Helen in Europe travel blog

view from the window at the Palazzo delle Paure (palace of Fears...

Salvatore and Marcella's kiwifruit vine; last year it gleaned them 60 kg...

delicious risotto or soup; one of the many treats shared by my...

With a melancholy that only comes when your daughter has moved 12,500 away, I spent the day on my own for the first time; thinking the best way to lose yourself is in either nature or art , I set off to another one of Lecco's museums, the Palazzo delle Paure (translates as Palace of Fears). Palace of Fears seems a strange name for what is their contemporary art space, but there is reason. Built in 1905, the building housed the offices of the Land Registry, taxes and duties where the Lecco went to pay taxes until 1964--hence the name: Palace of Fears. It is now home to temporary exhibitions and the Section of Contemporary Art and Section of graphics and photography of the Municipal Gallery. I appreciated this museum much more the crumbly Manzoni building and at least there was a bit of reasonable contemporary art to enjoy and a quality if not tiny photography exhibition. Interestingly, upstairs is a display space of a difference: Lecco Mountaineering Observatory is a modern and interactive museum with multimedia technology which presents the history of mountaineering from its beginnings to the present day. I guess it makes sense with all the mountains around Lecco that a museum space be devoted to it. Back at home, I enjoyed what was to become mostly daily interactions with my hosts. Sometimes I get a little WhatsApp message to ask me if I would like to try something Marcella has cooked or Salvatore has baked. The answer is always a resounding 'yes!'. I also enjoy the tours of their vegie garden; yes, it's true that Italians love their vegetable gardens and the whole neighbourhood seems to be devoted to growing vegetables and fruits in backyards, front yards, pots or anywhere. I had never seen a kiwifruit vine but there is one in the yard which last year gleaned 60kgs of fruit! Consequently the cupboards downstairs are filled with kiwifruit jam! This is so much better than a hotel stay!

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