All Posts in the ‘Parco San Marco’ Category

Coffee

December 14th, 2017 | By Melanie Pohl in Parco San Marco, To know more about | No Comments »

They always told me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is different all over the world, it’s a matter of habit. In Italy the lead character of this ritual is coffee.

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Now coffee is made by most Italians by using the machine. Put the water, insert the capsule and in a few minutes you have the coffee from the bar on your table.

But coffee made in a moka pot is another story. It means pleasure, family, serenity, pause. Above all else, it means home and, when abroad, reminds us of Italy.

For Italians, to say “I’ll make you you a coffee,” is a demonstrantion of our affection and our attention.

The main advantage of using a moka pot is that it allows you to make very hot coffee and allows you to make coffee for more than one person at a time.

So, how do you make the “perfect” coffee?

  1. Choose the right ground of coffee. For coffee made in a moka, it requires a coarser ground than that of coffee machines.
  2. Fill the boiler (the lower section of the moka) with the right amount of water. To get an optimal result you should use bottled water rather than tap. Try not to exceed the level of the valve.
  3. Choose the right amount of coffee. Make sure that the filter is dry and that you do not wet the coffee powder. Add the powder and try to level it either with a spoon or gently tapping the filter a little at a time. Try to make the quantity of coffee in the filter as uniform as possible.
  4. Note to keep in mind: coffee made with Moka should not be pressed at all. You just need to make sure it is dry and leveled well.
  5. Once the moka is prepared, put it on the stove keeping the flame low and continue to monitor it.
  6. It is important to turn off the gas flame or remove the moka from the stove before the coffee has completely come out. The ideal would be to remove the moka from the stove before it gurgles.
  7. Now you can pour the hot coffee into the cup.

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To get the best coffee ever, there are also some tips you could use: one of our partners has told us that, to keep the aroma of the coffee, it’s best to keep the coffee tin in the refrigerator.

An order rather than simply a piece of advice is not to wash the mocha in the dishwasher! To clean the moka, simply rinse it with hot water or, at most, wash it with neutral detergents.

Remember that you have to wait for coffee, it’s a slow process to follow step by step. Making coffee is an art and it takes time and patience for art.

November recipe: Pappardelle with boar ragù

November 23rd, 2017 | By Michele Pili in Parco San Marco, To know more about | No Comments »

We are getting closer and closer to the end of autumn and the temperature has dropped drastically.

To remedy this cold, we recommend a nice recipe that will warm your hearts and souls.

This recipe originally comes from the Tuscany region where it is rich in game, very much like our own area.

The boar ragù, unlike the traditional Bolognese ragù, has a more decisive and particular taste, and married with the pasta, this sauce will result in an explosion of flavors for the taste buds!

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Ingredients:

  • 205 g egg pappardelle pasta
  • 500 g minced boar
  • 50 g onions
  • 15 g extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 375 g chopped tomatoes/tomato paste
  • 40 g celery
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Seasoning to taste (salt & pepper)
  • 50 g red wine
  • 50 g carrot
  • 1 sprig of rosemary

Now let’s look at how to prepare the dish!

Trim and dice the carrot with the other vegetables; remove the stringy filamtents from the celery and prepare the onion and garlic,  keeping the garlic whole and to the side.

Pour the oil into a pot with the thick bottom and combine carrots, celery and chopped onion.

Add the garlic as a large pieces (so we can remove it more easily at the end of cooking) and let it stew for a whole ten minutes on a low heat. Add the wild boar, chopped rosemary and bay leaves.

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Gently increase the het and let it brown for another 10 minutes by mixing it with a spatula, so that the meat is cooked evenly. At this point, add the red wine, and only when the alcohol is completely evaporated, add the tomato paste.

Season to taste and let it cook for about 3 and a half hours on a gentle heat.

After 3 and a half hours, remove the lid and allow the sauce to reduce for another 30 minutes. Cook the pappardelle in plenty of boiling water.

In the meantime, move the sauce into a large pot, drain the pasta and pour it into the pan with the ragù, mix together well and serve.

This is one of our small ideas to make your autumn feel more tasty!

 written by Lara Beatrice

 

 

Trip to Rogolone – the monumental oak

October 27th, 2017 | By Annalisa De Maria in Activities, Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about | No Comments »

The Rogolone is located on a plateau surrounded by woods in Val Menaggio. Nestled between Lake Como and Lake Lugano and sitting at the center of a large lawn, gorgeous and magnificent as any cathedral, it is even more beautiful and fascinating because it is a legendary, living oak tree.

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It is eight hundred years old and, after so many centuries, the bark of its trunk is crossed by deep longitudinal grooves and it has the color and appearance of rock, identical to that of the stone seat at its base.

The tree unfortunately presents an obvious wound, a large branch cut a few years ago by a scribe looking for wood. It is difficult to prevent it from being damaged, even though it has, since 1928, been granted a protection bond by the Ministry of Education and is now under the tutelage of the Italia Nostra Association.

The reach of its boughs has a circumference of fifty meters, covering the whole lawn with its shadow and the perfect structure of its branches stand out against the sky. Here, once, the wise men, the elders of the surrounding countries (before Italy became a single country in 1861), gathered to administer justice and ratify the most important decisions. A preserved document of the fifteenth century, records the meeting that took place under the Rogolone between representatives of Beilate, Grona, Naggio and Grandola, to establish the borders of the four countries and end the ongoing litigation, taking witness of their Commitment to the great oak, sacred to the local people from the earliest times, when the “Spring Festival” was celebrated under its fronds and held magical and religious rites.

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A second smaller oak stands on the edge of the lawn. While less grand in stature, this too is also classified as a “monumental tree” due to its age and could have witnessed the sacredness of the site, once encircled by a crown of trees of which only two have survived and a spring that is still 100 meters away from Rogolone, whose pure water was indispensable for ancient religious ceremonies.

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To reach Rogolone from Parco San Marco: take the car in the direction of Menaggio, at the first traffic light turn left towards Carlazzo. Once at Carlazzo follow the signs for Gottro (fraction of the municipality of Carlazzo). Once you reach the hamlet, turn right into Via San Giorgio, a narrow, paved downhill road leading to the church of San Giorgio with an annexed cemetery. In the small square in front of the church begins a path that leads directly up to the Rogolone (pay attention to the first junction that you meet to take the path on the right).

Chestnut season

October 11th, 2017 | By Paola Mazzo in Parco San Marco, To know more about | No Comments »

With the arrival of autumn we turn to ancient recipes, using forrest ingredients typical to the region such as chestuts whose scientific name is Castanea vulgaris.

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The chestnuts we normally eat are the fruit of the chestnut tree that differ from the European horse chestnut trees which produces seeds as opposed to ‘nuts’. Chestnuts are a high-energy food, useful in the autumn and winter to regain strength – 100 gr

ams of chestnuts provide 165 kilocalories! They contain useful fibers for intestinal activity  and are an important source of valuable mineral salts for health.

On our blog, we would like to share with you an complete menu based on chestnuts with which you can surprise your guests. Good reading and have fun in the kitchen!

Chestnut risotto:

To be prepared with whole grain rice, boiled chestnuts, vegetable soup, onion, bay leaf, white wine and vegetable cream. You will need to prepare the classic finely choppped onion to get the the risotto started. You can also add pumpkin or mushrooms to the chestnut risotto ingredients.

Seitan (“wheat meat”) stew and chestnut:

Are you looking for a different way to prepare seitan than usual? Then put it on the stove to make a nice plate of seitan stewed chestnuts with chopped red onion, soy sauce, extra virgin olive oil, lemon, ginger and aromatic herbs. A quick but powerful recipe!

Chestnuts covered with chocolate:

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To prepare this delicious dessert, you will simply need dark chocolate (or your personal preference) melted in a bain-marie and which you then serve over the top of chestnuts that you have peeled and baked.

The perfect wine to match your dinner should be a young one – a slightly sparkling wine would be ideal to clean your palate. Classical examples of Italian wines are Lambrusco di Sorbara, Blood of Judas, Barbera del Monferrato, Bonarda, and many other sparkling red wines.

So we look forward to your return to our resort for an autumn-flavoured dinner!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

The former Porlezza-Menaggio railway

August 9th, 2017 | By Valentina Guerranti in Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about | No Comments »

The town of Porlezza has always been known as a tourist resort.

In fact, we can find the first tourist information as far back as the beginning of 1800.

Between 1815 and 1915, the municipalities of the Porlezza were ruled by the Austrians. They brought great benefits to the area, building important public infrastructures such as schools, sewers, aqueducts, roads and public transport.

The latter made the area accessible to the arrival of the first tourists of the day.

Among the most important works we can find:

• Today’s road Porlezza-Menaggio (1839)

• The Porlezza-Menaggio railway (1885-1966)

• Ceresio’s boats

The second half of the 1800s corresponds with the period of rapid development of rail transport.

During this era, speed of progress saw the pathways open between regions in Central Europe with the the great Lombard lakes, exploiting the Gotthard tunnel and replacing travel on horseback with the fast-paced cars.

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In 1881, the Canton of Ticino inaugurated the Gotthard Railroad and from this point began to create all the Ticino links that also led to the development of line connecting Italy and Switzerland.

It was in 1872 that the project was launched to connect Lario, Ceresio and Verbano with railway lines so that the important towns of Menaggio and Luino could be connected to the city of Lugano in Italian Switzerland.

The initial project consisted of an extraordinary circular link:

Lugano – Porlezza – Como – Milan – Porto Ceresio – Lugano: for the purpose of tourism and facilitation in the exchange of goods. Unfortunately, the project was only partially implemented. The actual connections were Luino-Lugano via railway line, Lugano-Porlezza by boat and from Porlezza to Menaggio by railway.

The railroad Porlezza-Menaggio was inaugurated on Wednesday 8 October 1884 and opened for public service on Monday 17 November of the same year. This railway line was perhaps the only one in Europe because of its narrow gauge. The length of the voyage was 12 km. This was considered an extraordinary distance at the time given the distance between the two lakes. Unfortunately, a few years later, with the outbreak of World War I, the golden age of the railroad ended. In addition, with the introduction of the first buses, it was felt that these cost far less and were faster – posing serious competition to the railways. This eventually led to ministerial authorization on 31 October 1939 that ended the project on the Menaggio-Porlezza railway. After World War II, there was an attempt to revive it but it was unsuccessful.

By 2014, only a few traces of the railway survived as it has been turned into cycling tracks or exploited for the construction of some buildings. In Menaggio, the station building has been restored, while the Tavordo (Porlezza) stop is the only one remaining intact. By contrast, the Porlezza station building was demolished on March 9, 2015. Now the route of this railway has become an interesting pedestrian path for a beautiful walk between the blue lakes and the green of the mountains.

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written by Sara Camozzi

LUGANO LONGLAKE FESTIVAL

July 15th, 2017 | By Melanie Pohl in Activities, Parco San Marco, Surroundings | No Comments »

From June 28th to August 1st, the 7th edition of the Long Lake Festival – one of the biggest urban open-air events in Switzerland – will take place in Lugano! Every day there will be events and entertainment from the afternoon until late at night.

Longlake Lugano

Concerts, music for all tastes, literature, encounters, animations, theater and dance performances, cinemas, children’s activities, urban art installations will invade and move the streets, squares and public parks of the city, creating an intense encounter between Artists and the public.

The Festival, organized by the Events and Congresses of the City of Lugano, will host various events including:

BUSKER FESTIVAL: an apparent delusion of freaks, artists, musicians who in five days make-up and break into an artistic harmony of beauty and fullness. The Festival pays tribute to the artistic performance of the street, which in spite of the essentials of the media, gives life to quality performances.

SWISS HARLEY DAYS: the world’s most famous two-wheelers are back and the city becomes a motorcycle village. In the scheduled concerts, visit the stand with the industry news and see the traditional parade that brings together more than a thousand centaurs discovering the Luganese region.

ROAM ROAM: is the festival dedicated to live music. This year, the festival focuses on six consecutive evenings, from July 25th to July 31st, bringing to Lugano, in the splendid setting of Parco Ciani, the main stars of the current electro pop, alternative and world scenes.

ESTIVAL JAZZ LUGANO: The festival offers an exciting and particularly surprising program that, in addition to satisfying all Jazz enthusiasts, goes back to exploring the rich world of contemporary music with its rhythms, colours and melodies, oriented to the knowledge of different cultures, tolerance and coexistence.

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FAMILY: The Festival offers different kinds of ideas for families and children: fairytale readings, children’s theaters, cinemas, clown show, exhibitions, and many workshops where children and teenagers can learn how to enjoy themselves.

CLASSIC: The twenty-four Capricci by Nicolò Paganini played on an evening, Der Heyser Bulgar under the fringes of the Boschetto del Parco Ciani, and Blagoslavlyayu vas, lesa (“I bless you, forests”) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the three Sonatas and the three By Johann Sebastian Bach for solo violin, Funiculi-Funicula arranged by Arnold Schönberg, XIV for solo cello by Luciano Berio, pages of the Drexel Manuscript by Karl Friedrich Abel, Fandango by Aldemaro Romero, the six Capricci by François Adrien Servais for two Cello … and much more at the LongLake Classic Festival 2017!

WORDS: With L. Cohen we whisper that light enters the cracks present in everything, with A. Camus exclaiming that culture is the cry of man in the face of his destiny. In Words, there is a desire for authenticity.

CITY BEAT FESTIVAL: City Beats Festival will return during summer 2018.

URBAN ART: Urban Art is a site of artistic initiatives that ofer a range of different experimental contexts and which link citizens with the urban context and with recall themes.

LONGLAKE PLUS: LongLake Plus collects other proposals organized during the LongLake Festival (June 28 – August 1), which enliven the Luganese summer. Although not a festival, LongLake Plus completes the festival offering by involving many other organisers and increasing the visibility of the various summer billboards.

In conclusion, the events on the agenda are varied and for all tastes! So do not miss this fantastic festival and its entertainment while staying at the Parco San Marco!

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Cistercian Abbey of Piona

June 22nd, 2017 | By Wendy Koppen in Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about | No Comments »

The Priory of Piona, commonly known as the Abbey of Piona, is a rare jewel of Romanesque architecture in Lombardy. Built with the typical coma stone art in a square style, it is located on the Lecchese shore of lake Como in the municipality of Colico and can be reached by boat.

PionaNestled at the foot of the Legnone and Legnoncino Mountains, the abbey rises at the end of the Olgiasca peninsula in front of Gravedona on the extreme tip of Lecco.

It was consecrated in 1138 and named after the Virgin.

The Church appears slightly behind the western side of the monastery on which it stands.

The first church dedicated to Santa Giustina was erected in medieval times and many centuries later the priory was founded with the abbey complex. The place sits along a strategic military route as via Valtellina connects Milan and central Italy to the rest of Europe.

In present-day Piona, therefore, there are two buildings: today’s church of St. Nicholas, which constitutes the true building nucleus of the Piona Priory, and behind this is the ruins of a portion of apse. They are the preserved remains of a building that degraded over time and was then destroyed, thus making room for the next building dedicated to St. Nicholas.

The architecture of the Abbey complex falls into the so-called Romanesque Lombard with transalpine influences. The present building is the result of multiple extensions of a previous church whose consecration dates back to 1138.

In the south part of the church, there is a beautiful cloister built later around 1242, replacing perhaps a previous one of which there is no evidence in present day. It is the reference point of the entire monastic complex, a place of silence. The structure is quadrangular to evoke the symbolic force of number four.

In the center of the cloister the source and the tree represent the source of the delights and the tree of life of the earthly paradise.

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Strolling through the olive groves and discovering the main church, the splendid cloister, the apse, the ruins of the church of Santa Giustina, the beautiful chapter hall and the views of the lake is surely a mystical and exciting experience.

In one of the buildings of the complex, the monks who still inhabit this place sell some products including medicinal herbs, sacred objects, cosmetic creams, honey and famous liquors cleverly distilled according to the oldest traditions – all natural products created by the monks themselves.

written by Sara Biacchi

The Begna waterfall

June 19th, 2017 | By Deborah Giorno in Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about | No Comments »

Cascata-di-BegnaJust 25 minutes from Parco San Marco (10 minutes by car and 15 minutes on foot) you can reach one of the most beautiful places in Porlezza. You will be immersed in a wonderful natural space where you can enjoy the view of a splendid, albeit small, waterfall: the Begna waterfall.

If you leave your car at Begna near the parish church and the playground (the parking is free), you can continue on foot following the signs for the “Strolech Bridge” and then to the waterfall. The trail is not difficult, apart from a short but steep descent leading to an old stone bridge.

The trail begins on a paved road through the town’s streets leading to the forest path. At a certain point the trail offers a  fantastic panoramic view of the plain of Porlezza, after which will find old farmhouses and then a small chapel. Taking the left-hand path that continues downhill, you will arrive in a matter of minutes at the waterfall .

It is ideal to go on a hot summer day, when you can start out with a costume and towel to appreciate the coolness of a place that, even in the summer, never gets too hot.

If, however, after seeing the waterfall you want to keep walking, you can go back to the old chapel and, following the signs for the Strolech bridge, you will arrive there in just over an hour.

Returning to the parking area, take a few minutes to see an old “ice house” that is right next to the playground. It was used to preserve snow and ice to be exploited as a rudimentary refrigerator for the preservation of perishable foods.