This magical weekend came almost out of nowhere.
At Friday afternoon the prospect of going to the Alps above Turin was suggested to us by Cos' Milanese cousin. We met for drinks that evening in a wine bar in Brera that had a glorious wine cellar we took at stroll around to hash out the details for the following day.
9.30 saw us packed and ready to go at out previously agreed meeting point. We had scrambled together an assortment of climbing-esque gear which was basically just my gym gear, bit better than mountain climbing in loafers and jeans, which I have also done once. "Mummy's Todds never quite recovered."
We left Milan in the pouring rain and headed north. We had a short drive through Torino, just to see a bit and then voyaged further north into the alps.
We also left the motorway for a short stint to pop into this little town and it's church
This side chapel really stood out to me, it was so chock-a-block full of pictures and people to honour and pray to. Makes you think the family who commissioned it had quite a few skeletons in their closet...
Some sustenance for the road and off to the next curiosity
Further along the road came this spectacular church/castle, Sacra di San Michelle
This distant view was impressive but nothing compared to coming up close.
Leaving the city was such a rare and welcome treat that I was quite overcome by all the green and the blue skies
And of course there was a pit stop for some Italian snacks halfway up the 100 meter assent. What a schlep!
We all agreed we have discovered Casterlrock in Italy (that's a Game Of Thrones reference to those of you who for some bizarre reason do not watch it).
AmAzInG. Both the church itself and the view from up there.
Unfortunately we arrives there during the (extensive and very Italian) lunch break so the church was closed. But that didn't stop some - boys will be boys
I, a lady, of course did not jump the fence (what if I gave someone a glimpse of my drawers?!), so I contented myself with appreciating what I could see
I also took a picture of a picture so you could have an idea of what it looked like inside the abbey. It's pretty amazing isn't it? Quite Lord of the Rings-esque.
I couldn't resist snapping these gentlemen taking a group selfie
Just below are the remnants of the old Monks' Sepulchure (burial vault or tomb)
I asked Cos for a pose and this is what I got...
This is what I got when I asked for her best thelondoner impression:
Points for accuracy, I think. It was also good for some games:
The further north we drove, the more alpine (and to my eyes, Austrian) the houses got. This culminated in our arrival at our hotel L'Edelweiss.
My ride for the weekend....
(No, not really, I wish)
And the cute bar inside
I've always found the north of Italy to be rather nationally-confused if that makes sense. Historically, these regions have been passed back and forth between different European cities to the point that it makes the Boston Tea party look like an English tea party.
The fluidity of the boarders has remained in attitude to some extent. You see it in the architecture, attitude, names of places and people alike, and linguistic ability which, big surprise, puts the English's to shame in a big way.
Here was the beautiful view from our hotel balcony
And the beautiful little town