Friday May 19, 2023

Felegara to Fornovo di Taro/ Sivizzano, 10.28km

If yesterday was one of our best walks on this trip, today’s gets the prize for the worst!

The tour company had booked us a room in a hotel in Saint’Andrea Bagni last night, near
Medesano, the end of yesterday’s route. The town is described as a hilltop spa resort, known for its therapeutic thermal waters. What we found was an original art deco baths building in huge disrepair and a hotel which had seen better days. (And btw, Lois had Paul remove the black velvet painting from above the bed. ;))

The pizzeria nearby was good, however, and we had an enjoyable meal with Angus and Kathryn. The dining room was plastered with pictures of 60’s singers and movie stars and a large Elvis cardboard cutout stood in the corner!

We woke to rain again and 12C. The news reported that flooding in this region in the past few days has caused at least 14 deaths and left thousands more homeless. After not having rained for seven months, some areas of Emilia-Romagna received nearly 20 inches in 36 hours, about half the annual average.

While waiting for our ride to take us back to the trail, Angus noted that someone had posted on the VF Fb page that the trail was partially flooded near Felegara, which was where we had decided to begin our walk today, to shorten it. We avoided that section, taking a parallel track across a field, plodding through mud, puddles and wet grass. We rejoined the VF path further on, only to find the trail effectively blocked by deep mud and flowing water. We backtracked to the track and followed it to an underpass that went below the motorway, but found that access to the other side was blocked by a wire fence. While Lois contemplated climbing the fence, Paul consulted the map which showed that we would still not be able to get across a ditch on the other side of the field. We therefore made our way all the way back to an underpass we had walked through earlier, only to find it now flooded. We had no choice but to wade through about 30cms of dirty water to get to stepping stones along the edge. By that time, Angus and Kathryn had arrived at the other end and we were able to warn them about going any further. We wrang out our socks and met up for coffee back in Felegara, 1 1/2 hours after we had started out. Now, the only alternative was to walk 5 kms to Fornovo along the busy main road, with no hard shoulders. It was not a pleasant experience.

Just before Fornovo, we stopped at a supermarket to get supplies for dinner as there are no restaurants in Sivizzano, where we are staying tonight. Across the bridge over the river, Taro, we looked for somewhere to stop for lunch. Walking into the first restaurant we came to, La Maison, we realised it was a Michelin restaurant! When Lois looked inquiringly at the Maître D , pointing to her wet clothing and dripping backpacks to see if we would be welcome, he graciously ushered us in, with “prego, prego!” (We didn’t tell him we had wet feet!)

Feeling as though we had suddenly been spirited away to another world, we thoroughly enjoyed a meal of poached egg on asparagus with shaved truffles, fresh pasta and local mushrooms, a glass of Sangiovese for Lois, semifreddo (antica recetta de la casa) and espressos. We contacted our BnB to arrange to be picked up at the restaurant.

Our accommodation is a bit rustic (our “private” bathroom is actually downstairs and outside through another door!), but we were able to convince the proprietor to turn on the heat (apparently against the law in May) so that we could dry out. More rain is forecast for tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Friday May 19, 2023”

  1. Sorry you got so wet, hope weather improves soon, and no more grotty walks! Still full of admiration!
    Love from Liz, Catherine and Nathaniel ( Jem in the USA)

  2. Ohhhh Nooooo!! Oh my…….I heard about all of the flooding on CBC, and I was hoping it would not affect you!! So sorry!!

  3. Sept 30th , 2022. Medesano to Fornovo
    I had same experience. Rain pelted down all day. Waded through that river crossing and wrecked my new Sportivas. Could not get rid of smell.

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