Don't bother coming to Milan in August, as you'll find nobody at home. In the week before Ferragosto, a public holiday on the 15th August dedicated to relaxation since Roman times, Stephano made the crucial discovery that his office, like most of Milan, would be closed for the entire week. As the summer heat intensifies the Milanese leave, and by the time of Ferragosto, the place is all but deserted. We decided to use this opportunity to escape to the cool of the mountains for a dose of relaxation and "wellness". Our destination was Bormio, in the Alta Valtellina region of Italy that borders Switzerland.
After an easy three and a half hour train and bus trip from Milan, we arrived in Bormio to discover quaint cobblestoned streets and gorgeous window boxes fronting charming hotels. The town was buzzing with cyclists and motorbike riders who came for the steep mountain passes. In winter it’s skiers who come for the thrills. Bormio is famous for hosting the toughest downhill ski race in the World Cup competition. However, what attracted us most were the tranquil walks through lush meadows and scented pine forests, oh, and most important of all, the temperature.
If you mention to anyone from Milan that you're planning to holiday in Bormio you are sure to get two recommendations.
"You must try the pizzoccheri and sciatt, and do make time to visit the hot springs wellness resorts." So we did.
After a meal of the traditional Valtellina specialties, "wellness" was a concept far from our thoughts. To aid our recovery, and reduce our feelings of "whaleness", we avoided the hot spa. Instead we took the Bernina Express to St Mortiz. A spectacular train journey!
the tempting slabs of chocolate, which on any other day we might have purchased,
and the scene of fellow travellers who had obviously over indulged.
Perhaps more victims of pizzocherri and scaitt?
So on returning to our hotel there was only one thing left to do: venture into the "wellness and beauty centre". Saunas, Turkish steam baths, tropical scented showers, buckets of fresh ice and a long soak in the bubbling spa tub. We finally enjoyed some serious relaxation in Bormio.
Looking hot, hot, hot Stefano!
Addio fino a quando la nostra prossima tappa Grosio.