We were very pleased to meet up with Dave (Tom’s former work colleague) and Jude for supper last night, and enjoyed a good meal together in the restaurant downstairs. It has meant a lot to us to be able to share our experiences with family and friends along the way, and we really appreciated Dave and Jude making the detour from their place in Umbria to rendezvous with us before returning home to the UK.

We were much in need of our rest today after breaking our own rule by walking 6 days, instead of 5 days, since our last rest day. Getting out of bed for our breakfast rendezvous was a bit of a struggle! The cafe just down the hill in the main square was open, so we tumbled in there for coffee and croissanti.

Acquapendente’s main piazza – it was much busier yesterday!

Julie’s left knee has been worsening over the last 3 days and needed a day off from walking, but she also decided to go to A&E at the Ospedale to see whether they could offer any advice on alleviating her symptoms. Julie came away with an x-ray report confirming no fracture and a prescription for stronger Ibuprofen than she had been taking.

Overall, Julie and Dave (who was allowed to stay with her to translate) came away feeling that the NHS is really pretty good and we need to be more appreciative and less critical of what it offers. The hospital in Acquapendente is run down, the doctor seemed disinterested, and hygiene was noticeably poor. We have previously seen people around with obvious untreated health issues, suggesting that the Italian healthcare system doesn’t serve its population as well as it might.

Having come away with a prescription we couldn’t get dispensed until late afternoon there was only one thing to do next – find somewhere for lunch! We ended up sat in the sunshine in the main square eating slices of take-away pizza with a cold beer/aperol spritz. Dave and Jude then needed to leave to drive to Bologna for their flight home early tomorrow morning.

The next challenge for us was to find a pharmacy open to dispense Julie’s prescription. The pharmacy near our digs was closed, despite what its website said, and the only other one was 1.5km out of town, so we asked our hostess to call up a taxi for us as Julie didn’t feel up to walking that far. After initially telling us there are no taxis in Acquapendente a kind woman in a small red car turned up to offer private hire, which suited us just fine. At the pharmacy Julie was surprised to be asked whether she wanted one or two boxes of Ibuprofen. It seems that an Italian prescription states what drug is to be dispensed and its strength, but not the quantity. We took two boxes and arranged to return at 9am tomorrow to collect an elasticated knee brace of the right size.

We chose to eat in ‘our’ restaurant again, as it had been good last night and seemed to be popular with the locals. It is run by five women who love home cooking and produce very good meals. We were not disappointed!

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  1. Knee brace, stronger ibuprofen plus cold/ice packs morning and night helping, but I’m resorting to train for much of the next two days after a long struggle on an easy walk today. We then have a rest day. After that I hope to be able to walk, not crawl, into St Peter’s square! Tom will do the full walk much quicker without me.

  2. Good to read your news. Sorry to hear about Julie’s knee. Hope the stronger Ibuprofen and knee brace are doing the trick. Take care!