“You're right to say "hold on to" instead of "keep." To keep is presumptuous. To hold means you realize that today it's yours and tomorrow who knows” -
Erri de Luca
Yesterday’s walk saw another 20 km of the last 100km to Rome- Viterbo to Vetrella. It feels surreal to be so close to the end, yet walking Southeast all summer, isn’t this the natural conclusion?
Exiting Viterbo I stopped into a church with some enchanting music and a big youth group wearing matching Calabria shirts.
Once in the path, the day was hot and the trail was mostly flat and passed along a highway.
With few opportunities to stop for a rest and a sandwich along the way, I climbed a big fence to buy a solid lunch of prosciutto fromagio on ciabatta bread and an espresso at a highway gas station.
I turned my head to the dust of some construction and found blackberries everywhere.
Later, a huge treat came in the form of an ice cream cone 4km from the town. When I stopped to ask to refill water bottles at a house and the homeowners chatted in a lot of Italian I didn’t quite understand, except “gelato?”
I saw some fresh graffiti paint, including a scrawling that means, “the way gives me everything”.
Vetralla came quickly and without much of a climb. I arrived at the sleepy siesta hour in the old town and laid flat on a stone wall.
Later, I washed my clothes at a lavanderia. It was a good alternative to the traditional and symbolic burning of clothes near the end of a pilgrimage.