My narrative of travels through Italy
I am absolutely in loveeee with Northern Italy and more specifically the Lakes and towns around them. On this particular topic, I will have two entries, so please stay tuned!
I enjoy Tai Chi, the whole flow of energy kind of exercise really speaks to me. So, when I got the chance to attend a three-day Tai Chi workshop in Northern Italy, in the province of Varese, I said hell yes! While most of the three days were spent in practices, me and my teacher took full advantage of our evenings and breaks, and explored the towns along and across Marjorie. Lago Marjorie or Lake Marjorie makes the western border of Varese.
Our first stop was the town of Angera; it is a beautiful town on the east of the lake. A perfect place for a stroll, but the most famous place in the town is the Rocca Borromeo di Angera, or the Borromeo Castle. The castle date backs to early 1200. Unfortunately, by the time I reached there, it was closed. Later on, I read an interesting fact about the castle, it has a doll museum Museo della Bambola. The museum is known to have on display over a thousand dolls, some as old as the 18th century. Having missed the opportunity, we decided to take a water taxi across the lake to Arona. At 660ft high, of course we were able to see the castle from the lake! While we were waiting for our taxi, I captured a beautiful rainbow just over the water.
The next afternoon, we had a little more time so we explored a few towns. We first happened upon Caldé. We were driving, read the name and saw water at the end of the road, so we just drove into this teeny tiny town. The walk along the water was beautiful and soothing. We actually ended up discussing the morning Tai Chi lesson, and practicing a bit in the open air by the water. A wonderful experience!
We than drove south and reached St Catrina monastery perched on a rocky ridge. Here is an interesting fact about me, I hate stairs, hate them…. but if you want to go in this monastery, suck up you must. It was all fun and joy when I descended down a long winding stairway, but on my walk up, I cursed and bitched every stair I took. Now, I can say the church, scenery and the beautiful view of the lake was worth the muscle ache, but at that time not so much. It did help that when I reached the top of the stairs just across the road there was a beautiful lush green, a gazebo of sort. It helped that I sat there for a while to get my breathing under control.
Of course, all that exercise made me hungry and we ended up in the perky, colorful town of Levone to have an Italian delicacy, the Margarita! For those who don’t know, it’s a simple mozzarella, basil with tomato sauce pizza. But in its simplicity, is the explosion of flavor.
We ended our evening by staying a while on a park bench facing the lake. Just discussing Tai Chi, lives, likes dislikes, people, philosophies. It turned out to be a very stimulating yet calming conversation.