My Life as a Traveler

Window Shopping and Fresco Admiring

It’s raining in Lugano, the city advertised as the sunny Italian-speaking Mediterranean part of Switzerland. Thunderstorms shook our room for hours last night.

We had big plans today, Susie and I, a walk around town, a bus to the botanical garden over the hill, past San Salvatore. The weather report said 20% chance of rain at 11am, however, that was when it switched from sprinkling to pouring.

We aborted our walk around town for a nice lunch in a wine cellar. Local Ticino merlot, risotto with gorgonzola sauce, vitello con tonnato, and expresso. No English spoken. Lots of pointing and smiling.

Fortunately, there was a nice shopping area with covered galleries. We did some window shopping, pausing to buy Swiss chocolate and toiletries. At the end of the shopping area was the Church of Santa Maria of the Angels, with frescos dating from 1519 of the Last Supper (with a very clear Mary Magdalene next to Jesus) and the story of the Crucifixion. Multo bella.

Too wet to venture further, I stopped at the charcuterie and bought myself some homemade ravioli and bread cake to heat up for dinner later and took the funiculare up to the hotel. Actually, the Hotel Montarina is an old mansion, part youth hostel (a couple of rooms with nine or ten sets of bunk beds each on the first floor and dorm-style bathrooms) and hotel. Some rooms like ours are “classic” with high frescoed ceilings, big windows overlooking Mount Bre across the lake, and a little marble fireplace next to my bed. There is a big sunny “living room” next door with tv, long tables for eating, and internet access. The toilet room is beyond the living room and the shower is through the kitchen.

There are groups of teens and younger that are staying here. It’s pretty noisy next door when they are having their meals of spaghetti cooked in the little kitchen. Otherwise, like now, it’s quiet at almost 5pm. This place would be amazing when it’s warmer as it has an outdoor pool surrounded by grapevines, palm trees, and lounge chairs. Too rainy for that today, though.

Going to retire early tonight. It’s a big travel day tomorrow heading to Zurich for Susie’s last night in Switzerland before she heads home.

2 responses

  1. Lisa Reagan

    Julie,
    Thank you for that fantastic picture of the fresco with Mary Magdalene! So great to be there with you in spirit!
    Lisa

    May 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    • I thought of you when I took that picture. That doesn’t look like a guy to me! Glad to have you along.

      May 12, 2010 at 6:52 pm

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