Putting our donation in the tin, we turned off the a/c and lights and left the nursing home. Around the corner there was coffee with some truckies and a few early motorists, and stamping of our credentials (proof of walking to Rome), before we tucked ourselves into the edge of the highway with headlight on. This was only for 1/2 km then off into the Paglia Valley. This vast open space swallowed us up and nursed us along for most of the morning. So used to up and then down again, this seemed quite comforting.

We looked all about and saw landmarks that we knew, villages we’d been to and passed over, rivers we’d seen from above, adorned with their Roman bridges. We passed through wooded areas in their heavy shadows keeping us cool, thin tea tree type areas with their filtered light making pictures on the path and warm wide open spaces lighting up the whole valley.

We passed no cycle, no-one walking, a few sheep in the distance, 2 horses, and an enormous dairy farm. As we neared the farm we could hear Vivaldi’s ‘4 seasons’ and looked for its source. We passed a house we thought it came from, a paddock with a large silver tin on a piece of wood, and another house it didn’t come from. So, back to the paddock, and the silver tin, it was not. It was a large radio on a classical music station, I imagine for the cows – to produce classical Italian milk.

Eventually we climbed out and up to our morning tea bar in a village once again perched on the very top of a hill. The place seemed nearly empty – a couple of men sitting about, shops closed – unusual for mid morning, but there was a bar. We moved out into the shaded areas once more steeply, very slowly and carefully until we joined a highway. A side path took us safely off the road but a long high hill made us work for our next sleep.