05 May Stage 17: Trekking to Trevi
9/9/2017. Today we won’t be stopping in Trevi where Stage 17 ends, but a little past Fonti del Clitunno, 6km into Stage 18. Total distance: 20km.
At about 08:25, we’re done in the hotel, and we hit the road. I take a few last pics as we leave the centre of Foligno. As we walk out of the old city center, I realise how big the town is. It reminds me a bit of the area on Stage 1 between the centre and the outskirts of Firenze (Florence).
From Piazza della Republica we go onto Corso Cavour. How often have I not seen that name? Just about every town in Italy has a street named after Camillo Cavour, Giuseppe Garibaldi, and Giuseppe Mazzini. My high school History knowledge kicks in. We were blessed by having one of the strictest teachers who truly made the subject come alive. He taught us about the unification of Italy or Risorgimento and the role those three characters played. We certainly got the feeling of the full drama involved.
Before leaving Foligno, we need to find a place where we can replenish our natural snacks. Regardless of what we have for breakfast, there are two must-haves for us: unbleached almonds and probiotics. The latter we’ve already had before breakfast. We are very firm believers in the wholesome properties of almonds. We only have four per day. It’s remarkable how much this helps. One doesn’t even have to have the bread, cake and tarts the Italians often offer as breakfast. The starch and sugar burn off quickly. The almonds give you staying power on the hike. After all, I’ve come this far.
Past the military complex on the Viale Roma, we find a greengrocer and replenish our necessities. Standing outside we savour our mandatory four almonds. I take them one by one and split them lengthwise into their two natural halves using my teeth. I love the delicate taste and smooth texture of the inner halves of almonds exquisite. We start walking again while I still chew on my almonds.
Hitting my Stride
We get to a very busy traffic circle. We see incoming and outgoing light aircraft close to Aeroporto di Foligno-Sant’Eraclio. On a mountain in the distance, we get our first sight of Trevi. The two storey homes of Sant’Eraclio witness our passage.
The walking gets a driving rhythm as we head along the Via Flaminia Vecchia into the hills. Gradually, we exchange suburban silence for a more rural silence. We pass a warehouse painted with a bear and dragonflies. A gravel factory follows. Then it’s through olive groves into the woods. At 10:40 we break for water and snack in a cool spot in the forest.
Refining the Walking Chant
The rhythm of hiking lets me refine my gratitude chant. I extend it into a longer pattern and repeat it in my head.
Lord Almighty, how I love you
In your Name, you give us Wisdom
Lord Almighty, how I praise you
In your Name, you Love eternal
Lord Almighty, how I need you
In your Name, you give us Justice
Lord Almighty, how I thank you
In your Name, You give us Mercy.
Lord Almighty, oh One Eternal
In your Name, you fill my Spirit.
Lord Almighty, you’re the Amen
in every Amen, Amen. Amen!
If this kind of chanting it works perfectly, there are no negative side effects or comedowns. It’s unrealistic to expect that you won’t feel tired after walking 20 km. At least while you’re going, you don’t notice how much you are hammering your body.
Trekking into Trevi
Niels disappears around corners ahead of me and reappears as I round them. Over treetops, our view of Trevi grows larger as we approach. It’s a gradual climb up through Localita San Clemente. I think to myself we must almost be in the outskirts of Trevi, as we pass Chiesa di S. Andrea in Santa Maria in Valle. It may be a gentle climb into the town by comparison to the last rise into Assisi, but it’s unrelenting. At about 12:20 we get to the upper piazza with Trevi’s clock tower (featured image).
There are many restaurants and bars around the main piazza. I spot the tourism office which is the start of stage 18. We drop our packs at a restaurant close to it and order a round of drinks. Feeling returns to aching limbs. However, my mind feels extremely lucid. We have some bread before our meal arrives. I have some of the best gnocchi ever.
I walk around the square and take some photos (featured image). When I get back to the restaurant, Niels is getting ready to hike. We make our way through medieval alleyways crossed by arches and flanked by continuous high walls.
Stage 18 has begun. I am walking in Italy!
*Conversions from Metric to Imperial
6 km = ~3.7 miles
20 km = ~12.4 miles
429 m = ~1407′
243 m = ~797′