Hilaire Belloc’s Path to Rome 2019

Every June I read Hilaire Belloc’s The Path to Rome, his autobiographical account of his pilgrimage to Rome in June 1901. Although the book contains no chapters, Belloc nearly always indicates clearly when each day begins and ends, making it easy to read his account of each day’s walk on the anniversary of that day – my preferred habit.

As with previous years, I decided this year to write a blog post about each day of the pilgrimage. To give the posts some focus, I chose ‘friends and friendship’ as my theme.

NB: Contrary to the impression given below, Belloc did not go from one town, or village, to another every day. Sometimes he stopped just before reaching one or the other or stopped soon after passing it. I’ve given the ‘x to y’ in brackets just as an occasionally but not necessarily accurate guide to what kind of ground he covered each day.

June 1901
4th Belloc Leaves Toul (Toul to the countryside)
5th The Friendly Baker (The countryside to Thayon)
6th Shabbily Dressed, Shabbily Treated (Epinal to Remiremont)
7th On Companionship (Remiremont to the Ballon d’Asace)
8th An Explosive Friendship (Giromagny to Delle)
9th Friendliness Past and Present (Delle to Undervelier)
10th Benedicamus Domino (Undervelier to the Weissenstein)
11th A Black Day (Burgdorf to the Brienzergrat)
12th Misty Mountain Hop (The Brienzergrat to Meiringen)
13th Take the Stranger’s Case (Meiringen to Ulrichen)
14th Failed Ascent (Ulrichen to Faido)
15th Money Matters (Faido to Lake Lugano)
16th The Candle Calls It (Lake Lugano to Milan)
17th Ambrose On A Wet Day (Milan to Piacenza)
18th Belloc Almost Gives Up His Narrative (Piacenza to Madesano)
19th Inn and Out (Firenzuola d’Arda to Medesano)
20th Water Carry On (Medesano to Calestano)
21st The Best of Men (Calestano to Collagna)
22nd Calm Went With Me (Collagna to Sillano)
23rd Sillano and After (Sillano to Borgo a Mozzano)
24th Soldiering On (Borgo a Mozzano to Lucca)
25th To Cut a Story By Telling A Story (Lucca to Siena)
26th The Kindness of the Cool (Siena to Radicofani)
27th The Carts to Rome (Radicofani to Lake Bolsena)
28th Rome Beckons (Lake Bolsena to Settevene)
29th Rome (Settevene to Rome)