Thursday, March 14, 2019

A Wanderlust Wednesday in the Alps and on Lago di Como

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

Day #55 of our 2019 Italian adventure fell on a Wednesday, the sky was a deep blue and I had a car, this called for a . . .

But to where?

Using my Italy for the Gourmet Traveler book written by Fred Plotkin as my guide, I came up with two options.

I could head south to visit three small towns that are near each other, Robbio, Mortara and Vigevano or I could head north to explore Chiavenna in the Alps and Lecco on Lago di Como.

I opted for the Alpine excursion.

The drive was long but uneventful except for the constant view of the . . .

. . . beautiful Alps in the distance

After two and 1/2 hours behind the wheel,
I finally arrived in Chiavenna

I had to make the classic economic choice between time and money today. I could have made this journey for free via my travel pass but that would have required a three and 1/2 hour train ride with three separate train transfers.

I opted to pay for the gas for the quicker drive that included the possibility of stopping along the way if anything of interest caught my eye.

Chiavenna is located in the northern-most part of Lombardia on the Swiss border. This region of Italy is known as the Valtellina and is visually stunning!

 Part of Chiavenna's old train station
where I parked my car

I has hungry and an interesting looking Ristorante was about 50 meters from my parking spot.

 It looked good and the prices were
in my price range, so I entered

Gnocchi alla Chiavennasca

It was AMAZING! 

This dish was made up of white gnocchi with potatoes, cheese and butter and it was . . .

Feeling fat and sassy, I was in need of a little exercise to wear off my great lunch.

Time to explore Chiavenna . . .

 Interesting Enoteca

Chiavenna is surrounded by the Alps

 Majestic but no snow after all of
our good weather the last two months

This observation point looked
interesting but I wasn't up for the climb

My first stop was at the Collegiate of San Lorenzo whose origins date back to the 5th-century. The current church dates back to 973 A.D.


San Lorenzo's Bell Tower

There were lots of interesting
murals inside San Lorenzo . . .

. . . like this one

Every space was filled with art
A simple side altar

San Sebastian

Low on self-esteem, San Sebastian took a job as a target at an archery range in Rome in 288 A.D.

They are accusing me of WHAT?

San Lorenzo's main altar

A good looking organ at
the rear of San Lorenzo

 The view from the courtyard
of San Lorenzo

 San Lorenzo's courtyard

Love the skull in San Lorenzo's
splendid arcade

 There is that observation point
but I still opted to not scale to
the heights of Chiavenna

 Chiavenna's small castle

Chiavenna's City Hall

The sun was indeed shining today

A shop that specializes in
intricate embroidery

 Who doesn't love a good
spitting fountain?

 One of Chiavenna's many piazzas

 The Adda River runs through

Same river, different view

A saint standing guard on a bridge
spanning the Adda River

 The Wild Man's Trattoria

Loving that name!

 GREAT door bell!

 The Dr. Dessert's Pharmacy

Dr. Dessert?

Dr. Dessert's interesting light
fixture above its entryway

 A quiet street in Chiavenna

A gelato sounded good

 I bought an orange and coconut
gelato at this busy gelateria

I believe that it was my first gelato experience of the year and it hit the spot perfectly!

Why is he pointing over there?

Oh, I see, a little hill top bell
tower in the village of Madesimo
caught his eye

 Art in the Chiavenna train station

 A last look at the old train station

It was now time to start driving back towards Varese but I had one more stop to make.

The view from Lecco of the
Lago di Como

Lecco, as you can imagine,
is a gorgeous lakeside city

 Lecco's memorial to their
casualties of the World Wars

Is that Santa's boat in the foreground?

 Swans and ducks living together

What a lovely spot this will become
in about another six weeks

The Basilica of St. Nicholas

Lecco's Basilica is Romanesque in style and has been standing here since the 11th-century with multiple renovations to be sure over the past millennia.

On one of the Basilica's side doors

The Basilica is HUGE inside

 The Basilica's relatively recent
addition, this neo-Gothic Bell Tower,
was built in 1904

What can I say, it was just another fantastic day in Lombardia!

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