Trekking the Sabine Hills: in praise of Italy, summer and freedom

The author recalls dawn starts, oven-hot air and the chorus of cicadas that accompanied his walk through the hills north of Rome

Poggio Mirteto, Cantalupo, Casperia, Vacone, Configni, Stroncone. Hilltop towns in the ancient land of Sabina, calling to each other across parched patchworks of vineyard and cornfield. Woods, orchards, olive groves. You could drive to these places, of course. But my experience is, when you arrive on foot they are different. They are better. And best of all in summer.

You’ll need water with you at all times for this adventure. A light backpack with just one change of clothes. Trekking shoes on your feet, poles in your hands, sweat-wicking shirts and shorts and underwear. Plus a broad-brimmed hat, shades and a big tube of sun cream. Then just surrender yourself to the heat and the cicadas.

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