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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Last post!

Tuesday 18th September – Last day in Varese
Cooler and cloudy skies

What shall we do on our last day – How about some more narrow streets? We set off by car towards Sacro Monte- uo narrow winding streets again with many blind corners- why do we keep doing this? Because we can. Sacro Monte (meaning “Sacred Mount”) now managed by UNESCO is part of the nine Monti Sacri Prealpini (pre-Alpine Sacred Mounts) of Piedmont and Lombardy. The sacred path combines art and spirituality, and consists of 14 chapels that recall the mysteries of Rosario, a pilgrimage destination since the Middle Ages.
It took about an hour to climb but we were determined to get to the top. A great cardio workout going up and a huge ortho (knees) toll on the way down. There was a funeral in progress in the church – Chiesa Dell’Immaculata right at the top so we waited, caught our breath, checked out the church before making our way down the mountain.  We did wonder how they were going to get the coffin down the hill but there was a lift and evidently there is a road almost up to the top. Surprisingly there are a few houses on the hill where people live. In fact, the owners of Relais Ca Dei Santi have a home up there but because of their hours at the hotel, they have a double room at the hotel. The views were amazing but because of the haze it was again difficult to get good views of the valleys and lakes.
We then headed to a largish shopping centre which we passed yesterday on the way to Como and not far from us. We have not seen many shopping centres on our travels but it was worth a look. The main store was like Coles and K Mart rolled into one but much bigger. I couldn’t help take a couple of photos especially of the hams all hanging up next to the cheese.
One last trip to the Lindt Chocolate factory outlet just up the road from our accommodation and then back to re pack cases and cull the rubbish.

One last relax before going back to the shopping centre for dinner and our last sleep.

One of the 14 chapels along the way up to Sacro Monte

Getting closer

Are we really going that far? To the clock tower!

The clock tower

Almost there!

Our final visit- we'd deserved it after our morning climb

Another chapel

Views from the top-unfortunately a bit too hazy to capture well

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