Friday, 28 November 2014

Alpine Autumn


Phil at Castello Runcolo
 It seems an age ago now but we caught up with 'our Kat' in Italy during the October half-term. She's in Trento, working as an au pair for a lovely family and their lively twin boys. We were impressed with the way she researched it all for her gap year. She'd heard of people choosing Paris, say, as a destination and ending up with the Parisian family from 'Enfer' ... (which is 'Hell' in French according to Google translate).

Kat's Italian hosts have been far from infernal. In fact, they've been the opposite. She's had a splendid time. She's been learning the language, visiting Milan, Verona and Venice, walking in the Dolomites. To think, we couldn't even get her to come on weekend hikes in Derbyshire ...

So, she chose the family before the location and it was clear from the outset that they were going to hit it off. It was something of a bonus when the location turned out to be so gorgeous. Trento's a small city in a stunning location, surrounded by mountains and a quick hop from Sud Tyrol (Alto Adige) and the Italian
Alps. She has her own flat (the family's grandparents are in Patagonia and their flat is available) and everything's within walking distance. We loved the Gothic frescoes in the castle and the overall 'feel' of the place. I climbed up Dos Trento for the whopping big mausoleum to Cesare Battisti (local patriot) and the views. We took the train to Bolzano, all crisp and Tyrolean in the autumn alpine air. We took the free minibus out to Castello Runcolo/Runkelstein with its medieval wall-paintings and one of the earliest depictions of King Arthur's Round-Table. Well, who'd have thought?

We bought some chestnuts to roast from the market and I paid a visit to Otzi the 'iceman' in his special museum with his trinkets and kit.

We flew back the next day, following some yomping around Verona. What a great corner of Italy. If you've never been to Trentino or the Alto Adige - do so. Go there at once.

'January' from the frescoes in Castello del Buonconsiglio