A Few Other Places We've Been

Trento

Nosellari is about a 35 minute drive up a curvy mountain road from Trento.  We drove through Trento when we first came to Nosellari from Munich at the start of our vacation.  We were busy trying to find the road to Nosellari and we didn't pay much attention to the town.  The next time we came to Trento was our "emergency" run to bring Sueann with her broken wrist to the Trento hospital emergency ward from Nosellari (thank heaven the way to the hospital was very well marked).  The day after our "emergency" run we were back at the hospital to try to get some relief for the pain Sueann was having.   Nine days later Sueann had a checkup appointment at the hospital.  Sueann's wrist was doing very well and we decided that this would be a good time to explore Trento a bit.

We mostly walked around the Piazza Duomo and the streets surrounding it.   I took the photo below with the workman purposely to remind myself to comment on the volume of repairs going on everywhere.  It's off-season for tourists and I think Italy takes advantage of this good weather period with somewhat fewer tourists to fix itself up.  Repairs are in progress everywhere - roads, churches, other buildings, bridges, tunnels and piazzas.  They are all being repaired.  Sometimes one wishes that they could see a church or a building without their protective coverings.  Here, the workmen were simply replacing a few cobblestones in the piazza.





I did not find the inside of the Duomo to be particularly spectacular.  However the gray tone rose window was much to my liking.





The Piazza Duomo is lined with cafes and buildings with lovely frescoes.




In the center of the Piazza is a fine fountain topped by a statue of Neptune.  Notice the mountains  in the background of the photo below.  Trento lies in the Adige valley and like many towns in northern Italy is largely surrounded by mountains.  



Trento has a large castle.  We parked nearby and bought a parking slip good for three hours.  We had a quick lunch which left us about two and one quarter hours to see the castle.   We entered the castle but we could not make heads or tails of the castle map we were given.  So we wandered about mostly through what I believe is the new part of the castle, never getting to see the old castle which is what you see in the photo below.
 



The parts of the castle we did see were gratifying because of their artistic content.  Here is a photo of the ceiling of one of the meeting rooms.



We passed by the painting below of the Council of Trent.  The Council met in 25 sessions between 1545 and 1563.  All but three of the sessions took place in Trento.  "The Council of Trent played an important part in determining the outcome of the Counter Reformation.  Along with the part played by the Jesuits and certain individuals, the Council of Trent was a central feature of the Counter-Reformation. But whether Trent represented a positive move by the Catholic Church remains contentious." (taken from http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/council-of-trent.htm)




Walking around the streets of Trento was very pleasant.  The old part of town is interesting and lovely.  Notice the young man on the bicycle wearing the yellow jacket.  His bike is small and he seemed very interested in a nice larger bike parked nearby.  Sueann was sure that the larger bike would soon be gone.



Here is one of Trento's many palazzi that once were the homes and retreats of such wealthy European families as the Thuns and the Fuggers.



Arco

We had been told that Arco which lies to the north of the Lago di Garda was a very pleasant destination.  One Sunday we drove on a beautiful road that runs between Trento and the north end of the lake heading for Arco.  On the way we stopped at a small lake near the tiny village of  Santa Massenza.  We just wanted to stretch our legs and the lake was pretty.  We walked down a path that brought us to the blue turbine wheel you can see in  the photo below.  The wires and the wheel made us wonder if  there was a generating plant nearby.  We didn't see one and we didn't hear the generating kind of noise we are familiar with from our cabin near Powerhouse One of the Southern California Edison's Sierra generating facility.

We found out that the generating facility was constructed shortly after WWII entirely in the rock mountain and at that time was one of the largest "all in rock" generating facilities in the world.  The generators are fed from water that falls from the other side of the mountain through solid rock channels.



Nearby Santa Massenza we spotted the "castle" below which is now a hotel and restaurant.



Arco is indeed a very pleasant destination.  That Sunday it was filled with families and young people enjoying the long pedestrian-only street that winds through the town.  Many were eating gelato from one of  several gelaterias.  Arco has a reputation for fine gelato.  Above the town is a castle that sits precariously on a sharp peak.




We imagined that the climate in  Arco must be mild because of the presence of palm trees and cactus.




Vicenza

We had planned to spend last Tuesday and Wednesday in Venice.  Venice is only about a two hour drive from Nosellari.  Vicenza is pretty much directly on the route to Venice so we spent Monday there.  One thing about Monday in Italy: pretty much every museum and building you might want to see is chiuso, closed.  But Monday in Vicenza is not too bad because many of the town's most prominent features are buildings.  Vicenza is famous as the town that fostered and then adopted Andrea Palladio (1508 - 1580) as the town's architect.  Vicenza has signs all over town pointing to Pallidio's buildings.  It was a lot of fun going from sign to sign and then to the designated Palladio buildings.  Who needs Museums when you have architecture.

                          Andrea Palladio (1508 - 1580)

Here are a few of Pallladio's buildings that we saw.











I guess you can see that Palladio was big on columns.  For more on Palladio see   http://www.boglewood.com/palladio/life.html

 
As we were walking around Vicenza we spotted a man in a tiny garage with two red motorcyles.  We couldn't resist asking about them.  Thereupon commenced a conversation between Walter, who only spoke Italian, and us who speak very little Italian.  We learned that Walter is 76 and still rides the red Motoguzzi bike which is 57 years old.  Walter has had it for 25 years.  Recently Walter's friend from California borrowed the bike and rode all around Italy as Walter has done in the past.




Best wishes to you,
Sueann and Jeff

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