Thursday 30 July 2015


One of the closest towns to where we were staying at The Mill House was Varallo. We visited briefly on the first day to get maps and information from the tourist office, as well as stop and have morning tea, and later got supplies from a supermarket, but it wasn't until a few days later that we really explored it. 

After going around the mountain, literally, to find a place that had been recommended for lunch (a journey that should have taken 10 minutes but took about four hours, with stops, due to road works), we spent the afternoon at Sacro Monte. That morning the seven-year-old had asked if he could choose the day's activity so we gave him about five choices, and visiting Sacro Monte was what he wanted us all to do.

It is a basilica and group of 45 chapels on a hill in Varallo that is visible for miles. Part of the building work dates back to 1491 and the area is considered a World Heritage Site. The terrace is 600m high and overlooks the town below as well as the river Sesia. There is a cable car that runs between the mountain and town during the summer months.

It was a beautiful place to explore with the children. Each chapel had a life-sized re-enactment of a biblical story and the children were keen to view them. The grounds provided plenty of area to roam and the passageways were intriguing too. The view was quite amazing as well. Definitely a place to visit if you're in the area.

Afterwards we had dinner at La Sfinge, a great family friendly ristorante that overlooked the river from the terrace. When we visited another night we weren't able to get the same seats. Over the weekend, it appears it's best to book to get the tables with the view.

images the indigo crew

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