With a leisurely Sunday morning I took the opportunity to take pictures of my gorgeous surroundings near the hotel. Our bus took off in the opposite direction as yesterday—towards ever higher ground with many switchbacks. If there is anything I will remember about today, it is all the winding but picturesque mountain roads we traveled today. And look what awaited us as we got to Colle St Lucia!
On the other side there was even a sign telling us that there were 29 switchbacks (turns) ahead—some of them were treacherous to say the least—extremely tight hairpins for our bus and a little scary, knowing we could tip over at any moment.
Thanks to our expert driver, Frank, we arrived safely at the Chiesa parrocchiale di San Lorenzo Martire with its 1790-92 organ by Girolamo Zavarise. The organ was actually meant for another church but was rejected by the buyers who considered the instrument not in compliance with the contract. This was an extremely colorful organ, and I thought at first that it had two manuals since Roberto played several examples of solos with accompaniments. Yet it had only a single manual with a split keyboard, allowing you to have separate registrations for left and right hands.
The hotel had packed us sandwiches to eat on the way to our next church, Chiesa parrocchiale di San Bartolomeo, an absolute jewel of a church against this spectacular mountain backdrop. In addition to beautiful paintings, stained glass and other appointments, it houses the oldest organ in Venice, dating from 1660, from an anonymous builder. I played the Kyrie and Christe eleison from Frescobaldi’s Domenica mass which sounded quaint as the organ is tuned in meantone temperament. Notice instead of a bench there is a chair with a red cushion!
On our way back I was sitting on the right side of the bus to photograph some cows who are “on holiday” in the mountains! We were treated again to picturesque vistas amid winding roads and hairpin curves. Many times we met up with oncoming traffic on the narrow road and had a couple nail biters with cars who didn’t yield the right of way. I’ll not forget these mountain roads!