Arrival at Milan Malpensa Airport. A giant monument of everything about Italy that you don’t like. It’s terrible. This fantastic country with all its beauty and this is the best they can do for an airport! Rental car and directly in to Milan. When I can I always try to make some time for Milan. It’s a great city. This time I got stuck at Prada. I can only make one store at the time. It is draining. I tried jackets. One jacket more beautiful than the next. And more expensive than the next too. But what a fantastic material and what perfection. Made in Italy. 100%.
After Prada I went straight to have an “aperitivo” at Cova on Via Monte Napoleone. It is truly a classic café. The aperitivo at the bar, standing, is very nice indeed. Try some champagne or wine. Or if you are a friend of Bill’s, try an Italian Crodino. You will be served lots of small appetizers to your drink and will not leave the place disappointed.
Right across the street from Cova is the store Larusmiani. A top level clothing store - pre globalization. Fantiastic beauty and true quality. Made in Italy at its highest.
See this video to have a clue.
On my way to Champoluc I couldn’t miss having dinner at one of my favourite restaurants all categories and places – Albatross in Gallarate. It is off the freeway on the way to Valle d’Aosta. Fish and seafood Sardinia style.
The weather is truly great with a big sun and a blue sky. And it is warm so late in the fall. I have to run some errands in Aosta, a beautiful little city with Roman artefacts, such as the amazing Porta Praetoria, 25 B.C. There are cafées, clothing stores and restaurants. It is totally worth the trip and nice to stroll around a few hours.
I get back to Champoluc not before 5 pm, so the day is pretty much used up.
A (too) long walk to Monte Facciabella (2621 m) in the November air. Still sunny and warm but with the air and the colors of autumn. Starting out from the village of Mandriou (1850 m) and taking the trail straight up to the farm and agriturismo, La Tchavana.
After a short rest continue the trail up to the beautiful chapel, Cappella Sarteur. Making a right turn and continuing up to the pass of Vascoccia (2568 m). Right again and then a short lunch break: piece of cheese, slice of salami, carrot and water. Not so bad. Yes and some chocolate. Then only a few hundred meters to the point with the great view in the autumn afternoon light. Looking at the beautiful glaciers of Monterosa where I have not been able to go yet.
After yesterday I can tell I was really tired. I slept 12 hours straight, even more. I bought some food at la Slivia and meat from the butcher Lucio. Then a little walk up to the wonderful village of Mascognaz (1810 m). It is a Walser village from way back and it is slowly being restored. One of my favorite short walks. It takes about 30 minutes to go up there and the same to return.
Start from the city center, la piazza. Find the way, it goes alongside a parking lot first, and continue up to the first bridge. Here you can go right or follow the steeper trail to the left. Walk on and you will reach Mascognaz after a while. There are some really beautiful places on the way up where you can see the waterfalls. Once you are up there make a right and turn back and you find the Walser trail going down to Champoluc.
(Guest author: Pedro Capetillo)