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We hired a car at Milano Malpensa airport and it was my first time hiring a car in Europe. It was with an accelerated pulse and trepidation that I eased us out onto the Autostrada. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the drivers are calm and patient or at least happy to drive around us rather than tailgating and menacing us.
I hadn’t thought to request a toll pass for the car and soon we found ourselves confronted by 12 toll gates, none of them requesting cash. It didn’t occur to me that we were supposed to take a ticket and then pay at a different gate. I got stuck in a truck lane between a closed gate and a truck. I was about to climb out and press the help button when someone opened the gate and we surged forward in relief. At the next gate I told the perplexed operator that I didn’t have a ticket but I joined the Autostrada at Milano Malpensa and he calculated the cost and when I apologized in broken Italian he told me not to worry and wished us a good evening!
From Bergamo we drove through Albino and over a mountain pass then down to Lovere. It was the first time that I’ve experienced a fear of falling while driving. It was with white knuckled terror that I slowly drove us down the near vertical sided set of hair pin turns. I can see why it’s so popular with cyclists and motorcyclists and Lovere has so many of both. The cyclists make me feel terribly unfit!
We are staying next to Lago Iseo with an amazing view from our apartment across to snow capped mountains.
Today we had a very easy day, not emerging from our apartment until the sun was warm. After playing in a park by the lake and soaking up the delightful sunshine, we walked up to the church (San Maurizio) that is on the ridge to the south of Lovere.
A small Chapel outside the church has amazing 15th century frescoes that we stood and pondered. I realised that my understanding and recall of Christian stories is do patchy that I can’t be a reliable source of information for my children.
We observed an elderly Franciscan monk shuffling around and we timidly entered the church briefly before continuing our walk.
Today was the first time that we’ve been warm since September. We walked down to Lovere carrying our jumpers and jackets and regretting wearing woolen thermal underwear!
We bought Gelati for our children and sat in the setting sunlight on a jetty over the lake. Life is good!