Thursday, June 6, 2019

Wanderlust Wednesday on Lago Maggiore

Wednesday, 5 June, 2019

I made the conscious decision to not do anything American football related for a day, I needed a mental break.

Thus we opted for what turned out to be a great day on the shores of nearby Lago Maggiore.

Our first stop was, of course, the Pasticceria Marabelli for two cappuccini and two brioches. We both agree the breakfast is the most important meal of the day and ours was a good one.

Healthy too, I'm sure.

From Marabelli, we drove about 30 minutes northwest of Varese to the city of Luino on the eastern shore of Lago Maggiore.

Why you ask?

 For Luino's weekly Wednesday
Flea Market

This flea market has been held in Luino since 1535 A.D.!

Today it features nearly 400 stalls spread all over the city's lakefront business area.

We arrived early to beat the anticipated crowds and to find a parking spot.

Parking on the street was next too impossible but we did find a large parking lot that was well worth the three Euros that they charged us to use their spacious, well located facility.

Needless to say, Laurie was in Shopping Heaven whence she saw the myriad of wares for sale at extremely reasonable prices.

Her first purchases were here

A bright yellow table with an olive motif and a funky Lago Maggiore towel were our newest family treasures.

EXTREME temptation abounded!

 I needed a cafe and this one
was being watched over by four
distinguished gentlemen

 Oh, how I LOVE shopping
for a new purse!

The crowds were starting to arrive

While the majority of the flea market catered to Laurie's needs and wants so far, we turned a corner and . . .

. . . VOILÀ, I was happy too

Delicious food stalls engulfed us

This one looked healthy

Meats and cheeses are our
staples on a few afternoons each week

 Again with the healthy food

 I love the cheeses of Italy!

Olives, not my favorite food group

But I do love Extra Virgin Olive Oil!


That is a HUGE loaf of bread
at the base of the stack

 I'm dying here

But with a smile on my face.

 These stalls never end!

Those sausages look spicy too me

And I'm nuts about spicy sausage!

Again with the health kick

We both enjoyed our morning at the Luino flea market but we then opted to drive north along Lago Maggiore into Switzerland.

As we headed back to our car, we found one more item of interest . . .

 One of Skorpion Linebacker
Ivan "Swito" Raso's
latest t-shirts complete with
an artsy self-portrait

I always thought that Swito was from Calabria.

Do you see the resemblance?

Once we entered Switzerland
we realized that we were hungry

We stopped in the Swiss city of Gambarogno for lunch on the lake at the scenic La Riva Ristorante & Pensione.

Our only disconnect was forgetting that we were no longer in Italy where food prices are quite low. Now on the Swiss side of the border, all prices were, shall we kindly say, exorbitant!

We just enjoyed the scenery and the really excellent food that La Riva offered us.

It's only Swiss francs . . .

We moved a little farther north before stopping in . . .

. . . Gerra

I'm a fan of any city that has a crossbow in it's official crest.

Our view while enjoying
a Prosecco in Gerra

Laurie likes hearts

 Artwork at the local elementary school

 A bit more intense piece of art
facing the same elementary school

 The baptismal fount in Gerra's
quaint lakeshore church

A view to Lago Maggiore
in Gerra, Switzerland

We moved on to the western shore of Lago Maggiore and the gorgeous resort lakeshore town of . . .

. . . Ascona

A Meerkat in Ascona?

As it turned out, we would see a lot of similar artsy brightly colored, plastic animals throughout the city.

A Swiss view of Lago Maggiore

Red wolves guarding the
Ascona Library

Lago Maggiore is just flat out

Laurie likes sycamore trees
and this was a good one


I'm guessing these lakefront cafes
are a tad on the costly side

 Interesting building architecture

Four blue bears just hanging out


We entered the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul that dates from the 13th-century.
Their baptismal fount was outstanding

An old mural

 Laurie lighting a candle in thanks
to the Blessed Mother of Flea Markets

Great altar railing!

 Saint Sabina
A second century martyr

Lago Maggiore through the archway

Ascona is a beautiful city on Lago
Maggiore when the Sun is out

 Ascona is colorful to say the least

 Laurie and her good friend Harvey

Pizzas vom Holzofen?

 Apt looking Cultural Center
in Ascona

Happy fish reside in Ascona's
portion of Lago Maggiore

A pedestrian only ferry arriving
in Ascona from parts unknown

A lakefront cafe closed until
dinner I suspect

We continued to drive south along Lago Maggiore's incredibly beautiful eastern shore crossing back into Italy.

At Verbania, we boarded the ferry
to cross over back to Lago Maggiore's
western shore and the shortcut to Varese

I think that Laurie enjoyed
the day as much as I did

Laveno, in the distance,
was our destination

Once back ashore, it was an easy 30 minute drive back to the Pasticceria Marabelli for a quick spritz aperitivo before finally returning to the Villa Skorpion II after another fantastic day in the Lakes District of northern Italy and southern Switzerland.

Life is GOOD!


David said...

So which color purse did you get?

George said...

I couldn't make up my mind, so I bought them both.