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 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.
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.
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.