A Penitent’s Walk On the Sacred Mountain of Domodossola

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 15 sculpted stations of the cross on the Sacred Mountain of Domodossola provide a fascinating experience, even in the rain – or, perhaps, particularly so One thing you have to say for the Alps, they don’t do much by halves there. Europe’s highest mountain range has proper snow in winter, while in summer, when the sun is out, trees and skies and flowers radiate in the crispest,

A Penitent’s Walk On the Sacred Mountain of Domodossola

The Sparkling Diamond of the Ossola Valley

How to brighten up a cold, wet and miserable day in the Italian Alps In the unlikely event that an extraterrestrial were to land in front of my house, driven by the need to find out what earthlings found so recreational by walking from one place to another and demanding the briefest possible explanation of this mystery from me, I would tell him to fly his UFO straight to Lake Antrona.

The Sparkling Diamond of the Ossola Valley

Be Afraid But Be Astounded by its Beauty

An expedition down the Toce river reveals that the Orridi di Uriezzo are actually quite beautiful One of the main forces that have shaped the landscape of the Ossola valleys is water.

During the last ice age, all valleys – main valley and seven side valleys – were covered by approx. 1 km of ice (the scenery would have looked very different from what it looks now, with only the

Be Afraid But Be Astounded by its Beauty

D is the Gateway to the Ossola Valley

D is for Domodossola This week, we are off for a few days of hiking in the northern Italian Ossola Valley (near the Swiss border), but before we put on our boots for the more “serious stuff”, we went for a brief walk through the town of Domodossola, our base for the duration of our stay.

In Italy, Domodossola is mainly known for two things: as a hub for northbound

D is the Gateway to the Ossola Valley

More Rip Van Winkle Villages in the Italian Riviera

More places to discover on our walk through the land that time forgot In our last post, we took you down the Riviera memory lane from San Lorenzo to Santo Stefano. Today, we shall hike further down the coast, passing through more villages along the Italian Riviera that have become “unstuck in time”, in the direction of Sanremo (which has also seen better days, but that is a different story).

Before you set

More Rip Van Winkle Villages in the Italian Riviera

What are the Rip van Winkle Villages of the Italian Riviera?

From Imperia to Bordighera, there is a stretch of Italian Riviera villages that have become unstuck in time

All the small coastal towns between San Lorenzo al Mare and Santo Stefano look as though they had retreated into a time capsule, a little like the New England hamlet in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village”, with the main difference that the year written on the capsule is not 1870 but some date in

What are the Rip van Winkle Villages of the Italian Riviera?

Hiking Italian Style

What does a hiking festival in Italy need to do to attract the punters? Serve a five-course lunch along the way, for example – and do not skimp on the wine Not everybody loves hiking in large, organized groups, …

… but whatever their drawbacks, these “hiking festivals” clearly have their advantages, too.

One such advantage is that somebody else has done all the hard work of preparing

Hiking Italian Style

A Country Walk in Turin

The Piemontese hills may provide a picturesque backdrop, but it is in the flat countryside where the city’s lifeblood flows To the casual observer, it may seem that the countryside in and around Turin is mainly Alpine in nature. The Alps indeed seem to be everywhere …

… but while they undoubtedly attract the eye, even at a distance, they provide no more than a picturesque background, and it is

A Country Walk in Turin

A Town Walk in Turin

Meet two of modern Italy’s founding fathers, a two-faced royal mansion and the world’s tallest museum

In addition to the San Michele hike from our last post, we have prepared two more tours in Turin for you: one “town” walk and one “country” walk, both of them relatively short (with lengths of two to three hours) so you could do them, if you wanted to, back-to-back on the same day.

A Town Walk in Turin

An Easy Hike in the Italian Alps of Piemonte

Hiking in Turin The Sacra di San Michele near Turin is Northern Italy’s grandest and most sacred abbey Italy’s industrial heartland lies within a triangle formed by Genoa, Milan and Torino, but, this being Italy, these three great industrial towns are hardly the equivalent of Dortmund, Manchester or Cleveland and pack a powerful “triple punch” of beautiful architecture, atmosphere and history.

Of these great northern towns, Turin was the last we had the

An Easy Hike in the Italian Alps of Piemonte