D-45 (11 June—Monday) Ponticelli to Montelibretti

Only 13 km (8 mi) and climbing 1300 ft—easy day especially going through olive orchards and vineyards. Temperature is approaching 90, but I took enough breaks towards the end to keep from overheating.

Met my Polish friend early this morning, the one who brought me to my lodging, after we discovered that the wrong telephone number was published. Then, when I really needed a break at a bar/cafe, I discovered it was closed. But the proprietress opened for me, and had me served coffee and cake, and all was free! Then made sure I left with some cold water. Then I came across a source of cool water at the edge of an olive orchard—what a blessing.

Many place names are followed by “Sabina,” and the town of Montelibretti is on the slopes of the Sabine Hills. Yes, it’s the same Sabine as in the paintings or sculptures “Rape of the Sabines.” Lots of legend / history here of Romulus needing women for starting families for the newly founded Rome. The king of Sabina, however, refused to allow marriage with the Romans. The Sabines were tricked and abducted during games. I never connected all that until reading some history of Montelibretti.

Comments on pics:

1. Olive tree about a few hundred years old

2. A water source when you least expect one at the edge of the olive orchards

3. Olive farmers keeping the fields cleared

4. Rocky paths are inevitable

5. My friend from Brazil I hadn’t seen in a while

6. The path I elected not to take.

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