Eventually it turned into a very pleasant day, although Sam’s knee may disagree with the first five km being pleasant. The day got off to a rocky start. Our Airbnb was good, but directions to it lacked a street number, and at the critical juncture (us waiting up the street messaging) the host went silent. Once in residence, the host gave us the full value add hustle, including transport of luggage to the next town, dinner, breakfast. We succumbed to the offer of breakfast to be ready at 0700, but at 0800 we knocked on his door and asked for our €10 back. He was most offended, so I shudder to think what his Airbnb review of us says! But it was a good call, as five minutes down the road was an awesome pasticceria, packed with locals, which provided extremely fresh chocolate cornettos/brioche (known elsewhere as croissants)
Most of today’s path was a repurposed railway line, and surprisingly it was well utilized. Maybe because it was closed to vehicles, folks appreciate a place that is free of garbage. Ten kilometers without an abandoned refrigerator, used tires, or garbage bags of household refuse. Benevento (good wind) is a joy to behold. The old town a maze of alleys, a prosperous traffic free main drag, and more cafes than you could shake a stick at. Clearly anyone from Telese who had aspirations of opening a cafe has moved to Benevento.
Today marks the end of our following (nominally) the via Appia, and now we follow the via traiana. The via Appia was built during the Roman republic, and was the first and perhaps most famous of the Roman roads, and from Benevento headed south towards Taranto before turning east to Brindisi. The via traiana heads east from Benevento before turning south. Although it was slightly longer, travelling time was reduced as there were less hills. Sam’s knee is in full agreement with less hills!