Well, all the food in Italy can’t be life changing, I guess. On our last full day in Cernobbio, Forrest and I had two of the most lackluster panini probably ever created. But, the disappointing lunch experience was sandwiched (I’m not even sorry about the terrible pun!) by two boat rides across Lake Como, an intense and beautiful hike up an old farmer’s trail for views of the lake and the mountains, and the discovery of a neat little church almost hidden by all of the hills.
On Saturday, Forrest’s conference ended at noon, so we took a ferry to one of the other little towns across Lake Como. Named Torno, this town is, somehow, even smaller than Cernobbio. And much, much hillier. The entire town is built up into the side of the mountain, so there are stairs everywhere. Who needs a gym, when you walk hundreds of stairs just to get to and from your house everyday? Maybe that’s how Italians stay so thin, in spite of all the carbs.
There is precisely one road that winds through the town, and the cars (and bikes) whip around the curves without any fear of oncoming traffic. Or oncoming pedestrians.
In our wanderings, we discovered a stone and grass path that leads out of the town center, through old farm buildings (recognizable by the scent of years of horse droppings), and up the side of one of the mountains. Despite my outfit (a white dress and sandals), I made my way over the uneven path. It is littered with the evidence of the produce grown on the farms on either side: cherry pits probably dropped by thieving birds. At the top (or, at least at the point where we decided to stop climbing), there is a small shrine to Mary, candles and offerings of rosaries and flowers evidence of the local devotion to her.
On our way down the path, we stopped at the church of San Giovanni Battista, an interesting combination of medieval and renaissance art and architecture– including some fascinating sculptures! And we made it back to Cernobbio by boat, just in time to beat the rain.