Skip to main content

A winter white new year

We are back, and let me say that while I got my wish for a white Christmas, waking up to a wintry wonderland on the first day of 2009 was like wishes come true all over again. This has been one very snowy season for Italy, the most I've ever seen since moving here. Can you tell that the Mads agrees with the stuff? The arrival of the new year saw a fresh layer of about 6 inches as a powdery veil fell continuously from the evening before. Let it snow baby snow! With a crackling fire in the hearth and a pot of bubbling fontal on the table, we celebrated untraditionally, à la fondue, one bite after another til the cast iron vessel ran dry. I need to remember that a pound of cheese is nowhere enough for two. Amazing how a cold, snowy night does something to morph your tummy into a bottomless pit. The dish of thick, melted cheese ran out way before midnight.

Even at less than 20F degrees outside and frozen flurries swirling like mad, there was no missing a celebratory toast in the middle of it all. Bundled up head to toe, with a bottle of spumante in hand, we cheered and barked (doggies celebrate too!) as the countdown began. At the stroke of twelve, a small show of illegal fireworks illuminated the night sky, cascading amidst icy precipitation. Maddie went wild; Mister Bentley so-so (actually Mr. B is pretty chill for an 11 month old pup, he’d rather pick a fight with a cat); and there I was sputtering as fat snowflakes smacked me right, left, and upside in the face. All across the valley rumbled booming echoes as neighboring alpine towns rang and blasted in the nuovo anno.


A couple feet deep and growing. MotH took a day off from work as road conditions make it too dangerous to drive. It's been snowing for nearly 36 hours straight! The first image below was taken yesterday morning. Yep, those are garden clogs that we are wearing. Just as well that we're stuck in the house since our guests have made themselves quite at home. In the 2nd image that's Mr & Mrs Snowman 24 hours later. I shot that photo this morning. For a brief moment it lightened up a teeny bit, but I believe that the frozen couple aren't in a hurry to leave anytime soon. Possibly, an extended family of snow aunts and uncles could arrive later in the day. What's it like in Hawaii now? Around 80 degrees? S.O.S. - send over sun!

Popular posts from this blog

From Rifugio Martina to Monte San Primo (Bellagio)

Monte San Primo. Agile hikers aren't the only ones to climb up here in summer because the tell-tale aroma of ovine and caprine droppings invaded our nostrils long before reaching the top. Our intent was to go up then return on the mainly forested trail (right side of photo) that commences behind Rifugio Martina, but the ascent is so steep (average 14% grade) that I wasn't too keen on going back down through the bug-infested environment again. The top photo was taken looking back at S. Primo as we descended to connect with sentiero 1 and continue on a loop trail to the starting point. For those who may have ended up here for trails near Bellagio, take a look at this site to see what the fuss is all about and tell me that ain't gorgeous (scroll to bottom). Unfortunately, it was a hazy experience for us this past Sunday and thus the wait continues until a clear weekend comes along. In the meantime I've set our hiking goals to explore more of the area that is just 30…

Hiking in Parre (Bergamo) and its famous Scarpinocc

We're expanding our horizons (and stomachs) to include the province of Bergamo, specifically the mountains and valleys up north where cheese, pasta, polenta and even the language take on a flavor all its own. From what we've experienced, the vast Bergamo Alps is still largely untouched by foreign tourists as most everyone heads directly to Lake Como from Milan. Depending on your view that may be seen as a good or bad thing, but we hope to reveal some of the beauty on these pages. But first, what is this scarpinocc? I can't recall exactly how I first heard of them, but when the MotH and I walked into a pasta shop and asked if they had any to sell, we were told that the best place to go would be in the village in which they were made famous - Parre. Scarpinocc are a filled pasta (grana, bread crumbs, cinnamon, nutmeg) that resemble those medieval, pointed shoes worn long before rubbah slippahs and sneakers were conceived - think elf footwear and you should have an idea.…

Fun in the sun and snow at Alpe Giumello

Why do weekends with perfect weather always have to be so short? This past Saturday and Sunday was the one that anybody with a pulse has been wanting for a long time, the weekend with ZERO rain, no snowfall and nothing but blue skies all around. We had the intention of hiking around the base of Monte Muggio, a 3-hour loop trail that begins from the parking area at localit√† Alpe Giumello, but ice on the trail made it a dangerous gamble. If we had been able to get to the very top of Monte Muggio it would have afforded us a spectacular panorama with Bellagio jutting out in the middle of the lake.Even if a good, long hike was out of the question, there was plenty of wide open space to go for a stroll. We walked the dogs out on the flat plains on the eastern side of Giumello, all of which were covered in a thick layer of packed snow. In less than 30 minutes time we had built up enough of an appetite for a quick lunch at Ristoro Genio, a cozy little bar and restaurant serving hot meals…