Island near Tornavento to Bernate Ticino
First thunder, than the fisherman departing shortly before midnight than at the ungodly hour of 02:30 a series of departing aircraft. Most probably cargo planes. It was a noisy night, warmer than the one before so no sleep bag needed.
The day starts as it ended. Following the canal, the weather muggy. Yet walking goes a bit easier compared to yesterday and sooner than I anticipated I arrive in Turbigo for my first resupply in Italy. A first resupply in a foreign country generally takes a bit longer as I am overwhelmed by the different layout and the different choice. Which looks delicious indeed (well it's Italy) but does not offer the trail food variety I am used to. Doesn't matter as I only need food for two days and some fajita bread and bisquits do the job.
After using the free wifi to download some maps, I am off again along a rather busy canal. Planes approaching Malpensa keep me busy for a good part of the morning.
I decide to follow the canal instead of the official E1, whose layout doesn't make too much sense for me. Weirdly enough I stumble across several E1 signs, despite being away from the official track.
Anyway, eventually I approach the town of Bernate Ticino, where I chat with two Vespa riders. My first real conversation in Italy. Feels good!
A couple of steps further down the canal, still in Bernate, two people are calling me from the other side of the canal. Asking me where I am coming from and where I was heading. Kind of funny and typically Italian having a conversation with a canal in between. Anyway, they end up offering me lunch in an hours time after they finish their pottery lesson. My initial reply "I think I should continue, I still have a long way to go". They say if I decide otherwise, I should just know on their door.
Once they have left I say to myself "Sandro, don't be bloody stupid. Don't miss out on this opportunity. Being invited for lunch in Italy can only boost your motivation."
Without further thinking, I backtrack, crossing the canal and heading back on the other side. Before I know, I have sit on the table, trying myself in pottery together with his friend and student Simona from Milano. Turns out my talent is rather limited.
Lunch is delicious as expected. Homegrown peperoni with chicken and bisquits topped with homemade fig marmalade. And finish it up with an Espresso.
While having lunch, Piereangelo offers me to spend the night in his art studio. Since lunch took quite a while and I am in no hurry I happily agree. After a tour around town we are back home for dinner. Pesto Piere aka Pesto al Genovese with potatoes and beans. Simply delicious.
This relaxing afternoon away from the trail felt good. A well needed insight into the Italian culture and with Piereangelo a new friend. What a wonderful person.
I hope this experience will help to lift my hiking spirit for the next.
Anyway, for now, I am a well fed, happy camper ready for some well needed sleep. A long day is awaiting me tomorrow.