Where we are staying at in Italy, the small town of Ghirla, is a nice quite place. The weather has turned warming than usually in this part of Italy. The temp is in the mid 90’s but the humidity has to be 70% +. Our first few days where filled with local trips all within a couple hours drive of the house.
On Friday we visited the city of Milan to the south of us. Milan is the second largest city in Italy. We parked just outside the city and road the metro train in. We saw the major sights, but for the most part Milan is just another big city.
Saturday we got caught up on laundry and such. Melissa and I took a short drive in the countryside to the North west of the town. We visited a 300-year-old pottery factory. Although it is still not a factory, it is now a studio that is owned by the same family. On our way back, Melissa and I did some grocery shopping for a great dinner that night. That afternoon we headed to visit the Sacro Monte. The Sacro Monte (Sacred Mountain) of the Rosary above Varese
is a chain of chapels built in 1589. Fourteen chapels dedicated to the mysteries of the Rosary wind up this two-kilometer path, climbing the mountainside 295 meters to the Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Monte. We hiked to see them all. It was a great view from the medieval village at the top.
Sunday, which happened to be my 30th birthday, was another kickback day. Nic and I drove out to explore the area while doing some GeoCaching with our GPS. We found two caches and saw some beautiful sites. We headed back to the house and met up with the rest of the family. That night we had a great dinner at one of the local restaurants.
Monday, we all loaded into the car again and headed North across the Swiss border to Val Maggia. Val Maggia is a glacier carved valley that is similar to Yosemite. We visited a few small villages and saw many of the remote lakes and peaks. On the drive home, we stopped in the town of Locarno. This was another beautiful city that was located on the lake. We explored the city taking a tram all the way to the top
of the mountain for a bird’s eye view. We had another great dinner and headed home for the night.
Tuesday we started the day early and headed to Lake Como. We explored the city and many of its old building. Lake Como was by far the best lake that we visited. This city also operated an old tram that went to the top of the mountain. We rode it to the top for a spectacular view of the lake and it’s surroundings. We retrieved the car and headed up the road for the world famous town of Bellagio. This is what the resort and casino was named after and for good reason…this was the perfect Italian lakeside town. Unfortunately, the shops where closing up right after we arrived. We explored what we could and then took a car ferry across the lake and headed home.
Wednesday was a short but fun day. We wanted to make it short so we could prepare for our Venice trip the next day. We drove to Lake Maggiore and caught a ferry to visit the Barromean Islands. The Islands and lake was great, but the heat became too much to tolerate so
we made it a short trip.
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