Sunday, August 31, 2014

8/12/14 Day 208 Northern Italy

A whirlwind of a trip to Italy; Julie, Celeste, Kevin and I crossed over the border from the South of France two nights ago. After a combined 11 hours of driving during the day we raced to meet Daniele and his friends at their rented house near Lake Maggiore in Arona. Twice a year they rent the place out to throw a party, and it just so happens we requested him on CS and he invited us to surf their party. Better late than never as we pull up to the house at 2:00a.m., just in time for beer pong! One of the guys goes to California every year and loves beer pong, and even made a table. We played four on four, Americans versus Italians...even though it has been years since we played, it was an easy win for us and followed with some flaming mint victory shots. The wine and 12 year aged Prosecco were just what we needed to end the night on, a fantastic night of partying to welcome us into Italy. When we finally get up and moving it is time to navigate Italian roads and motorways, a task far more difficult than navigating in previous countries. Free wifi is more difficult to come by in Italy because places like McDonalds require you to register an Italian phone number or credit card, so we are unable to re-download maps as often as we like and missed many, many turns in the process. The signage in Italy is pretty awful as well, you an never tell what highway you're getting on. After a grueling 5 hours (that should have been 3) we finally make it to Pisogne on Lake D'iseo where Michele welcomes us as Couchsurfers into his home with pasta, espresso and Italian beers! After dinner Michele took us out for some local microbrewery beers and halfway through our evening the rain started to flow into street rivers, luckily his place was right around the corner and he provided us ladies with hoodies, which were soaked along with everything else we were wearing by the time we got back. Our last day for this visit is spent laying by the lake and soaking up some sunshine after we are spoiled by a homemade Italian meal for lunch, prepared by Michele's adorable mother. Our drive through the Italian Alps is spectacular, the mountains are huge! With elevations of 3,000 meters (9,000 feet) and flooded with adorable chalets. 

Our first hiccup arriving into Italy, a 22 minute stop-light, cutting into our party time
Flaming shots
The whole crew after the clean-up party

Lake D'iseo

Michele our fantastic host who we are hoping to come back and stay with during ski season
The Italian Alps, so gorgeous
Amazing little 4-wheel drive cars, the older models are smart car sized and excellent for mountain roads
Chalet village
Green roof <3
Adamello ski resort, 9,000 feet and only an hour+ from Pisogne's glistening lake

Apple orchards cover the landscape
And hairpin turns define it

Pizza the Italian way

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