Switzerland: Tremola – Old Road over the St. Gotthard Pass

Yesterday we had the chance to see the Tremola road in half embedded from clouds while a few sun-rays highlighted this extremely beautiful landscape.

Since a few year the traffic jam for the Gotthard tunnel let tourist wait a long time (even hours) to pass the tunnel and reach the other side of the alps. In winter we don’t have many other chances if we don’t want to surround the place and take another way, but during summer times, after the snow disappeared there is another option: the highway over the the Gotthard pass or even the Tremola.  The Tremola is most beautiful of all Alpine roads. From Airolo, the historic pass road snakes around hairpin bends up to the Gotthard.  In our case we were on the highway, we planned to be at home before dinner and so we escaped the traffic jam and we headed up to the mountains.

I still can remember as a long long time ago, as I was a child we drove over the Tremola and how seasick I felt! Well, yesterday noticed the road in a different coat, the soft cloud framed it so beautifully that I had to try to take a few snapshot from the driving car (I was not driving myself!  🙂 ).

So beautiful!

 

Some random links concerming the Tremola:

https://www.alptransit-portal.ch/en/events/ereignis/the-first-paved-road-through-the-mountains/

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/scenic-route-airolo-gletsch.html

http://www.ticino.ch/en/commons/details/Gotthard-Pass-and-Tremola/111976.html

http://www.newlyswissed.com/trailing-ticino-tremola/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotthard_Pass

 

 

 

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Hiking to Monte Bar from Corticiasca (Switzerland)

 

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to make an excursion in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. We arrived in the morning and after the lunch we decided to make a few steps in the mountains around Lugano.

Friend of us suggested to visit the villages around Mt. Bar and I could not wait to go there. Since I was child I looked at these Mountains especially if covered with snow and I dreamed to go there once. In some way this never happened.

I had a look to my beloved app “wikiloc” looking for some way in order to approach the peak until I found that from the village of Corticiasca we could at least walk few hundred meters in the direction of the peak. We arrived in Corticiasca after 3 pm, quite late for this project and we started to look for a parking place: not so easy!

I started the app, and on the way I stopped for a few pictures. The village was really cute, facing the sun and looking in the direction of Lugano.

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After passing the village we reached a field with wild narcissus flowers (Narcissus poeticus), sheep at this point we saw the “Denti della Vecchia” (“old ladies teeth)

Mount was just in front of us.  A few hundred meters up adorable highland cattles! We had  spent quite a long time taking picture of those shire animals with the long horns, until one of them became quite friendly with us and we could take photos with it. We had a short rest and we filled up our bottles of water.

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My family asked me how much I planned to walk, I could not give an exactly answer I did not know how much we would walk/hike but I my mind I knew I would love to got as far as possible; the view more and more superb! We continued our walk, trees became rare and finally we reached the alpine zone. In front of us we saw the gravel road zigzagging up on the mountain in the direction of the refuge. The peak of the mount w

as covered by fog but the refuge was in front of us!

I was not prepared to find such a modern and beautiful refuge, the architecture was perfect as the combination of the wood and the wide window to view could not be more scenic!

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I run behind the refuge for a few photos and I saw that the sky cleared up and peak was in front of me! It seemed so near, but still 200 meter elevations until the peak. It was quite late, we knew that we had the way back, but the peak was irresistible. On the way we had the luck to find some gentian flowers where a fantastic highlight for us! Finally we reached the peak, some snow  here and there.

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On the way back we stopped in the hut for a coffee. We will come here again for sure!

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Wiloc trail: https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=17723005

Around Origlio Lake

 

This year I’ve spent my Easter holidays in Ticino (Italian speaking part of Switzerland) where we enjoyed lukewarm days with the family and with friends.

After lunch we decided to have a walk, not hiking, but simply a few enjoyable hours in the nature around the protected area of the lake of Origlio.

No camera, this time, but my smartphone with one of my favorite apps “Wikiloc” to record the trail. So we are, I hope some of you will enjoy the photos and perhaps once the walk!

 

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Pane Ticinese – Swiss Italian Bread

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The origins of this bread can be found in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland (“Ticino”), but you can find it all over Switzerland where it is called “pane reale” (“Kings bread”).

There are many version of it: white or whole-wheat bread, glazed with egg, milk or with soda solution as for pretzels. In any case the traditions shape and the light fluffy structure are the main characteristics. Mostly some oil is added to preserve it fresh for longer time especially if white flour is used. Serve this bread fresh simply breaking the sections.

My choices: sourdough starter, white flour and glaze with 15 mixed soda solution and brush with milk still hot just after baking.

Today is a special day! I made a new starter beginning from my fermenting elderflower fizz which is just fermenting! I begun the starter in the morning (27°C!) with 2 tablespoons flour + 2 tablespoons fermenting sieved liquid of  elderflower fizz. After a few hours I saw the first bubbles. I added 1 more tablespoon water + 1 tablespoon flour and waited: more bubbles again! Just before going sleep I added 1 more tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon water and in the morning I found it really active. For the last time I added flour and water in same quantity to get 200 g starter; we went away. After 3 hours it was very well risen and I used the first 100 g stater for this recipe.

Pane Ticinese – Swiss Italian Bread

  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

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You need:

Sponge:

  • 100 sourdough starter (alternative 50 g water + 50 g flour + 5 g dried yeast)
  • 150 water, lukewarm
  • 150 g bread flour (or see introduction)

Final dough:

  • 300 g bread flour (or see introduction)
  • 100 g water, lukewarm
  • 2 tablespoons vegetal oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Glaze (alternative simply oil or milk or a 1% baking soda solution):

  • 1/2 egg, lighlty beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water

Procedure:

  1. Combine well the ingredients for the sponge and let rest overnight or at least 6 hours.
  2. Add all the ingredients for the final dough and knead well. Form a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, cover and let rest until almost doubled.
  3. Degas and knead shortly again. The easiest way is folding in over itself directly in the oiled bowl!
  4. After 20 minutes degas and knead shortly again. Repeat two times.
  5. With this recipe you may prepare 2 loaves or one big one. For to loaves divide the dough into 12 equal parts. (2 breads of 6 rolls) or for one loaf dived the dough into 8 parts (1 bread with 8 rolls). Let rest 10 minutes.
  6. With oiled hands form oval forms and on a baking sheet press them one again the other.
  7. Cover and let rest for 50 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven at 230°C7 450°F.
  9. Just before baking brush with you selected glaze and with a sharp knife make a long cut through the center of the loaf/loaves.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 180°C/350°C and bake for other 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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Torta di Pane – Traditional Bread Pudding from Ticino (Switzerland)

 

 

torta di pane

Torta di Pane – Traditional Bread Pudding form Ticino (Switzerland)

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/torta di pane 2

This is the most popular rustic dessert recipe of Ticino the Italian speaking part of Switzerland.

You will find it at the local festivals, in bakeries and almost each family has their recipes.

I did not prepare this cake from ages! The reason? I almost don’t have stale bread in my house as I freeze the leftovers or I dry them for to prepare breadcrumbs. I really wanted to share this recipe as the pudding is delicious and I hope no bread will throw away as food and especially bread is something a little bit like “sacred” for me; I think many of you know what I mean and feel the same.

I don’t want to give you a fix recipe, the ingredients usually used are the ingredients you have on hand and it’s a wonderful way to use stale bread.

This recipe can be very simple with the addition of only a few ingredients, but can be turned into a luxury recipe with high content of dried fruits and chocolate.

The basic ingredients are stale bread, milk, sugar citrus zest (grated or candied), egg and pine nuts, for the other ingredients I will simply add the note “optional”.

You need:

  • 300 g stale bread, diced
  • 1 liter milk, hot
  • 5 amaretti, optional
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 lemon, grated zest
  • 150-200 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon powdered cacoa
  • 200 g raisins
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, optional
  • 50 g candied orange, minced
  • 50 g candied lemon zest, minced
  • 20 ml grappa (a grape-based pomace brandy), optional
  • 1 handful pine nuts
  • Butter to grease

Procedure:

  1. Place bread into a big bowl, pour hot milk over it and let soak for at least 4 hours stirring from time to time.
  2. Mash the bread with the wooden spoon or with your hands.
  3. Add all the other ingredients except pine nuts and butter
  4. Grease you mold (if round about 25 cm wide), pour mixture in it and spread pine nuts over the batter.
  5. Bake at medium-low temperature (160°C) for about 2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool down completely before cutting.

Trompe-l’oeil painting in Tremona (Switzerland)

This summer we visited the small village of Tremona situated in canton Ticino (district of Mendrisio in Switzerland) at the base of the church of St. Agata and surrounded by terraced hillsides.
Its origins are very old. Recently excavations uncovered well preserved remains of settlements from the Neolithic.

Some of the houses and doors of the village are decorated with exquisite paintings of Tazio Marti.

In the photo above you can see a trompe-l’oeil painting on the wall of the restaurant “Antica Osteria” situated in the center of the village.

In the gallery several pictures of the village itself.

For more informations:

http://www.mendrisio.ch/817/trompe-l%E2%80%99oeil-di-tazio-marti

http://www.alltravels.com/switzerland/ticino/tremona-564791

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/infra.cfm?rkey=5010

http://www.mendrisiottoturismo.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/Prospetti/GuidaMT2012_IE_web.pdf