Friday, June 24, 2011

Italy -- Monte Isola, Part 1

From Bergamo my friend and I took a train to the small town of Sulzano in order to take a ferry across Lake Iseo to the small island of Monte Isola. My friend had been there once before and really enjoyed it. Also a colleague of his lived on the island and we would be meeting up with him for dinner.

The island has a few cars that are used as taxis otherwise I don't think the residents of the island have cars. There's also a small bus service to take you around the island but the island is small enough that my friend and I were able to walk around. That said, when the ferry docked at the main village of Peschiera Maraglio we took the taxi (the only one I ever saw on the island) to go to our hotel in the village of Sensole about 2km away:

Check out the views from the hotel room!

It was early afternoon so we walked back to Peschiera Maraglio, having a gelato en route, and then decided to take a trail to Madonna della Ceriola, the Church at the top of the mountain.

Look closely at the first picture, can you see it? Well, you couldn't see it from the village and I completely underestimated how high up it was. Needless to say it was quite the trek to get up there, took us a couple of hours. Not that that was a bad thing, en route we went through forested hills:

and two villages (Messe and Cure) where we could stop for a Spritz at the local bar:

Very civilized hiking I must say. Wish Canada had pubs on mountain trails.

Eventually we made it to Madonna della Ceriola and took a few pictures from the church.

We then went back down the mountain a different way and into the village of Siviano. In the village we came across my friend’s colleague, Francesco! (Small world isn’t it?). This was the village he lived in. He was originally going to meet us at the hotel for dinner but since we already met up with him he went with us back to the hotel.

Francesco ordered dinner for us all, a selection of seafood dishes, most of which were fish from the lake, and one pasta dish. There is a significant difference in quality between fresh, properly made pasta, and the stuff we commonly buy in packages at the grocery store. We had a great time and Francesco invited us to his house for lunch tomorrow so we can have a good lunch before we left for Verona.

Tune in for Monte Isola – part 2.


Abid said...

Looks fun. Wish I could travel to Europe one day!

Glen McKay said...

Welcome Abid. Save some money and you probably can go to Europe one day -- it's definately worth it. Backpacking is not as cheap as it once was though.

Abid said...

Haha eventually....

Looked through your archives, and added your blog to my blogroll; looking forward to more insightful and interesting posts in the future. It's nice to see a blog that's both active for so long and posts useful information. Keep it up!

Glen McKay said...

Did you figure out I was from BC? If nothing else the recent photos with me wearing a cap should have helped (Vancouver cannot -- I was representing!).