Italy is covered by about eighty per cent with mountains. The Alps form a crown around her head and the Apennines ripple their way down her back.
They are friendly mountains, dotted with places to eat or drink, mountain lakes with pedalos and beach umbrellas, beautiful forests to walk through and escape the Summer heat, paths that wind their way from one eating place to the next, nature trails, glades for camping, meadows where cattle graze, and here I'm just talking about the Summer. In Winter there is a veritable wonderland of ski resorts, both down hill and cross country, ice skating, trekking, sledging and again many lovely places to stop awhile and have a warming stew and a glass of wine.
Sometimes in the Italian mountains, full of happy people passing by you on the trail, or bustling about on the terraces of the eating places, watching children play on the impossibly emerald grass it is easy to forget about the awesome, majesty of the mountains. You might stop and chat to other people out for an excursion and they will all talk confidently about the various passes and peaks, reeling off a list of exotic names, all united by a deep love for the mountains.
Whether you are puffing and panting on a mountain bike, walking along with a special stick and having a natter, there will be a moment when you pause at a bend in the road and have a good look at the scenery in front of you. Then it hits you, the sheer power and force of Mother Nature. It is she who is control here. vast expanses of steep forests where only wild animals venture, stark bare rock faces, meadows and banks full of wild flowers producing a mix of colours and textures that only an expert gardener could produce, cheer cliffs and all the time in the distance, layer upon layer of hazy blue and lilac mountain ranges. Landscapes that fill your heart with joy and delight, make you aware of the wondrous force of nature, you will feel enriched and a peace will come over you, your world will tilt back on course and everything will find a new harmonious perspective.
So many songs and poems have been written to the mountains, so many people have found inspiration there. Apparently Sir Edmund Hilary, when asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest simply answered, 'Because it's there.'
|One of the many eating places where they also make and sell cheese. Here is a display of the forms used to make cheese|
|A welcome break|
|Breath taking views at every turn|
|Lakes in the mountains keep the climate steady|