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Broncos Abroad

Leaving the walls

For the person who accidentally read one of my earlier blogs you already know a little about Viterbo. It is a walled city and inside the walls one can spend countless hours wandering around, eating, shopping and soaking in the history. It’s a great place. As terrific as it is I decided to take the leap and leave the security of the walls to explore the world outside. I am happy to say that outside the Viterbo walls is just as amazing as inside.

One of the signs guiding me to Rome or France. I didn’t make it to either.

One day while wandering (aka while lost) inside the walls I saw a “Via Francigene” sign.  Apparently Viterbo was and continues to be a stop along a pilgrim trail. In my own way I’m a pilgrim, so that weekend I decided to follow my path. It only took a few minutes to get away from the hustle and bustle and in farm country.  Along the way I saw more Via Francigene signs and knew I was on the right track. I even thought I could finish the whole thing that day.  In my defense, at the time I didn’t realize the trail starts in Northern Europe and ends in Rome.  Along this trek I saw fields of wine grapes, olive trees, lavenders, and prancing ponies. Unable find a café to wet my whistle with prosecco, I was forced to turn back.

A small sign found along farm roads.

My next outside the walls adventure involved The Palanzana, which is a mountain off a branch of the Cimini mountain system.  From inside the walls I could see this lush, green mountain taunting me and I had to find a way there.  It took three attempts, but I found the trail!  The first attempt took me around an archeological area, which was off limits.   The second I noticed some mountain bikers and figured they were headed that way.  My sleuthing skills and Introduction to Italian language class paid off – they were indeed headed that way!  A shout out to language professor extraordinaire Serena Marrocco – your tireless and efforts worked.

The Palanzana mountain. It’s bigger than it looks.

I made it to the hiking trails but somehow managed to miss the spur to the top of Palanzana. Some mistakes are worth it; I ended up on a trail that would be a treat to mountain bike – or in my case “bike hike” since some spots are super technical.

One more attempt and I finally made it to the top of Palanzana.  It was well worth the wait; the views are terrific.  The view of my adopted town of Viterbo was alone more than anyone could ask for.

Sadly, I only have one more week in Viterbo, but know I just scratched the surface of what is outside the walls.   What can I accomplish in this week? In case anyone from the BSU School of Public Service (SPS) is reading this blog, by accomplish I mean work on publications.

View from the top of The Palanzana. That’s Viterbo on the horizon.


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