Friday, 1 June 2007

Three Nights in Stresa

I'm just back from a brief stay at the Collegio Rosmini in Stresa (an hour in the train from Milan), where I ploughed through 150 letters written by our first parish priest, Fr Lockhart (a Rosminian).

If the parish had been founded by diocesan clergy, hardly any letters would have survived - indeed, they wouldn't have been written in the first place since most of the Lockhart letters are to the Father General or Provincial. This makes Kingsland one of the most well-documented parishes of mid-Victorian London. Although I did quite a bit of work, the view from the archives window was somewhat distracting:

It shows part of Lago Maggiore (Italy's second largest lake), which stretches to Switzerland. The islands that you can see are the Borromean Islands (Isole Borromee), which still belong to the family of St Charles Borromeo.

On Tuesday afternoon the Rosminian archivist (an English brother - and a distinguished World War One historian to boot) drove me to the Institute's novitiate at Domodossala:

The Fathers here also care for the Sacro Monte Calvario, one of the nine Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. At Domodossola there is a Via Crucis made up of a series of stunning chapels, with frescoes and life-size statues.

But, I managed to defeat the temptation to do excessive sight-seeing and, for most of the time, only left the College archive in the evenings for a meal in a local trattoria.

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Blogger Jeffrey Smith said...

If you got any work done,with a view like that, you're a better man than I.

3:53 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

I was in Stresa last year. I was quite fascinated by the decadence of the lakeside hotels - wonderful emblems of the glory days of the roaring 20s. It did seey like most of the hoteliers haven't really moved on since then still dining out on the Hemingway connection.

10:28 pm  

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