Ivrea to Viverone, 21.45km
Walking away from Ivrea, we could identify the long completely flat moraine that encloses the plain of Ivrea in a horseshoe shape. The Moraine Amphitheater of Ivrea, which spreads over an area of approximately 530 sq. km, is one of the world’s most important geological formations of glacial origin. It was generated by the actions of the Balteo Glacier a “river” of ice 100km in length and 800m tall which came down from the Valle d’Aosta. The glacier also left numerous lakes, nested in different morainic hollows, one of the larger being Lago Viverone, today’s destination.
Continuing to follow the Dora Baltea River, the route took us first along a path beside tiny Lago Di Campagna, along generally flat tracks, through forest and alongside vineyards and orchards. At Buroli, we found one of two “susta”- places offering a bench and source of water for pilgrims/walkers. We stopped at a cafe there to use the facilities (no public washrooms on the VF!) and to enjoy a glass of thick and delicious local pear juice. Later, at the next “susta”, a group of four Italian hikers were just leaving and motioned for us to use the space. Coming from the Lago Garda area, they were doing the VF in stages – this year from Chatillon to Pavia. While we rested, four other younger walkers passed by. At Canavese, we sat in the shade of the 14thC bell tower and gate, Paul trying to photograph the barn swallows nesting in the ceiling.
The weather was warm and increasingly humid. After a long climb up to Piverone, we passed through another bell tower and gate, this time from the 13thC. Soon after, we came upon the ruins of the small Romanesque church of San Pietro di Livione at Gesiùn, dating from between the 10th and 11thC. The name Gesiùn means big church, despite its miniscule size! We chatted with a couple of young cyclists who wanted their picture taken to show they had cycled all the way up there!
By now, we could see Lago di Viverone down in the valley, looking very inviting in the afternoon heat. Unfortunately, when we checked the location of the apartment we had reserved, we discovered it was not in the valley, but at the very top of a very long hill overlooking the lake. Great views, but not at the end of a long day with temperatures up to 26oC!
For dinner, we were not going anywhere that required any walking so reserved at the restaurant attached to the apartment. This turned out to be a perfect choice as the restaurant was amazing (as well as being extremely popular for those arriving by 4 wheels!). We had fresh ravioli with a braised onion relish, followed by whitefish from Lake Viverone and ended with a desert of fresh berries and cream, flowing out of a chocolate pot. The local white wine was Erbaluce (?)
As we left the restaurant, we were told apologetically that breakfast would not be served before 09:00 as the restaurant would not be closing until 01:00! We were directed to their sister pasticerria down on the village, with a voucher.