Overseas Adventure Travel
Northern Italy: The Alps, Dolomites & Lombardy +
The Swiss Alps Pre-Trip Extension
June 12 through July 4, 2023


Click on the above link buttons that will take you directly to a particular page or area of the review; or you can just click through to the next page at the bottom of each page.
Page 1 – Lucerne, Switzerland
Page 2 – Lucern & Bern, Switzerland
Page 3 - Bern & Zermatt, Switzerland

Page 4 – Lecco, Italy (Includes Milan)
Page 5 -
Lecco & Tirano, Italy
Page 6 - Tirano & Sulzano, Italy
Page 7 - Sulzano & Trento, Italy
Page 8 - Trento & Bressanone, Italy
Page 9 -
Bressanone & Mogliano Veneto, Italy


Day 18 –Trento, Italy


After having a preview of the town of Trento, we were disappointed that we would only have one full day to explore it.  There was so much to see and do in this town.  We would start the day with city tour with an awesome guide, Martin.  He is the type of guide you hope to have when on a tour.  He had a great personality, was humorous at times, very knowledgeable and just so entertaining. 

We started our walk learning so many interesting things about Trento.  We passed by the Green Tower with a pretty tiled roof.  It is all that remains of a castle.


We then walked toward the Buonconsiglio Castle from the 13th century.  A most impressive building.


We walked in through the gate and walked around the grounds admiring the castle.




We then moved to a garden area with a great view to the mountains.


From there we could see the mausoleum of Cesare Battisti.  He was an Italian patriot and socialist politician who was hanged by Austria for his efforts to obtain autonomy for the Trento region.


We didn’t have time to tour the castle interior.  As we left the grounds, I looked back at the beautiful castle.


We walked back into the main tourist area.  We passed by a kitchen appliance store that everyone was looking through the window.  They were looking at very nice Berkel meat slicer.  Martin told us that the shop had some very expensive stuff for sale.  This wasn’t the place for souvenir shopping.


On our way to our next stop, we saw another frescoed house and a cute topiary statue.


We next stopped on the street in front of a piece of artwork from the time of the Fascist government.  He told us how some people wanted to take the image down, but others wanted to save it.  They resolved the issue by scratching out the weapon that the woman was holding and chipping out the word Fascist in the text at the bottom.


While we were standing there, I went into the St. Peter’s Church right next to us to check it out.  I only took a couple pics since I had to rush.


Martin’s part of the tour was finished.  He walked us over to where Amy was going to take over.  Everyone hated to see him go since he had provided such a great tour for us.  Fortunately, we still had wonderful Amy with us.

With the city tour being over, we had free time for the rest of the day.  Amy had a couple of optional things we could do with her if we wanted to.  We were standing at one of them, the entrance to Spazio Archeologico Sotterraneo del “Sas” or S.A.S.S.  This translates to Underground Archeological Space.  It is remnants of an ancient Roman neighborhood from over 2,000 years ago.  It covers almost half an acre.  Had we not known it was there, we never would have stumbled into it.  It’s just kind of a nondescript entrance.
When we checked into the hotel, each of us received a Trento Card.  This card would give us free bus rides, discounts at shops and restaurants and free entrance to attractions like S.A.S.S.  It’s a great benefit for tourists.  Amy gave us a little free time for a restroom break before we would go underground.  Since we were going to have a full afternoon, I wanted to see the interior of the Cathedral of San Vigilio.  We went in at a different end of the cathedral than I had previously seen.  Very attractive.  I got a kick out of the strange statues next to the windows of what looked like large funny looking parrots.


It was a nice interior, but I didn’t have much time see much of it.  At least I saw some of it.  The twisted column altar was particularly nice.



We went back to the underground archeological space, where we entered with our Trento Card.  The first area we came to had some of the original Roman stone walls and various artifacts that had been found there.



We moved around to different sections with walls and stairs.  One area was a section of street that had been broken up.

The next section had a very complete section of street, but it was no longer flat.  It was challenging to walk on it.

There was a lot to look at and appreciate with how the Romans built something that lasted over 2,000 years. 


They even had hypocausts or underfloor heating systems for the buildings, where the floors were built up on blocks and hot air was circulated through the passageways.  Pretty clever!

I always enjoy seeing ancient mosaic floors.  These weren’t very complete, but it was still nice to see.


After returning to surface level, those that had done the underground tour could once again go off on their own to relax or do something else.  Amy told us the different places we might want to go on our free time.  The one that was most appealing to most of the group was the MUSE science museum.  It was about a 25-minute walk from where we were.  We passed through a market on the way. 

It was a hot day, upper 80’s, and the sun was very hot.  We appreciated some of the tree-lined streets.

Along the way, Amy wanted to show us a gorgeous cemetery. It was in two large sections.


As we approached MUSE, we were most impressed with the striking design of the building.


We first went to a snack bar where there was a long slow line to get some food.  We were quite hungry by the time we got to MUSE, so we waited.  We found out later that they also had a real restaurant in the building we could have gone to.

After lunch, we started exploring the four-story museum.  This science museum stresses the urgency of focusing on the delicate relationship among mankind, Nature and environmental changes.  Each level focuses on a different time in the earth’s development.  The four-story atrium has different types of animals on display.



The displays are first class exhibits of the various animals and skeletons.  They are very well done.


When I was on the 4th floor, I had to look down.  Quite a view!

In one area they had reproductions of early humans.  I was amazed at how lifelike they were.  They looked so alive.


Amy had told us that we could walk back to the hotel along the river that would take well over a half hour in the heat or take a bus from a spot where she had pointed out on the way into the museum.  We were beat, so we took the bus using the Trento Card to get the free ride. 

That evening we had an included dinner at Birreria Rosa d’Oro.  It was a very nice restaurant where we were able to sit outside.  The temperature had moderated and it was a lovely place to eat.


I took advantage of the time before food arrived to take photos of each member of our wonderful group.  We all got along so well.
Richard & Jenny                                                            Chuck & Alyce

Harvey & Arlene                                                              Elizabeth & James

Hong                                                     Karen

Katherine                                                           Liz       

Alex & Jennifer
 For appetizers we had Potato tortel with cured meats and Trentino cheeses or a mixed salad from our garden.

The first course was Pennette with speck cream and walnut kernels or ricotta ravioli with sage flavored butter.  Speck is a type of dried bacon that is very popular in this part of Italy.


For dessert we could have fruit salad with ice cream or zabaglione parfait with amaretti biscuits

Once again, we had an outstanding meal.  After dinner, we walked back to the Gellateria del Gato Gordo, where we had gone the previous night.  It was wonderful again. We were able to see illuminated Fountain of Neptune.


Day 19 –Transfer to Bressanone, Italy

We would be going to the city I was most looking forward to on the main trip, since we would get to see the Dolomites from here, hopefully.  The weather would have to cooperate.  We would also be seeing some gorgeous scenery going to our next stop, Bressanone or Brixen.  In the part of Italy we were going to be staying, both Italian and German are official languages.  This part of Italy was part of Austria until the end of WW1.  Then as the loser, Austria had to give Italy some of its territory.  When that happened, the Austrians had to change their names to Italian names and only speak Italian.  When Mussolini came into power, he wanted this area to be on his side, so he relaxed the requirements and allowed each person to select which of the two languages they wanted to speak.  This would designate which schools their children would attend, Italian or German speaking.  Accordingy, all cities and road signs have both Italian and German names for the cities.  Kind of strange, but it works.

The trip to Bressanone would be broken into two parts.  The first leg would be to Val di Funes, and hour and a half away.  Since we were traveling through the Italian Alps, the scenery was gorgeous.


At one point, Amy told us to get ready to take a photo of a castle on top of a hill coming up.  Sure enough, it wasn’t long, and we were able to take photos of it.


We arrived at a hotel/restaurant right at 10:30 AM, an hour and a half after we left the hotel.  We would be having lunch there after our hike up the mountain.

Our guide for the hike was Matthias.  A very nice young man who shared so much information with us and made our trek most enjoyable.

The walk up was so enjoyable.  Breathing in the fresh mountain air and taking in all the beauty around us so wonderful. 


We made an interim stop to see some cows.  One of them took a shine to me.  Such a sweet face.  Hong took a photo of me petting her.


Continuing our climb, we were surprised to see a peacock.  It was pretty, but the scenery was better.


When we were close to our destination, we saw an engaged couple having their photos being taken.  It was a good place for them.

Our destination was in sight, a small church.  The views were so beautiful.

We reached the pretty little Church of Saint Madeline.  It is just what you would expect to find in the Tyrolean Alps.  There were colorful frescoes protected under the entrance roof.



Behind the church was a small cemetery.

Rather than the simple interior I was expecting in such a small building, we saw quite a beautiful church.



When we left the church, Matthias had a surprise for us.  He had plates of speck and a bread called schuttlebrot.  Cathy had speck in the previous night’s dinner.  Both of these items are primarily available in the south Tyrol region.  Matthias explained that schuttlebrot is a rye bread that can be kept for up to two years.  That was obviously a major plus, with the ingredients only being harvested once a year.  It very crispy, but easy to chew and quite tasty.  We really liked it.  Matthias’s plate was empty pretty quickly.


We were so enjoying the beautiful scenery all around us.


We came back by the cows.  The peacock had moved to the ground where we could see him better.


After coming down the hill, it was time for lunch.  We had a delicious meal of vegetable soup, bratwurst and sauerkraut and chocolate cake for dessert.



After leaving the restaurant, we took just a short drive through the mountain paradise.  Amy had the bus pull over so she could show us a special place. We walked up a short path to where we could see a luscious field of green with a small church with an onion domed bell tower in the middle of it. 

We were looking at the Church of Giovanni in Ranui.  Two sons built the church in 1744 in remembrance of their father.  It is one of the most popular photo opps in the area.  It certainly was with our group.


We only had about a 45-minute drive through the beautiful countryside until we reached Bressanone.


We arrived at the Golden Horse Hotel.  Both the Italian and German names for the hotel were at the entrance.  The building was quite old, with it originally being built in 1530 and registered as a hotel in 1640.  We met hotel owner/manager, Amadeus.  He was a great guy and a very hard worker.


When we walked into the room, we were surprised to see a very modern large room.  There was an overabundance of storage and adequate seating.  The room wasn’t airconditioned, but there was a fan that made the room very comfortable the whole time we were there.


The bathroom was also modern and very nice.


We also had a nice balcony with a view of the hotel’s large swimming pool and the mountains.

With us arriving at the hotel at around 2:30 PM, we were able to have our orientation walk at 3:15 PM.  There are only about 23,000 residents in the town, but there were lots of shops and restaurants.


Close by the hotel, Amy pointed down a side street at a restaurant we might want to go to since dinner was on our own.  We took her advice and came back to it later.

We were enjoying our walk through the pretty town.  There was lots to look at.



There was an interesting statue on a building of a fellow with three heads.  Further along there was a different type of statue.


We came around a corner where we could see the Hofburg Palace that still had a portion of the moat in front of it.

This was just a wonderful city for tourists.  We were so glad we would be there for three nights.


We next came to the twin-towered Cathedral of Brixen.  Rather than going into the church itself, Amy wanted to show us the cloister first.  We walked down a long hall with reliefs to get to the cloister.


We turned the corner, and we were looking at gorgeous medieval frescoes covering the ceiling.  What a sight!


There were frescoes at either end also.


Rather than going into the cathedral, Amy told us that we could come back later during our free time.  She had wanted us to see the cloister, since it would be easy to miss if we didn’t know it was there.  She was right.  We continued looking through the town.  There was a very nice floral image in front of the municipal building.

Amy showed us that we could purchase some schuttlebrot rye bread to take home.  We thought about it, but we were too close to our airline luggage weight limit when we arrived, so we didn't need extra weight.

We looked around some more before Amy treated us all some gelato at one of her favorite shops in town.  It was outstanding!  She then left us to explore on our own.



There was another church, other than the cathedral, I wanted to see, the Church of Archangel St. Michael.  The exterior was unassuming, other than the bell tower.  There was a nice entrance.

The interior was spectacular.  So much beauty!





They had beautiful chapels and a grand organ.


If we had not already had enough church beauty, we walked next door to the cathedral.

Another breathtaking sight!  I know that by now readers of this review are probably getting tired of seeing more church photos.  But when I experience such gorgeous places, I must take photos to remember it for me as well as to share with others who might travel to these amazing places.






At the back of the church was an incredibly beautiful organ in a gorgeous surrounding.


After seeing two amazing churches, our eyes needed a rest.  We headed back to the hotel to finish settling in.  As would be appropriate for a hotel named the Golden Horse, there was a golden statue of a horse near the lobby.  We loved the ancient beamed ceilings around the hotel. 

Before going to dinner, I walked out to the back side of the hotel to see the pool area.  It was a large area for a hotel with just 26 rooms.


We walked over to the Grissino Restaurant for dinner.  It was a much larger restaurant than we expected with a large indoor and outdoor eating area.  We had an excellent meal there. 




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