Orta San Giulio – Day 2 – Part 4 – A Solitary Painter

The small church found on Via Gippini, the Chiesa di San Rocco, dates from 1631. A plaque marked the house where the professor, Antonio Poli, was born in 1901. When you find yourself in Orta San Giulio, do yourself a favor, and spend a few minutes walking through the gardens behind the Town Hall.  The…

Orta San Giulio – Day 2 – Part 3 – The Shopping District

It was lunch time, and so, we found a café/tea room that had tables in an outdoor courtyard, and ordered some food. A monument on the side of a building, along Piazzetta Ernesto Ragazzoni, honors those from the town who lost their lives in the war for Italian liberation, as well as in World War…

Orta San Giulio – Day 2 – Part 2 – Salita della Motta

The little shop pictured below sells delicious biscotti and sandwiches, as well as focaccia and pizza. The Casa dei Nani, or the House of Dwarves, dates back to 1006 AD.  It is found on the Salita della Motta or, as it is also known, Via Caire Albertoletti, the street that leads up the hill, from…

Orta San Giulio – Day 2 – Part 1 – Piazza Mario Motta

Piazza Mario Motta is the main square of the town.  We were staying in an apartment on this piazza.  It was lined on two sides with shops, cafés, and restaurants, while the third side housed an abandoned hotel.  The fourth side was the lake.  We began our morning wandering around the piazza, and the nearby…

Orta San Giulio – Day 1 – Part 2 – Exploring the Town

Villa Torino, pictured above, was originally built as a monastery in the 16th century.  It was turned into a private residence in the 1860s. As we continued along Via Giovanetti, at the building numbered 49, we found the Oratorio della Santissima Trinità, which dates from 1727.  This small, narrow oratory has frescoes that were painted…

Orta San Giulio – Day 1 – Part 1 – Arriving in Orta

In our new adventure, our first stop was the charming lakeside town of Orta San Giulio.  We flew into Milan’s Malpensa Airport, and were heading down to Sicily.  After an eight-hour flight, we shuddered at the thought of  having to take another flight the same day, even if it was a short one, so we…

Oleggio Castello – Day 3 – Castello Dal Pozzo – Part 2

The Sala Rossa, or the Red Room, still retains the original wall covering that gave the room its name.  The Visconti coat of arms is seen over the doorway, and the Dal Pozzo family tree hangs on the adjacent wall. The next room one enters is the Sala Biliardo, or the Billiard Room. The Salone…

Oleggio Castello – Day 3 – Castello Dal Pozzo – Part 1

On our third day in Oleggio Castello, the weather turned out to be a bit better.  There were specks of blue sky above us, unlike the day before, when clouds and rain were all one saw.  We decided to spend the day exploring the grounds of the hotel, as well as the castle, which gave…

Oleggio Castello – Day 2 – Local Pubs and Room Service

The next day began the same way as the previous one had ended: grey and wet.  That was fine with us!  We spent our morning hanging around the suite, and then, around lunchtime, when it looked as if the rain had stopped for a bit, we grabbed the opportunity to get some fresh air, and…

Oleggio Castello – Day 1 – Arriving at the Castle

Our next destination was the sleepy town of Oleggio Castello.  In order to get there, if you do not have a car at your disposal, it is necessary to use Italy’s wonderful train system.  We booked ourselves on the fast train from Rome to Milan, and from Milan, we took a local train to Arona,…

All Roads Lead to Rome – Days 6, 7, and 8 – Saying Goodbye

Our next day in Rome began with plenty of sunshine.  On a day like that, in a city like Rome, one’s spirit is instantly given a lift.  All seems well in the world, no matter what you read in the newspapers, or hear on the evening news.  There is nothing like walking through the Eternal…