VIA FRANCIGENA-Canterbury to Rome Day 52

Day 52 Mortara to Gropello Cairoli:

One learns to take what the Camino gives. More flat fields of rice and corn but instead of pavement the path was mostly packed sand which was heavenly on the feet after two long days.
We had a delightful stop in Tromello where a little old guy, Carlo (Mamma Mia) 82 years old spryly rode up on his “original” kiddie bike painted in the tricolor of the Italian flag.
And if you zoom into the safety bar there is a Via Francigena stamp. He escorted us to the bar under the clocktower where our Italian buddies, Barbara and Selene were enjoying cafe. Then 3 more pilgrims showed up. 7 of us (3 Italians, 2 Germans, 1 Japanese, 1 Irish American) together on the walk. That shattered our prior record of 4.
Carlo came back with our credentials stamped as well as a Pilgrim’s certificate in Latin. From what we could make out it was a blessing for a safe and memorable pilgrimage to Roma.
I nicknamed Carlo (Carlo Mamma Mia) because he must of used the phrase a half dozen times in our conversation. Look for him in Tromello or more likely he will find you. Lots of laughs. Next time I will plan to spend a night in Tromello.
We were greeted in Gropello Cairoli by Giovanna who has converted her family home to an AirB&B inn.
We had the place to ourselves enjoying a picnic lunch in their wonderful back yard.
Church of San Giorgio in Gropello Cairoli
San Giorgio
San Giorgio

Another St. Martin de Tours Church. He is such a presence on the VF and even more so The Camino de Santiago.
You will find tributes to Teresio Olivelli often in churches on the VF. An Italian Catholic soldier during WWII and part of the Italian Resistance.

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Happy to answer any questions and help in any way.