Advertisements

Where few Americans venture….

13 Jun
From Montese we ventured to Lago di Garda. I have to say I was not impressed, except by our lodging at the fabulous Erika Hotel. And we did have some fine meals, especially at Cirano, affordable, family-run, low key, with excellent wine suggestions. Lago di Como seems better set up for hiking, long ferry trips, and gawking at fabulous estates. Maybe we didn’t give Garda enough of a chance. And there was that issue with a tow truck. I was not driving. We may have to go back just to stay at Erika’s and to ride to Monte Baldo. But on to the Alta Pusteria.
Our balcony looked out over the Val Fiscalina, which runs deep into the mountains. We hiked to the end of the valley.
Our balcony looked out over the Val Fiscalina, which runs deep into the mountains. 
Our Italian friends raved about Sesto and Moso. They go every winter and we decided that this would be a great opportunity to see the area since we were already at Lago di Garda. We left Rick and Jane in Verona to go on a wine tour with some friends, and rented a car to continue on to Moso. The drive was spectacular and luckily the traffic was minimal as it was Sunday. I shudder to think of those narrow roads through the mountains with logging trucks coming and going.
Moso was very quiet on Sunday. We had a bottle of wine gifted to us by Riccardo of Trekking Italy and we had cheese and sausage leftover from our Montese picnic. The very kind landlady gave us some great multi-grain bread, and we found water at the one bar that was open. What more could we need for supper?
The entire apartment is constructed in the traditional style of the Sud Tirol. Here, our nook.
The entire apartment is constructed in the traditional style of the Sud Tirol. Here, our nook.
We stayed at an agriturismo that I found through Red Rooster Red Rooster specializes in small family properties in the Alto-Adige. They are family focused and very affordable. Kirschnerhof is right on main street in Moso, but is indeed a working farm, with 11 head of dairy cows. The warm fragrance of the barn wafted over the property in a not-unpleasant manner. The place was spotless and impeccably organized. We had a comfortable and attractive one bedroom apartment that would easily accommodate a family of 4 for a price you won’t find at a Motel 6 in Cook, Nebraska.
We were greeted by a plaque announcing this was °home° for a few days.
We were greeted by a plaque announcing this was °home° for a few days.
In this region English is a distant third to German and Italian. I would call this a region of reluctant Italians. They seem shocked to hear us speak Italian. Menus are in German and Italian, seldom English. One day at lunch the waiter clearly knew we were not local and although we greeted him in Italian and asked for a table, he warned us the menu was only in German and Italian, then never spoke another word of English to us. Frankly an Italian menu is always our preference even in Rome as the English translations are often quite odd and sometimes they leave out items. But I digress….
Tiny Moso, or Moos in German, with dramatic backdrop.
Tiny Moso, or Moos in German, with dramatic backdrop.
Hiking is the thing to do here unless you arrive in winter when skiing is the #1 activity. June is not high season so it was quiet. Half of Kirschnerhof was occupied, meaning two-out-of-four apartments and one room. It seemed every place had a sign saying zimmer frei. Baked goods lean to types more commonly found in Austria or Germany, while pastas dominate restaurant menus along with lots of potato dishes.  As we have found in other parts of the Alto-Adige, menus are a combination of Italian and German cuisines.
We spent three lovely days hiking. Well-marked trails made way-finding easy, something we have come to appreciate both in the Val Gardena and the Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland. The ability to hike to a rifugio and find coffee and full-service menus along with clean restrooms is so civilized! Nothing like fresh strudel and espresso for elevensies! Not to mention a nice place to freshen-up, instead of crouching in the woods. Click any image below to enlarge or for a slideshow.
It was cooler by far than Roma. It was in the low 50s, Fahrenheit, in the morning, so hauling along the fleece jackets and SmartWool socks turned out to be a good idea. One day the high in Moso was 21 Celsius/70 Fahrenheit. Roma was 31C/88F, which is not bad for Roma in summer, but it is hot for moving around.
The Montese hike reminded us we really do like hiking sticks, so we bought new ones in Moso, the nicest we’ve ever had. Too bad about the three sets sitting in Roma, but they are a pain-in-the-ass to carry along, so it seems we end up re-buying them on subsequent trips. Once we had a set in Switzerland that when extended properly for hiking refused to collapse for transport home so we left them in the room. The newest ones are more cooperative so I think they will make it onto the packing list for Ortisei in July. Am I digressing again?
On our last hike, downhill from Baranci, we came across the ruins of an old health spa. While the spa heyday was the late 19th and early 20th century, knowledge of the curative waters goes back to the 16th century. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. 
We met only German and Italian-speakers here. The common greeting from hikers on the trail is Gruß Gott. After all, we are only 6 km from Austria as the crow flies: Up until WWI, this was Austria. Although Italian is the official language for education, German is the cultural choice in the household and the first words uttered in any business location. Nonetheless, like Montese, it was a good opportunity for me to practice Italian. Is it truly where no Americans go? Probably not really, but for those who want an experience where one does not run into English-speaking tourists at every turn, this is a corner of Italy to try.
We came across this strange box in the woods.
We came across this strange box in the woods.
Upon opening the box we found a clever display about the woodpeckers in the area.
Upon opening the box we found a clever display about the woodpeckers in the area.
Inside was an old woodpecker nest, displayed in cutaway with Plexiglas protecting it.
Inside was an old woodpecker nest, displayed in cutaway with Plexiglas protecting it.
And the original hole bored by the woodpecker led to the display nest.
And the original hole bored by the woodpecker led to the display nest.
Advertisements

7 Responses to “Where few Americans venture….”

  1. Marcia Kakiuchi June 26, 2015 at 19:06 #

    I can not even fathom how beautiful this is in person! And running into that old health spa and the photos…that must have been quite something in the day. I also agree that finding food, coffee and clean restrooms on a hiking trail is THE way to hike. This was an amazing post with all of your photos.

    Like

    • gooddayrome June 27, 2015 at 06:55 #

      Ciao Marcia! Always nice to hear from you! Wait until you see the pics from where we are going in early July!

      Like

  2. Ken June 24, 2015 at 08:06 #

    Laurel,

    I’m not surprised to read your comments about Lago di Garda. I was there last September and visited several of the towns, and was also somewhat “underwhelmed”. One of the towns was a dreadful experience, and that’s one I will never return to. However, I’ve been convinced by someone we both know (so to speak) to try Malcesine on a future visit, and I will do that.

    Like

    • gooddayrome June 24, 2015 at 09:08 #

      Ciao Ken! Yes I remember your less-than-stellar comments about one of the towns. I would go back to Malcesine if only to stay at Hotel Erika and to ride to Monte Baldo which we missed. Maybe in 2016 on our way to the beloved Val Gardena where we hope to spend most of the summer/.

      Like

  3. mvaden1948 June 13, 2015 at 17:11 #

    Glad you are continuing with your excellent retirement adventure. For years I had a poster of Lago di Garda in my cubicle at work. I had confiscated it from where someone else in the office left it for trash. It was a lovely view of the island in the middle….or I assumed in the middle…of the lake. I gifted it to a co-worker when I retired. It looked like a nice quiet place and since I’m not a hiker and just want to relax and enjoy the view I may visit one day.

    Like

  4. Janet June 13, 2015 at 16:35 #

    I’m always fascinated with your posts! Please tell me though, what does “elevensies” mean?

    Like

    • gooddayrome June 13, 2015 at 20:17 #

      Hi Janet. If you have breakfast at 6:00, you can have “second breakfast” at 9:00 or so, then “elevensies” about 11:00 followed by lunch at 14:00. A great day of hiking!!!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: