Pilgrimage in Italy: from Fonte Colombo to Rieti, Poggio Bostone and back to Assisi

The town of Cantalice

Eating in the refectory with the friars was an interesting experience. In big letters, SILENTIUM was written at the end of the hall. However, each of the 5 friars was sitting at an about 15 feet long wooden table alone, having conversation by shouting over the table to the friar far away.

Misty morning

On the way down to the cave where St. Francis prayed (Sacro Speco), I peaked through a tiny window into a room full of human bones. I could not find out to whom they belonged.

Bones above chapel of Maddalena

When I entered Rieti, a heavy thunderstorm was above me. Walking beside the Velino river showed me the incredible force of this river with emerald green water.

Rieti seen from the Roman bridge.

Romans settled in Rieti already in BC and built a bridge over the Velino river, which still can be seen in the river and underground. It was the main route to transport salt, a product more precious than gold.

Roman bridge underground Rieti. A huge area underneath Rieti still keeps Roman buildings and waits to be excavated.

Underground Rieti with part of the Roman city wall

In Rieti, I met my son Lorenz. He walked part of the Camino Francesco too and timing worked out perfectly to finish the way together.

Big joy to meet Lorenz

At the Sanctuary La Foresta, we got a great tour of the beautiful place.

View down into the Rieti valley, which was once a huge lake and drained by the Romans



Organic garden

In the Sanctuary of La Foresta live also 5 dogs and 3 cats. They are incredible peaceful and loving to each other.

On the way to Poggio Bostone we passed the town Cantalice, whose houses are built on the mountain like a waterfall.


The mother of the Bar owner made for us delicious vegetarian lunch

The way up the mountain was beautiful- blue, clear sky, view into the Rieti valley and up to the mountains with the highest mountain of Monte Garzano ( over 2000m). We walked nearly 1000 meter up the mountain until we realized that we must have missed a turn. We had to return down to 600m and walk up again to 800.

Beautiful, but wrong way

In order to make a shortcut, we had to pass private property ( Agriturism Poeta) and were so lucky that there was no dog and we could climb over a gate.

As it was already late afternoon, Lorenz went faster ( his normal pace) to announce our coming in the sanctuary. I arrived at Poggio Bostone, a town with a maze of steep stairs, narrow walkways, corners, niches and confusing layout, when it got already dark. I did not want to walk one step more when I saw a tiny restaurant called L’Antico Arco. We decided to eat there and had the most deliceous food we ever had in our live.

The dorm in the sanctuary was very simple, but had a hot shower- always a treat after a long hike.

We got up at 5 am to walk to the cave of St. Francis and finish our pilgrimage (in this cave he composed part of the Canticle to the sun)

We both rang the bell to announce the end of the pilgrimage

Candles were burning when we arrived. It was cosy warm. October 4th was the day St. Francis died ( the day before). Maybe this was the reason of the many candles. It was a very special ending of a special pilgrimage.

Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

Related Stories



Camino Primitivo, Day 20

 LIRES – MUXIA   Until the evening, heavy mist covered the coastline to Muxia. I was...

Camino Primitivo, Day 19

FISTERRE –LIRES   It was hard to leave the albergue this morning. I was very tempted...

Camino Primitivo, Day 18

 SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – FISTERRE   In Celtic times and even before, Cape Finisterre was considered...

Camino Primitivo, Day 16 /17

 MONTE DO GOZO – SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA   The history of Santiago de Compostela is closely...

Camino Primitivo, Day 15

 RAS – MONTE DEL GOZO   Although my knee wanted a rest, I did not want...

Camino Primitivo, Day 14

 MELIDE – RAS   Already in early morning, masses of pilgrims where pushing forward toward Santiago....

Popular Categories


    • Yes, it was again a very special hike! It always amazes me how things work out without real planning. Looking so much forward to our conversations again. Much love to you, Patty!

    • It was a more beautiful hike I every would have imagined. The weather was perfect and nature, history, culture, food, people just great. Looking forward to talk with you about it!

  1. Two things: (1) Lorenz is a cool guy and (2) to happen upon a collection of bones like that and take a pic of the same is (to this American) really unusual and bizarre.

      • For me, seeing a collection of human bones makes me aware of the impermanence of life, the “memento mori”. I appreciate life even more and become more grateful for being alive. The bones do not create any negative feelings. I wonder who the people once were. We have a lot of these chambers in chapels and churches in Europe, they are called ossuary of bone houses.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Discover more from Simply.Just.Walking

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading