Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Interesting Local Villages and the City of Luino on Lago Maggiore

Monday, 11 March, 2019

Before reviewing today's activities, I need to post some information about one of our son Michael's fun diversions.

Mike really enjoys both watching and playing that most American of games, baseball.

He has combined his love of the National Pastime with his passion for history by joining an interesting group of players on a team that plays baseball under the rules of the game as they were in the 1880s complete with period correct uniforms, bats, balls and gloves.

 Last Sunday was his Season Opener

He plays for the Redondo Beach Wharf Rats which is comprised chiefly of men who are musicians by trade.

Michael at bat

 2019 Redondo Beach Wharf Rats
Team Photo

The Redondo Beach Wharf Rats and
the Riverside Smudge Pots group
photo in awesome uniforms!

Wharf Rats? Smudge Pots? Beards? Long hair? Odd baseball rules?

What's not to like about a day at the ballpark with these teams?

As for the score, who knows? In the grand scheme of things, that was not the most important part of the game really.

Meanwhile, back in Lombardia today . . .

After spending the morning hours totaling up the statistics from our Milano Rhinos game last Saturday and then sending off both the game and season stats to the team, I was bound and determined to widen my path of discovery in my new car.

I had been told by the Nardi family that the 30 minute drive northwest on country roads to the city of Luino, located on the shores of Lago Maggiore, was a good one.

Thus, GPS in hand, I was off seeking fame, fortune and adventure.

Along the way to Luino, I passed through those hidden gems of Italy, small villages full of charm and interesting vistas.

In the village of Brinzio

 Brinzio had a Catholic Church
as it turned out

A monument to a local who rose
to the rank of General in the Carabinieri
which is the Italian National Police Force

Medical Mail only, per favore

 I love these sun dials all over Italy

Monument to Brinzio's sizable loss
of life in World War I

I saw signs posted directing me to Brinzio's museum, so off I went.

It turned out that it was an open-air museum that showcased local farm tools of a bygone age.

The Brinzio Museum had lots of carts

Some had colorful wheels

Serious wicker weaving!

 A drag pulled by farm animals
of some sort

Brinzio's museum was quaint but definitely not a challenge to the Louvre or Vatican collections.

 A stream runs through Brinzio

A look back at the church in Brinzio

L. to R. in Brinzio: the Post Office,
the City Hall and a School

Brinzio was a sleepy but still interesting village, I'm glad I stopped in for a visit.

On to Luino!

Nope, another stop, this time in
the village of Ganna, is that a church?

Would you believe it, Ganna indeed had a Catholic Church called the Badia di San Gemolo. It dates from the XIIth-century.

 Once inside, I found
some beautiful murals

 Weathered but beautiful

The Eyes have it!

Every archway was artful

 See what I mean

The Lamb of God . . .

A rich ceiling

I just liked the look of this iron work

An interesting mausoleum, I think,
in the closed cemetery across from the
Badia di San Gemolo

 Ganna's monument to their
WWI and WWII dead

That's a lot of names for a village this small.

One last shot of an old door in Ganna
before heading on to . . .

. . . Luino on the shores of a stormy
Lago Maggiore

A cold northern wind sweeping off of the Alps made for a dramatic drop in temperature in Luino.

Check out those flags to see how
strong those Alpine winds were blowing

A tribute to all of the sailors
who toil on Lago Maggiore

Luino has its fair share of
fascinating buildings

On a building that
houses a wine shop

 Soul food? In Lombardia?

I think I'll pass on this one.

St. Joseph's Feast Day
is coming up on March 19th
 That passenger ferry was definitely
NOT leaving Luino today

 A random building needs
some random art

 Giuseppe Garibaldi
Italian General and Nationalist

Garibaldi was a prime mover in the Italian unification movement of the mid-1800s.

 A close up of the base of
the Garibaldi monument

This monument was erected in honor of four soldiers from Luino who died on 15 August, 1848, in battle alongside General Garibaldi.

 A good looking bakery
but it was closed this afternoon

Varese calcio rowdies

Unfortunately for these fans, the Varese soccer season closed mid-season due to serious financial issues. Perhaps they could transfer their sporting allegiance to the Skorpions.

I headed home satisfied by a really good drive with so many fun, off-the-beaten-path sights.

Once back at the Villa Skorpion II, I needed to go into Varese to return a book and two DVDs to the public library. It would be easier to take the bus than to drive into the core of the city where parking is always an adventure.

I exchanged my library materials, for a new book and two more DVDs and then went for a stroll.

Lega Nord in Varese

The Lega Nord is a right wing, regionalist political party that advocates for a federal form of government that would place more power into the northern regions like Lombardia.

I never tire of the view of the
bell tower in Old Town Varese

Finally, here is a video that
was posted from our game
last Saturday

In conclusion, today proved to me again that to fully appreciate this amazing country, one must do it in a car.

This will allow you to stop whenever you see something of interest and stay there as long as your schedule desires you to explore and enjoy.

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