New Year's in Italy – Part II

So here we are – Milan. In about 8 hours our flight will depart back home to Helsinki after 7 days in northern Italy. I’m writing this from J’s friends’ hotel room, while waiting for them to get back from the theatre. We’ve covered a lot of ground and kilometers during these days, including a couple of visits to Switzerland. Pictures from the trip will come up in the gallery in a few days when I’m finished organizing and selecting the best of almost 700 photos…

Our stronghold for the first few days in Italy was Como where my younger sister is doing exchange studies. My older sister and her husband arrived a day earlier than us and rented a car for the whole week. Being independent from trains and time tables, we decided to make the most of the situation and have a close look at the countryside. We started off with Lugano in southern Switzerland, taking a peek at the western shore of Lake Como on our way up. Half way along Lake Como, we passed Laglio, where Gorge Clooney owns a villa. We didn’t spot him nor the villa, though. From Lugano we drove south via the “outlet city” Fox Town in Mendrisio, which after disappointing all of us got the name Fox Hole.

Highlights during this drip were:

  • Lake Como
  • Lugano
  • Roads on the Swiss side of the border

Day two became a Switzerland day as well. We all wanted to have a look at the hyped town St Moritz, where supposedly all the rich and famous spend their holidays (in fact, a few days later we got the news that at least Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and Johnny Depp were going to celebrate New Year’s Eve there). This meant another trip up north, but this time via Lecco and the eastern shore of the lake. Our choice of route was not the most scenic, as we took the autostrada and thus effectively missing all the picturesque towns down by the lake. However, we took a break in Varenna, which turned out to be one of the most beautiful places during the whole week.

The drive up to St Moritz was also really nice. The mountain tops got whiter and whiter and the roads more and more curvy. Especially the road between Casaccia and Maloggia was really 30 minutes of steep zig zag. When finally up on the plateau, we were greeted by people walking and skating on two beautiful lakes with ice smooth as glass. Thanks to my friend M who has been working in Chur near St Moritz for some time, we took a break in the village Sils between the two lakes and enjoyed some sunny weather and expensive crepes. After a short drive we arrived in St Moritz, which turned out to be a minor disappointment. Sure, all the big brands were represented on one shopping street, but that was about it. However, we came late and were in a hurry, so we might have missed the highlights.

From St Moritz we took the Julierpass towards Chur. Unfortunately it was already dark when driving through, so we couldn’t appreciate it in its full glory, but from what we saw, it was absolutely fabulous. With only snow covered mountains on each side of the steep, curvy road we reached a maximum altitude of 2284 meters above sea level at the summit. After that, there was an even longer steep, curvy road ahead of us down to the autostrada leading us back south. Along the way we passed a lot of beautiful small towns and villages, only visible at a distance as blankets of lights spread out on the mountains.

Highlights day 2:

  • Varenna
  • Road 3 from Chiavenna to St Moritz
  • Sils and the lakes nearby
  • Julierpass
  • Roads on the Swiss side of the border

That’s enough for now. Days 3-7 and more on Italy later.

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3 Comments

Filed under The thing they call Life

3 responses to “New Year's in Italy – Part II

  1. Annika

    Days 3-7 coming or not?

  2. Coming coming. As soon as I get home from Gran Canaria 😉

  3. JQ

    You Bastard, I hate you 😉

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