Now my lord has instructions to go to Italy and see if Countess Matilda is for marrying.
There are some small obstacles in his way – the distance, the Alps, and not least the lady’s wishes.
Firstly, the distance. We shall be travelling along the Via Francigena. This is a well-worn route from Canterbury to Rome, and traversed afoot by many pilgrims, treading the path between monasteries (d’Ospidale), or hostelries where they can find shelter for the night, or sleeping rough. Sometimes the path diverges a little and there are three routes over the Alps. Even so, it’s a journey of a thousand miles.
We are privileged to stay at important monasteries on our journey, including Baume, where my lord receives useful advice.