Monday, March 9, 2015

A weekend in the mountains

This weekend I was up in the mountains, in an area called Lavarone in the province of Trento (the city's about 35 kilometres away), up towards the border with Austria. My friend V is one of a few Italians I know who have a house up in the mountains (lucky them!), and sleepy Lavarone was a welcome break from the smog and chaos of the big city.

The comune of Lavarone is made up of several small villages, with houses climbing up the hillside. The piazza in Cappella is made up of three hotels, a small church (obviously), and residential buildings, and there's a supermarket just down the road. Within walking distance of V's house there are also hairdressers, bars, and a cheese shop - I couldn't believe the queue there on a Sunday morning! It's much more the image of a quiet mountain village in Austria or the south of Germany that one you would associate with Italy. One of the things I like the most about being up in the mountains, the completely different architecture, the houses are so pretty!

I don't have a car, so getting up to the mountains is more of a trek than it would be otherwise. This time I got the train to Verona - they haven't got rid of the Milan-Verona regionale yet!! - where I met V, and then we drove up to Lavarone. There’s the motorway, but the fun and games start when you hit the mountains – even if I had a driving license there’s not enough money to make me want me drive up and down those narrow roads! Ever since moving to Italy and spending less time as a car passenger my travel sickness has got worse and worse, but I was so ill on the journey up…

Obviously being over a kilometre above sea level, the weather’s very different. There was fresh snow - and with that, plenty of skiers - and beautiful sunshine all weekend. The night wasn’t as much fun though, I slept with thick pyjamas and socks, a heavy duvet, and five woollen blankets!

One of my favourite moments of the weekend was when we went for a walk on Saturday evening. It was a clear, crisp night, and the stars were out. I was hypnotised. Living in a big city, the only lights I see at night are planes, and something that I used to take for granted such as seeing the stars was wonderful. And we think we saw the International Space Station too!

I bought about a kilo (!) of food back, that I had to run for the train with in Verona! Two types of cheese, and salame from that area. I’m looking forward to my supper tonight!

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