Gavirate, Italy

Settling in quite nicely here! Although it's not hard to settle in. Basically the AIS training centre fronts onto Lago di Varese (Lake of Varese), we are able to walk the whole way around the lake, all 39km of it! The weather so far has been very kind to us, boasting some 30 degree days with full sun and blue sky included, at no extra cost. Living with the AIS shelters us a little from natural Italian culture, this is just to help us feel like we are at a 'home away from home'. Having said that, however, I have seen some amazing things already. On my first day here, we travelled up a nearby mountain into a place called Sacre Monte di Varese (which translates into Sacred Mountain of Varese - and it is just that), a beautiful traditional village on top of a mountain! There is a 2.5km walk called the Via Sacra (sacred path) which passes 14 small chapels as it winds up a hillside leading to the final breathtaking church on top, the 'Coronation of Mary', which is situated in the Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Monte. It is world heritage listed and the main town was built in the 1400's. The whole place is just hauntingly historic, with amazing views across the lakes and surrounding villages. There is a restaurant where we sat down and had a coffee at which hangs over a ledge looking out across this view. (see below) Just amazing!

Below is a slideshow of the AIS training centre, I will upload the rest of my photos later in the week.


A. xx