo 118 which is right on the VF going out of Piacenza for $40E pilgrim rate for two including breakfast. It isn't the Ritz and it is single beds again but there are good towels and clean sheets, even Italian TV. After 47 years we seldom have slept in the same bed in the last three weeks. Finally found a supermercato and got some supplies for tomorrow. Have our orange jus and yogurt in the window keeping cool. Tonight we will eat in the hotels restaurant downstairs in hopes that the owner will let us into his wifi that I have detected on the iPad. Might even be able to post the last five days. Still no internet. Went down for a meal in the restaurant tonight. The waiter introduced himself as the brother of Diego, the owner. They brought us a jug, no a big jug of wine, then natural water(no gas)( I always want to make a comment, but don't). He then suggested that we should have some tortellini and ravioli. We should we argue. Fresh buns and another dish of fresh buns. The tortellini was melt in your mouth, what a meal. We couldn't finish the wine. He had also brought out a dish of antipasta meats prior to the meal. When I asked for the bill, he just wrote on a piece if paper 20E. Then he went and brought two glasses and filled them with a liquor. We are both holding onto our beds trying to keep the room from spinning, all for 20E. We are starting to like Italy. The family atmosphere in the restaurant is very strong. I have finally found a place I can eat different pasta every night. You don't get that on a cruise.