Sunday, 27 October 2013

Day 48 La-Storta to Saint-Peter's Square, The Vatican - Roma 17 km

Sunday 27th October    Day 48
Arriviamo! We Arrive! 
Our final day of walking the amazing Via Francigena!

we catch the 8:10 am train from La Storta to San Filippo Nero, then walk along the Strada to 
Monte Mario, where pilgrims first saw Rome. The first 8 km or so from La Storta is along a very busy four lane main road with no pedestrian walking area - we decide to avoid this section by taking the train, it would be a shame to be squashed on the road when we're so close to Roma! We still have some sections of roadway to walk along with limited pedestrian access before we get to Monte Mario park.

At Monte Mario! We catch our first glimpse of Roma and the Vatican, St Peter's Square!

View through the mist to Rome and St Peter's Square from Monte Mario
We descend down Monte Mario along the rough cobble stone path and walk along towards St Peter's Square. 
Its a shame there's so much rubbish, and the park is so unkempt.

We decide to stop for a break and lunch at 12, about a block from the Basilica, St Peters square. We're strolling along today, not walking fast, just absorbing the sights and sounds of Roma. 
As we get closer to the Vatican, there's more people everywhere, it gets very crowded! It's Sunday, and apparently the pope "Pappa" is conducting a special mass. We arrive as it's finished and people are leaving.

Here we are! Arriviamo, 
we sit for a while, just soaking up the sights, people watching, 
taking in the surroundings, 
so full of history, religious significance and art

and processing the fact that our Via Francigena walk is complete... 1,000 km from the Swiss border, Martgny to Rome!

After rereading the information on the Internet and our guide book, it seems that the office where we get our testamur isn't open on Sundays, we'll need to come back to the square on Monday morning.
Patrick has a chat with the Swiss guards at the portal we need to enter to get more information about the procedure for getting our pilgrimage testamurs tomorrow in the Vatican.

off then to find our accommodation in a convent, Via di Genovesi, 11b Trastevere

We find it withou too much difficulty, it's in a convent, opposite a school, within enclosed walls complete with a peaceful garden.

Just beautiful with the bell tower illuminated at night.

We're greeted by volunteer host Marie Lisa, from the Dolomites in Italy.
At 7:30 pm the three new pilgrim arrivals, Patrick, me and Jürgen from Austria have our feet washed in the traditional Confraternity of St. James pilgrim welcome ceremony.
Jürgen has walked all the way from Austria to Rome, mostly creating his own path, including through Slovenia, where he walked up to four days at a time between villages, and came face to face with a bear!

Delicious Pilgrim dinner prepared by Marie Lisa, it's wonderful to complete our final day of walking with a communal dinner with other pilgrims! We haven't met with other pilgrims along the way for about three weeks. And we finally meet up with Philippe who I've been corresponding with by email during our walk. It's been so  helpful getting tips from someone a couple of days ahead.

Tomorrow we'll return to St Peters Square, and go into the Vatican to receive our pilgrim credentials!

Our accommodation tonight and tomorrow

Address: Via Galvani, 51 - Rome ? changed address, now at Via di Genovesi, 11b  open 3 pm- 7pm to receive pilgrims
Phone: 327 2319312   064959590
Type: Religious Structure
Independent: Managed by volunteers of the Confraternity of St. James of Perugia
Open from Easter to September (at other times you need to call to ensure availability). Only pilgrims with credential.
Hours: 17-22
Price: Offer
Number of places: 40.
Use of kitchen: YES. They offer dinner and breakfast

another option, same group as the Convento de Giglia in Bolsena
via Della pigna 13/a 00186 Roma
06 6795077


Address: Via Vincenzo Ambrosio, 9-11 - Rome
Phone: 06 35401142 - 393 3595070
Type: Religious Structure
Open all year
Price: Discounted prices for pellegirni with credential
Number of seats: 96.
Use of kitchen: NO. Breakfast included in the price. Possibility of half board.

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