Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mozzio, Mozzio, Mozzio!

Today Marianna and I were headed up to Mozzio to have lunch with more of my Rolandi relatives. Her uncle Sergio gave us a ride in his car north of Domodossola to Mozzio.
I must say when I knew I was coming to Domodossola to visit my far distant Italian relatives I didn't know what I was getting into. I didn't know that I would be constantly surrounded by beautiful mountains, sunshine and beautiful people that welcomed me into their lovely homes and fed me so well.

Even though we are not closely related everyone welcomed me so happily and I truly embraced being a Rolandi.

We headed up into the mountains stopping in Crodo to have a coffee and hot chocolate. I got a hot chocolate but it was more like hot pudding! So deliciously thick.  It came with a small caramel biscuit that I happily dipped into the thick chocolate goodness.

After we left the cafe we walked across the street to  Il Forno Ossolano where Sergio insisted on buying me a treat. He got me dried fruit dipped in chocolate. It seems the sweet tooth runs in the family.

Back into the car we got and Sergio took us along the road to Baceno to visit the Monumental Parish Church of San Gaudenzio.  The church is very old and as it seems all churches in Italy are, beautiful.

As I mentioned, the church is very old, the first primitive church existing on the spot in the early 1000's. It was built in the Lombard Romanesque style and dedicated to St Gaudenzio, the first bishop of Novara (337-417.)

I lit this candle for grandma Betty.

After leaving the church, Sergio gave me a souvenir of a guide to the church. It's in Italian so I will have to translate it. We got back in the car and headed from Baceno to Mozzio, the home of the Rolandi's.

I thought that they would show me the house where everything had started and that would be it but no, that was not to be it. They showed me inside and I learned there and then that it is still held in their control and they have just recently fixed many things.
Sergio and I happily posed outside of the house. Sergio is very kind and reminds me a lot of Uncle Mike.
This section of the house they rent out for people to enjoy in the summer months.

Inside of the house. I really enjoy the collection of clocks on the wall. In the frame above the fireplace is great great grandpa Giuseppe Rolandi.
Sergio showed me this trunk that was covered with stickers from all different locations. The Immigrants Suitcase, he called it.
After showing me the house, he pulled out a thing of photographs. This one features the Rolandi men in uniform during World War I.  Possibly Vittorio and Edoardo on the left with Cesare and my great grandfather Giuseppe. I am not sure who the man sitting is.

They had a celebration for the last 100 years in 2004.

Cesare Rolandi, wife Carlotta Alberti Violetti and daughter Maria. The son's name I do not know. He died at a young age sadly.

After leaving the house we literally walked next door to where Mirella and her husband Giuseppe live to have lunch.  It was amazing. We had shrimp with mayo for the first course, risotto with mushrooms and peas, delicious potatoes and chicken covered with pastry before having strawberries and whip cream then as if that wasn't enough, we had gelato.

After everything they encouraged me to try the liquor. They say it helps the digestion. I am not sure if this is true but I took a small glass of the Archebus. Not really knowing what it was I slowly sipped it. It reminded me a lot of Fireball, which is a cinnamon liquor in Canada.
I happily enjoyed giving their cat Minnie some attention. Her little meow reminded me of how talkative Ricky is.

After lunch Mirella and Giuseppe showed me their beautiful home. It was very nice and they said that if I ever come back to Mozzio I must stay with them.  Giuseppe is very talented. He made us the beautiful meal but also is very skilled in building and installed almost everything on the property himself.

The view over Mozzio, with the Rolandi house on the left and the church.

The house behind us is what they called their "Little House" which Giuseppe fixed up. It's almost like a cabin with three floors, it's own beautiful bathroom, living room with fireplace and tv, complete kitchen and the very top floor which features a very welcoming bed, as seen below.

After exploring the little house we walked down the road to the church where a lot of the Rolandi's had been christened and wed.

The church was very beautiful inside with many painted frescoes on the ceilings and walls. I was not able to get any info on it but I believe it is called St James and St Rok but I am not sure. Will update if I learn anything more.

Giuseppe and Mirella drove us down the mountain back to Domodossola but we stopped at another church. Lots of churches today it seemed. This one was unfortunately closed but the view from the church of the surrounding plain was very beautiful and worth the stop just for that.

We left the church, dropped Marianna off at the Red Cross and I was left with Giuseppe and Mirella for a short drive in which we attempted to communicate becoming friends on facebook. Them not speaking any English and my Italian being very poor and almost non-existent. We survived luckily and I have now requested her friendship.

Until next time: More Domo and a day at the lakes in Arona.

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