Sacromonte di Varese

On top of the mountain ridge east of the massif of Campo dei Fiori is located the “Holy Mountain” in Varese. From here you overlook the plains of Lombardy and Piedmont to the south and the Swiss valleys to the north. East of the eye can see the mountains of Como and Lecco, west the region of lakes and over the horizon, the peaks of the western Alps.

Along the slopes of Monte Sacro develops a monumental work of the most significant part of the “Holy Mountains” which arose in the Alpine Foreland. It ‘a monument dedicated to the contemplation of the mysteries of the Rosary, through a devotional path, starting just above the village of Fogliaro, climbs the Mount until the summit. The complex involves a “sacred road” that winds touching buildings containing a visual representation of the Mysteries of the Rosary, with groups of statues and wall paintings that adorn them.

There are fourteen chapels and a chapel, the fifteenth is incorporated into the architectural complex of the shrine, where he completed the climb to the last Glorious Mystery. The three arches are divided on the way the route into three sections each of five chapels, dedicated respectively to the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the Rosary. At the top of the mountain there is a group of houses in the hamlet of Santa Maria del Monte.

How to get there without a car:

Take the Trenord train from Milan Cadorna station, or from Porta Garibaldi Station. Check on the site for the current schedules, both stations have two trains every hour. The stations of the two railroads in Varese are very close to each other, from the station it’s a two hours walk to the top of the Sacro Monte. Approx. 1 hour.

These are the alternatives:

– Walk along the “Via Sacra” leaving the resort “First Chapel”;
– Urban bus line “C”;

From the station Varese: exit the station and keep to the right. The first street right is Via Paolo Maspero. Cross it and you’ll see a newsstand. Turn right into Via Maspero and you’ll see the “C” bus stop. Approx. 10 min.

From the station Varese Nord: exit the station and keep to the left. Turn left into Via Paolo Maspero; the “C” bus stop is ten meters after the newsstand. Approx. 10 min.

By bus

Buy an urban bus ticket (1 euro) in any newsstand in Varese. You must take the “C” bus in the direction of Sacro Monte. Approx. 20 min.
– A funicular railway which can be reached starting only by bus from the first chapel.

Text and Photos courtesy in part of Trenord translated by Enrico

William Dellorusso
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy

Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.

The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

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The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.

The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
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