Day26 – Locarno

 
but we bump our way over the Piazza Grande, where the Locarno Film Festival and other events are held, (the trenino apparently does not have shocks to ease over the cobblestone)…

And along the pretty Lungomare.

Locarno is a resort town…lots of tourists, lots of things to buy, including this Swiss chocolate. Three francs (a little more than three dollars) for a piece about 2 x 2 inches.
This door knob in the old city of Locarno looks hard to handle.
I peer in an open door and find this empty church, a peaceful refuge from the hordes of German-speaking tourists wandering from shop to shop (and smoking all the while.)

A cool resting place for a while.

I take the funicular up to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso, (Madonna of the Rock,) a church high above Locarno. It was founded in 1480 after the Virgin Mary appeared to a Franciscan friar, a hermit who lived in the rocks.

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The sanctuary became a pilgrimage site and contains hundreds of ex-votos, expressions of thank you’s to the Madonna for a miracle that saved someone from harm.
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Inside the church
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many paintings hang in the walls. The paintings are ex-votos, expressing thanks for harm avoided.

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One section of the sanctuary contains rooms of life-sized terra cotta figures, made in the 1600s. One room contains the Last Supper, this one the power of the Holy Spirit.
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The life-sized, life-like figures are wonderful.

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Another funicular takes me up to Cardada, at 4400 feet above sea level.

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 The annoying sound of a helicopter, which is taking loads from one place to another, back and forth, disturbs the peaceful scene. What used to be hauled by humans high up in the alps is now done by these noisy but useful machines.

 
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Still the view is spectacular, although it’s a rather cloudy day.

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On the way home, I stop at the Coop in Maggia. Here’s a skinny pork roast, .32 ounces, for 18.15 Francs, $19.68 at today’s exchange rates. I stick with salad makings.

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 After dinner, I’m thrilled to see my favorite Italian tv program, Il Commisario Montalbano, come up on the screen. But wait, it’s missing the English subtitles I’m used to, and the Sicilian is fast and furious. Still I watch for the fun of seeing Montalbano in native mode.

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Tomorrow’s my last day in the Vallemaggia so I’ll go to Cevio and its ethnographic museum, which was closed today.

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