By Brenda Tremblay ~ Posted Thu, 06/23/2011 - 1:57am
After another great breakfast we gathered in the lobby of the Regina Palace Hotel on the marble staircase for a group photo. Then it was to the bus and to Lago Orta, where we next visited Isola San Giulio. We walked around the peaceful island on the Path of Silence which was marked by placards about the importance of silence or silent periods of time in oneâ€™s life to reflect especially about oneâ€™s relationship to God. When back in to town, Orta San Guilio, we hiked the Sacred Mountain where there are twenty or so chapels marking the life of St. Francis. Each is individually unique with statuary, frescos, and works of wrought iron, all from artisans of the 1600â€™s. It was built over a span of greater than one hundred years. The artistry or the style of it evolved over time and thereâ€™s a definite shift to a more modern era, a more modern appearance. One of the chapels was not completed because of Napoleon. In addition to the chapels there is a garden of trees, making this another wonderful area of repose and spiritual refection.
Then we took a bus ride of about three hours to the Italian Riviera during which Tracy, our tour guide, taught us the history of the country and how it is young because of the twenty-one regions being melded together in the mid-nineteenth century. Then she went region by region, telling us what the highlights are and even the food from each region. Our travels took us around Genoa, the largest port in Italy, of about two million people. We were impressed by the concentrations of the buildings amongst the gorges as the mountains tapered to the sea. We arrived at the hotel about 5 p.m. after again witnessing our bus driver Mimoâ€™s excellent driving. We are at the Hotel Continental in Santa Margherita Liguerre, perched on the edge of the Mediterranean with beautiful gardens and a peacefulness that one would expect.
For the brave at heart, a dip in the sea was quite refreshing and was followed by another lovely dinner with friends. After dinner, we took an evening walk to town.
At this point the trip is as lovely as expected, as refreshing, and you canâ€™t help forget about all the worries at home -- or purposely ignore them!
(Rodney Logan is a doctor who lives in Silver Springs, New York.)