The day started with breakfast as usual. But sitting by the doorway was this cat. Could it be? How did she get to Italy? As some of you know, our cat, Musa, passed on while we were in Bucharest in June. Though she was real, she was also a mirage that brought wonderful memories to mind.
The Agriturismo Le Vigne offered us a spectacular view of Lake Bolsena and much personal attention. The owner, Stefania, made sure that were stocked with our lunch from the many breakfast offerings. We were good to go.
We soon reached the border between Bolsena and Montefiascone, the town that was the 100km point to Roma. With that stamp, one was officially on the road to receive a certificate of completion.
We experienced different scenes. What the photos do not give you are sounds as when acorns hit the ground or the wind rustle the leaves. Our moment of the day came when Caterina pulled up alongside in her Poste Italianie car and asked if we needed help. None needed then but could she recommend restaurants in Montefiascone? Of course, why not? She gave us two and we went to one of them.
Eventually, we spotted Montefiascone across the valley. An hour and much hill climbing later, we reached our hotel. It was located on the VF on the main street of the centro storico.
After doing some laundry, we ventured up (note the up) to the cathedral which has the third largest dome in Italy. The interior is circular like the Berliner Dom. Perhaps the usual rectangle design could not fit on this hill. Below the main church was a modern Santuario dedicated to Santa Lucia who started a cottage industry of cloth weaving to employ young girls and women. At the top of the hill was the Rocca di Papi, a residence for the popes during their battles with the Holy Roman Emperors. Today, we can enjoy the view of Lake Bolsena in peace. I also included a VF sign from the Rocca. We will be there tomorrow at the beginning of the next leg.
Enough touring. Aperitivo time. We chose to sit at the Art Deco bar located in a building that was constructed in 1931. What a contrast to the other buildings on and off the piazza.
Soon, it was dinner and down the hill we went to Da Pancino meaning little potbelly, masculine of course. We were 15 minutes ahead of opening but the waiter let us in. We were warned that we had to wait for food but could start with drinks. We ordered a bottle of Lazio syrah 2020– a bright young red that developed deeper flavors as the dinner went on – 16 euros.
All of the dishes were good. The bruschetta of different spreads (already divided — sorry, asleep at the wheel again) and the grilled zucchini and eggplant were excellent. The night had turned chilly. The walk up the hill was welcomed before a good night’s sleep.