We enjoyed the luxury of a lie-in this morning, after a night of heavy rain and strong winds which swirled around the small enclosed courtyard outside our window. Today was very cold, with a northerly wind blowing down off the mountains, and intermittent showers of rain. We were glad it has been a rest day and we didn’t need to go far.

Our room is tucked away where the light is on, and looks over a small enclosed courtyard – all the flying freeholds/leaseholds in these old buildings must be a conveyancer’s nightmare!

Although our accommodation was advertised as a B&B we found that we had to take a coupon to a cafe/bar 300m down the road to get breakfast. As always, they were doing a brisk trade in espressos for people just popping in for their mid-morning caffeine top-up, plus older people nursing a cup of coffee and/or glass of prosecco for a longer conversation. Breakfast over, we went back to our room to get the laundry done and drying, just missing another short sharp shower.

Another shower approaching from the mountains to the north

Laundry done we went in search of lunch and a supermarket to buy items for breakfast and lunch tomorrow. That involved going back down the hill into Villafranca centre, a not very lively place with few shops and spartan cafe/bars offering little in the way of lunches. We managed to find a bar selling filled focaccia and slices of pizza, and sat inside watching Denmark play Tunisia in the football World Cup. TVs are always on in bars and restaurants here, usually with crooning pop stars, but today it was football instead.

Borgo Mezzo in Filetto – we liked the flying buttresses between the houses

The only place nearby open for supper was also offering only pizzas, but they were thin and tasty, and we can probably use the carbohydrate for walking tomorrow. It has been a pleasantly lazy day, which we sorely needed as the next 5 days will include some longer walks which are all described as ‘challenging’ in our guide.

Piazza with last night’s excellent restaurant in the corner

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