Today we rented a car and took a tour of some small towns near the Milan airport. Sort of a test for the part of the trip when we rent a car and drive it all over multiple countries. We passed the test with the help of our Tom Tom. It was fun driving a manual transmission again and we were in a cute little Fiat.
Our first stop was Novara (pictures 2 – 5) and a visit to the Basilica of San Gaudenzio (pictures 2 -3). It was built between 1577 and 1690. We then drove to Sesto Calende which is at the tip of Lake Maggiore (next three pictures). It is a very cute little town with open air markets and a nice walk by the lake. Our next stop was Somma Lombardo (next two pictures) where we did not stay long because we could not get in the basilicas. We did get to experience the Italian culture in these small towns as everything was closed for three hours for lunch and the people we encountered did not speak English (made for interesting ordering at lunch). So…. no shopping, and for the most part, no sight-seeing in the churches. The last set of pictures is from Gallarate. The Basilica of San Pietro there is from the 11th century. We made better use of our time when we could not get in to this basilica – we stopped for gelato. It was delicious. For those of you that have been to Frost in Tucson, we have to say it is pretty close to the gelato we got here, but we did have to admit that this one was better.