Tags

, , ,

Share it

Thursday 1st March

Today there was a transport strike (a very common event in Italy), scheduled from 9:00am to 1:00pm which we knew of in advance, so we decided on a leisurely morning around Bellagio, then an afternoon trip across the lake by rapido ferry to see Lenno (another of the lovely little towns bordering the lake), which had been recommended to us by our friend Brunella at the Bellagio Restaurant of the Hotel du Lac (where we have had a few meals and drinks). Brunella told us that she comes from Lenno, and that there is a very pretty walk from the town up to a beautiful church on the hill. So we headed off to Lenno as soon as the ferries started back at 1 o’clock, and had a lovely lunch at another Sports Bar beside the water – salami pizza for Shane and spaghetti carbonara for me – good hearty fare to boost your energy before a trek up the mountainside!!

From Lenno & The Pilgrimage

After a leisurely lunch, we wandered off in the direction of Ossuccio, following the instructions given to us by Brunella. We did find that what she had described as “a little up, up” was actually an hour and a half up a fairly steep incline for 2 very unfit, over-weight Aussies!! We were over-taken by some energetic walkers, a very fit young man training for some Olympian event (he was running) and a couple of grannies!!! But we were determined to make it to the top! You can see the church in the centre of the top of the picture below … THAT was our destination!!

From Lenno & The Pilgrimage

However, it was indeed a very pretty pretty climb along cobble-stoned paths winding up the side of the mountain, which is actually one of nine “Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy” and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is known as The Sacro Monte di Ossuccio (literally “Sacred Mount of Ossuccio”) and along the way we passed 14 small Baroque chapels – they were all locked, but you could peek through the wire over the windows and each chapel had statues depicting various religious events (the significance of which were mostly lost on Ferg!). The Olympian athlete ran past us on his way back down before we had even made it to the top, but we got there in the end … with much huffing, puffing and photo-stops along the way!

From Lenno & The Pilgrimage

The church sanctuary of the Madonna del Soccorso was lovely, cool and peaceful, and the view back across the lake to Bellagio was beautiful, although a bit hazy with smoke hanging over the lake. After a brief tour of the church and a rest in the cool shade, we headed back down the mountainside, making the journey in just over half the time it took us to climb up, getting back to Lenno just in time for a cool drink in the shade by the lake – taking in the beautiful tranquil scenery before our return ferry to Bellagio.

From Lenno & The Pilgrimage

Before jumping on the hydrofoil to Lenno, we had reserved a table for dinner at the Hotel Suisse – we had been watching them get the restaurant ready for the last 3 days and the menu looked fabulous. So even though we were extremely weary from our “pilgrimage” up the sacred mountain, we hauled ourselves back up the stairs to our apartment for a refreshing shower, had a brief rest then went back down to the waterfront for our much-anticipated dinner at Hotel Suisse … we were NOT disappointed! Shane insists it was the best meal he had eaten in Bellagio and it really was beautiful – probably made even more so when we went to pay the bill and were told that it had been taken care of – we were the honoured guests of the Vergottini Family – our hosts at the apartment! They felt bad that there had been scaffolding erected around our building while we were in St Moritz (a week ahead of schedule) and very generously paid for our dinner at the Suisse as well as refunding some of our money!!

From Lenno & The Pilgrimage

Il pasto migliore che abbiamo avuto in Bellagio!!