Berceto to Pontremoli
On Saturday evening, we had dinner at Restaurant Pasquinelli, close to our B&B. The menu featured flavorful prugnoli mushrooms, just in season and unique to Berceto. Apparently the mushrooms need rain and sun, alternately. Although a kilo or more had been picked a few days before, we were told that the incessant rain has resulted in a much smaller harvest.
The weather forecast was better for Sunday but we knew the steep trails would be slippery. The fact that some of our clothes, our backpacks and Lois’ shoes were still wet this morning, confirmed our disinclination to walk what would be another challenging route. We caught a lift with our bags to Pontremoli with the husband of the proprietor of our BnB, La Casa dei Nonni. We understood enough of what he said to know that he would be taking the mountain route, which crossed with the VF, rather than the autostrada, for which we were grateful and excited. While low clouds and mist continued to hang in the valleys, the views were incredible. We stopped at the top of the Passo Dello Cisa (1041m elevation), to look at where we would have walked. This mountain pass is located on the border between northern Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, and marks the division between the Ligurian and Tuscan Apennines.
Back in Pontremoli, where we had stayed earlier, the sun was shining and it seemed that summer might be returning. We checked into the B&B Ai Chiosi, an old stone building converted to smart loft apartments, situated in the midst of gardens very close to the old town. After reading Mag’s comment about her boots smelling after wading through the river, Lois had a closer inspection of her Lowa’s, which had sat damp overnight. She immediately set about washing them in the bidet!
We headed first to the Chiesa di San Pietro, only open on Sundays, to view the fascinating medieval finger labyrinth preserved on the church wall. While we were having lunch afterwards in the piazza, Lois realized she wasn’t feeling well. She later developed a fever, which has continued into Monday. As this is the third time this has happened on this trip, we have decided to end our walk. We will take the train to Lucca tomorrow, with the hopes of spending a few days in Tuscany before heading home.