I blame Sigeric. Or Sigeric the Serious to give him his full title.
If he hadn’t walked this way in 990 AD and assiduously documented his route then I wouldn’t be sitting here, sweating in a Pizzeria contemplating a hike across the Appenines in serious heat.
Siggy , as I shall now call him, was Archbishop of Canterbury and walked all the way to Rome to receive his Pallium (archbishop- related clothing) from the Pope.
He wasn’t the first to come this way but he was the first to accurately document the route…which became known as the Frankish Way or Via Francigena.
No way was I going to start from Canterbury…and a friend advised me to avoid the mosquitoes of the Po Valley. Good advice as it turned out…based on the back of shoulders of Richard…another English pilgrim I’ve left behind in the hostel nursing insect bites that have all but turned him into a living relief map of the moon.
So, right now I’m drinking beer and munching pizza in what I suspect will become a familiar routine over the coming month.
I don’t often moan 🙂 ..but just to say I have a terrible summer cold…and I start walking in the mountains tomorrow. ..