Continuing our journey, not far out of Domodossola we passed Oira, abundant in granite quarries. Numerous trucks laden with enormous rectangle blocks of granite attested to the area’s livelihood.
And then we came to Crodo.
Crodo is now dear to my heart since I learned that from this little hamlet originates the water for my favorite non-alcoholic aperitif, Crodino. Crodino is a delicious, refreshing, orange-colored drink made from an infusion of herbs, plants, and fruits; it has a slightly bitter, but ever-pleasing, taste.
Gianni pulled off at the Crodino plant so I could take a picture of the building and the giant CRODO sign, shadowed against the mountain sky.
Further north we pushed. Mom called it “Heidi country.” This was definitely alpine country; rugged mountains, green meadows, and rough stone houses — the tinkling of cow bells completed the picture.
In the midst of these mountain vistas, we stopped for our picnic, just outside Cadarese. Cradled, as we were, in the toes of the Alps, we could easily imagine we were sitting in Switzerland.
Thank you, Donatella! Claiming a sunbathed picnic table at the side of the road, we laid out Donatella’s carefully packed lunch: meats, cheese, bread, water, wine, beer.
After lunch, Gianni trampled through the grass to pick an armload of dandelion greens to bring home — dinner for the pet turtles.
Not far up the road, the next town made me sit up: San Rocco. Rocco was becoming a recurrent theme on this trip.
By now we were much farther north than the northern tip of Lago Maggiore that lay far southeast of our route. If we were to fly due east, we would truly be in Switzerland.