About 2 months ago I posted an entry on the Italian Camino, the Via di Francesco.
Rosalinda is back from her trip and here is her account on her journey.
On Sep 22th I begun my walk from the Sanctuary of La Verne. I walked for 11 days until Spoleto when I decided to abandon the journey.
I have been alone all the time and saw no pilgrims. The reason is because this camino in Italy is new and was started only in 2004. Italians normally take their vacation in July-August and it is also for this reason I have not met any pilgrim in my journey.
In the 2006 they have given out approximately 650 credentials.
This camino is much harder and more difficult than the Camino de Santiago. You have to forget about the yellow arrow. With few markers, mostly from C.A.I. (Italian Alpine Club) the trails in these regions are less trodden and the markers are either old and nearly invisible.
Twice I’ve lost my way, and once I had lost 2 hours just moving up and down the hill in the rain.
You often have to ask people for information. It is not easy to have right information, so the knowledge of the Italian language becomes indispensable.
I sleep mainly in the convents, hermitages or in the Parishes, where supper and breakfast are included (donation offering, or in small lodges, hostels or holidays farm, 25-30€ with breakfast. If you are sleeping all alone in the convent as in my case, it can really be miserable. This is also one of the reasons for me to abandoned it.
The weather however (except when it rains) had been beautiful but too still too hot for walking.
People on the way and in the small villages are very friendly, they offered me small and delicious meals, fruits and water.
Before Assisi, the camino runs through the hills and the forest with beautiful panorama. After Assisi-Spello, the roads are mostly asphalt with many art cities that deserves a visit. With many artistic treasures here, the temptation to abandon the garment of the pilgrim and to become tourist was strong.
My council is to leave this camino at least for 2 or 3 years in order to give it time to grow and to get oneself organized.