All Posts from September, 2017

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate

September 22nd, 2017 | By Roberto Fornari in Activities, Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about | No Comments »

Making me laugh, smile and rejoice

Certainly chocolate brings good humor. The same as staying in Parco San Marco.

So how does one talk about chocolate? Simple. At the chocolate event that being organised in Lugano.

choc

CHOC is a fair organized by CHOC SAGL and sponsorsed by the City of Lugano, in collaboration with the Lugano Tourist Board and the Society of Mastri Panettieri – Pasticcieri – Confettieri of the Canton Ticino (SMPPC).

It is the only Swiss fair in Switzerland dedicated to the history, production and processing of chocolate. CHOC is for families and professionals with categories relating to confectionery, pastry and gastronomy in general, with particular attention to young people who are eager to undertake a profession in the industry.

It is a great opportunity to experience confectionary tasting, meet manufacturers and learn about the machines used for industrial scale production as well as hand-crafted chocolate making at the same time as taking advantage of first-class services.

The goal of the 1st edition of CHOC is to involve guest producing countries. With 50 exhibitors in an exhibition area of over 2,000 square meters, the event is expecting over 20,000 visitors from Ticino, near Italy, and especially from beyond the Gotthard, taking full advantage of the new Gotthard base tunnel.

gocce-di-cioccolato

At the CHOC fair, as well as cocoa bean growers, you will be able to meet fashion designers with their own dedicated shows, pastry masters with special “Show-CHOCking” restaurants and starred chefs who will present numerous chocolate techniques for the traditional kitchen. The event will feature books dedicated to the industry, public figures, artists with photographic exhibitions, and Swiss and European schools in the professional training sector.

In addition to exhibitors featuring products and services, CHOC will also offer chocolate workshops, workshops, conferences and debates. Let’s not forget the demonstrations and professional competitions that will be presented in the demo area where you can see live presentations of all the tricks and preparation techniques of pastry masters.

All demonstrations and presentations will be organized directly in collaboration with the exhibitors, partner companies and Swiss and foreign professional schools of the 1st edition of the CHOC trade fair.

CHOC will focus on various themes including: the Chocolate Museum, the conference area and “Workshop” open to the public and industry experts, the demonstration area and special “Show-CHOCking” shows with a photographic exhibition on the history of chocolate, the press corner with national and international magazines, bio-vegan and fair trade chocolate and many other surprises!

And for the little ones there will be lots of fun opportunities.

cioccolata-bambini

Day Excursion: Bellano and its Ravine

September 9th, 2017 | By Wendy Koppen in Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about | No Comments »

Taking one of the many boats that every day set out each day to take the tourists to the shores of Lake Como, starting from Menaggio, you can reach Bellano in less than half an hour.  A small village overlooking the eastern shore of Lario, Bellano offers one of the most picturesque lakesides with a beautiful view of the countryside andmo untains on the opposite shore of the lake.

bellano

The village is divided into two parts by the Pioverna stream: the oldest part – the old harbour port and the most prevalent church – and the most modern part where the FS station is located. Behind the country, the hinterland is characterized by numerous fractions and many ancient and populated hills. In the last century Bellano was defined by the Bellanese writer Antonio Balbiani, the “the small Manchester of Lario”, for its large silk manufacturing plants.

Walking through the characteristic Via Manzoni, around which is situated the historical center of the village, you can admire numerous doorways, courtyards, gates of ancient patrician houses, stone staircases and heraldic coats of arms dating back to the eighteenth century. From here, through one of the many lanes that open up to the lake, you come across the Church of Santa Marta. Here, there is a group of nine precious, wooden, real-sized statues depicting the Deposition and attributed to the sculptor Angelo del Maino, known from 1496 to 1536.

santa marta bellano

On one side of the Church of Santa Marta, it opens into the square of the Prepositurale dedicated to the Saints Nazar and Celso. Of the late romantic style, it has a black brick facade and a large terracotta rosette. It was rebuilt between 1342 and 1350 and features the impressive frescoes of the central vault, the pulpit, the priest and the two great carved religious confessors, and a rich marble baptism font. The three-paneled altarpeice of the chapel of S. Giovanni is a delicate tempera painting representing the Madonna. Going up the staircase to the right of the Prepositurale, you arrive at the Church of St. Rocco from the XV century which was built by the same venetian brotherhood to care for the plague victims. It is currently devoted to those Bellanesi who fell in the wars and has two canvases by the painter Bellanese Giancarlo Vitali.

In the oldest part of Bellano, there is the consecrated Church of San Nicolao used today for cultural initiatives. The frescoes that decorate the walls are notable and bear witness to its past importance.

In the hamlet of Lezzeno, rises the Baroque Sanctuary of the Madonna which was built between 1690 and 1704 by the architect Quadrio, only two years after the miracle that took place on 6 August 1688. That day, Bartolomeo Mezzera, passing by his own chapel, saw that the plaster relief of the Madonna was crying tears of blood.

One place that you must visit is Orrido which acquired its name thanks to the poet Bellanese Sigismondo Boldoni who was fascinated by this “Horror of Horrendous Horrendousness”.

It is a natural ravine created by the erosion of the Pioverna river 15 million years ago, whose waters have shaped gigantic marmites and dens over the centuries. The tumultuous waters of the Orrido is one of Lario’s best known locations.

One peculiarity of Orrido is the ability to walk for a stretch inside the ravine itself by walking on gangways fixed in the rock, strolling in stunning meanders that overlook drifting ridges.Orrido-di-Bellano-

The trail is very impressive, taking you among natural cascades and caves and providing breathtaking views and rich vegetation while the sun reflecting on the waters creates an incredible glitter. Legend tells of a warrior named Taino, who is buried right in the depths of the Horn of Bellano along with his immense treasure and who is guarded by a huge stone covering the burial ground.

In past centuries the force of the water was used for cleaning iron and the skinning process.  Today the power of the waterfall is used to feed two hydroelectric power plants.

A guard of the Orrido, the Devil’s House or Cà del Diavol, stands on a rock of the Pioverana river. A curious tower whose origional function is unknown, its irregular hexagonal tower rises up four floors with each connected by a spiral staircase. It is said that licentious fesitivities were held in it, accompanied by satanic rituals and the evocation of evil. Its name is linked to mythological figures, including a satire, decorating the facade of the last floor of the tower, making the mysterious charm of the place palpable.

The best known Bellanese manifestation, attracting numerous spectators, is the “Pesa Vegia”, which is celebrated on the night of Epiphany. It recalls, according to the legend, an event during the Spanish occupation, when a delegation from Bellanesi sailed to Como to oversee the replacement of the old weights which were causing embarrassment among the local population – which was predominantly made-up of traders and craftsmen. The embassy was successful and the Bellanses returned the night of January 5, 1606, happy to be able to preserve the “Pesa Vegia”. This is the legend that, given the coincidence with Epiphany, has always been celebrated along with the parade of the Magi.

For the athletes amongst you, there are green areas and sports facilities, such as: multipurpose camps, swimming pools inside the Lido di Bellano, the Circolo Vela Bellano and a bike path. Recently, the “Palasole”, a modern sailing-shaped building, has also been built for the many organized parties in the region.