We started our via Ferrara tour in Valli del Pasubio. It was a gentle introduction to Ferrata but with temperatures continuing to be in the 30’s C we felt like we were hiking in a sauna. This Valley, as in many areas of the Dolomites, is full of reminders of the fighting that occurred between the Italians and Austrians during World War One. Each spring when the snow melts and the talus shifts, bones rise to the surface of the slopes. An Ossuary has been built to honour the remains of these unknown soldiers.
La Spezia is a lovely port city we used as a base to explore the historic Cinque Terre villages. We have been experiencing temperatures in the 30’s C so we chose to visit the villages by water rather than hiking. We literally got a “taste” of each as we motored from one to the next and had a beer, then gelato, then lunch, etc. Great fun😄
Montserrat is a Benedictine monastery near Barcelona. It houses a Black Madonna statue that dates to the 12th century. The figure is above the altar in the basilica of the monastery. In her honour Gregorian chants are sung daily at noon. Many tourists travel here only to see the statue. The Black Madonna is the patron saint of Catalonia.
The Caves Of Nerja are a series of caverns. Concerts are regularly held in one of the chambers which forms a natural amphitheater. Archeologists have found pictographs that look like ballet dancers (as well as many others). Cave paintings in these caves could be the oldest yet found. Unfortunately the caverns with the paintings are not open to the general public.