Day 62 – Cassio to Passo della Cisa – 15.95kms

Leaving our Ostello this morning at Cassio for more hill climbing up to the 2nd highest mountain pass we’ll traverse on this trip; the Passo della Cisa, in the Appenines. Our destination today is the  Ostello della Cisa, which is 2.5km below the pass.

Picturesque road side markers assure us we’re going the right way.

The mountain vistas are hazy today but still stunningly beautiful as our climb continues.

These blue irises caught our eye along the route today.

We continue to see shrines along the route; not all are grandiose, some like this one are very simple. This one is still maintained by someone nearby – it hasn’t fallen into disrepair as some we’ve seen on our travels.

The Via Francigena joins the SS62 road for a short spell here above a pretty village just after Berceta – the view was pretty spectacular. Berceta is the home of the Ferrari!

We stopped for our first coffee of the day at 2pm. There’s been no bars on the route so far  – and the rain had begun – so it was definitely coffee time!

These Peonie roses brought beauty to the otherwise drab bar in the ‘middle of nowhere ‘ halfway up the Passo della Cisa, Italy. It’s amazing what a few flowers in full bloom can do for the soul!

The rain was starting to set in so we stepped up our pace to reach the Ostello della Cisa; tonight’s shelter. As we turned a corner we saw smoke rising from a fireplace, and then with great joy saw their colourful building. After a hard day’s climb it was heaven to arrive to a warm fire, a hot shower, a comfortable bed, a bar and a 4 course Italian dinner. But no wifi tonight!!!
We’ll have to wait for that luxury till we arrive at Pontremoli tomorrow, 20 odd kms away, starting out with a 2.5km uphill climb to reach the pass.

The Swiss walkers, Patricia and Agatha, and Tom, from Brisbane, shared tonight’s 4 course dinner with us. We enjoyed deep fried battered zucchini flowers, then gnocchi with ricotta and salsa Verde, then Fagioli, followed by a traditional Italian desert cake of coffee soaked biscuits, sandwiched between a butter, sugar and egg mixture, with a thick layer of grated chocolate on top. Delicious – and the best meal we’ve had so far in Italy. Our aperitif was a beer followed by lashings of red wine with this wonderful dinner. A night to remember at the Ostello della Cisa long after this epic adventure is over!

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