Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A day in Italy: Domodossola & Re

That was the most winding road I had ever seen. We hadn't finished taking a curve when the next one was already showing, even more tight than the previous one. I was sitting tense, my hands clenching the seat and my eyes constantly alert. Most of the time, all I could see on either side of the car were the almost vertical walls of the valleys, covered by a thick blanket of ocre trees and every now and then there would be a crystal water stream flowing downwards. That was probably one of the most scenic drived I had ever done and yet I was feeling too scared to enjoy it properly.

The Italian region known as Centovalli truly lives up to its name (Hundred Valleys in Italian). It is just over the Swiss border and it can be crossed by train or car. We chose the latter when we went to Italy for a day during our November trip to Ticino. We hadn't initially planned this trip but a colleague asked if we could drop by a small town called Domodossola to get him some sundried tomatoes and well, we said yes.




Domodossola is a small town in the north of Italy and acts as a reagional hub for passengers changing trains from Switzerland to Italy and viceversa. It is relatively well-known in the area for its Saturday market, where you can buy fresh produce and Italian specialities and decent prices. We found the market square easily and after stocking on sundried tomatoes we did a bit of exploring. All piazzas were very lively, with people enjoying a cup of coffee in the many terraces around, and the town had a really easy-going feeling to it (maybe because it was Saturday or simply because it was Italy?). Besides the market square, there were many other stalls selling clothes, beauty products and eletronic devices on the streets adjacent to the market and many people busied themselves looking for the most bargainous item. While we strolled along the market stalls I noticed the many mansions with frescoed walls that overlooked the crowded streets from behind a fence. I really liked those old-fashioned houses and if I ever withdraw myself from this stressful world, you will probably find me in one of them, I decided.





On our way back we made a quick stop at Re, a tiny village tucked in the mountains and renowned as a pilmigrage site for its Basilica della Madonna del Sangue. This church was really impressive and it could already be seen from the road, several Km before Re. My photos don't do it any justice, so you can better admire it here.



Have you ever been to the north of Italy? Felt a bit of a crush?

This is (probably) the last recap of my trip to Ticino/Italy. If you want more of it, you can feast your eyes on these photos from Lago Maggiore or read about the stay in Locarno.
Have a lovely Wednesday!

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9 comments:

  1. how lovely! their market sounds awesome. irene, i could just envision you riding in that car. hahaha looking at your pictures, i would've done the same. gosh, it's so steep and very narrow.
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    1. Yes, it was quite scary road but it was worth it all the same. Even if just for the scenic views of the journey!

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  2. Qué suerte tienes de conocer tantos sitios, Irene! parece que estás muy bien situada porque te mueves un montón y los sitios son alucinantes. Bss:)

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    1. Sí, la verdad que he tenido bastante suerte de poder viajar bastante en los últimos años. Pero todo es ponerse, que la península también tiene montón de rincones preciosos :)

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  3. Thank your for sharing these photos! What gorgeous towns.

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  4. Fantastic pictures! Those windy roads always freak me out a bit. I drove on a really bad one in Croatia, it was so scary! :) But I love Saturday markets! And dried tomatoes! Thanks so much for sharing the pictures!

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    1. I loved dried tomatoes too! They're sooo tasty :)
      I thought I was used to winding roads, as we also have a few ones in Tenerife but this one was even more challenging, if possible!

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  5. Gorgeous architecture and landscape! Winding roads in a scenic route..sounds like one exciting drive.

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    1. It was an exciting drive - for all the good and bad reasons! But very worth it :)

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