Thursday, July 31, 2008

Security (Medieval Style)

Last weekend we took a trip to the town of Bellinzona. The town is known for three castles but mostly by the Sforza family who controlled most of this region about 500 years ago. (They built the massive Sforza castle in Milan, too--some of you may have visited there.)

The castles cover the entire Ticino river valley and are built in a tiered fashion, each one higher than the next. Of course, Daria and I decided to do the three on foot, so you'll see how the altitude changes with each castle visited. Here are some pictures of the trip:

Here's Castlegrande, the lowest and largest of the three from the piazza in town.

The center of the castle now houses a sculpture garden:

In this castle, the walls are so massive they literally make a causeway:

You probably noted from the first picture that the entire castle is built on a single rock. If you hadn't you can see it here:

If you look carefully past Castlegrande, you can see our next destination--Castle Montebello.

Montebello is a smaller castle (just as the number of visitors thinned out there, I suspect the number of soldiers who could have made it there would nave been smaller, too...). Here's a bit of the lowest part of the pathway:

Almost to Montebello--

Proof I made it:

Castlegrande from Montebello:

OK, off to the final castle, Castle Sasso Corbaro. This is the highest and smallest of the three, but the views a beautiful:

One the way back down, we briefly had a buddy--

By the time we arrived in town, we were ready for a beer and head for the train station.

For fun, check out this link and click the "webcam" for up to date images of Bellinzona!

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