3. Easter Sunday 24th April 2011
From the good hotel at Mortara, leave the town directly. The Romans were indeed great road builders. The SS596 – is a straight Roman route. To Gropello Cairoli with no stop – then onto a big fast road which is still the SS596 at times shadowing the autostrada, for which it acts as rat run. At Carbonara Al Ticino we turn off to get away from the road, and by the side of the road, meet Andrea who gives us water and food and necessary directions. He is recently fromPaviaUniversity– and is a very sophisticated young man. Well-dressed in a drab town, with exceptional English and a curiosity for our journey and its purpose. We leave him with regret – he is offering respite, food and water – to go on small tracks along the river Ticino to Pavia.
In Pavia we have lunch on the Piazza in front of the cathedral. It is unexpectedly quiet in the city. We see a couple of families that go for a walk, suspectedly after a copious easter meal. The kind waitress of the restaurant doesn’t seem to mind not spending this day with her family. She has a bright smile on her face and is offering us a big slice of panetone at the end of our meal. Very kind indeed.
From Paviato Belgioioso – the SS234, another straight Roman effort. The real VF probably.