Fresco from the Sanctuary at Montecastello, Tignale, Italy

Yesterday’s 20 km walk from Sermerio to Gagnaro was a challenge for us, not least because the treads were coming off my boots and, despite mitigating efforts with the Trail First Aid Kit, I was feeling the blisters I had developed on the previous long hike. Part of the hike involved an hour-long “steep and vertiginous at times” climb of Monte Cas, high above Lake Garda. Since I can become very anxious on narrow ledges with long drops, I heeded their advice to shorten the walk by skipping that section, meeting up with Jim at the Sanctuary of Monte Castello (which I could reach by a shorter, steep hike through the woods on the side away from the lake). I spent a relaxing portion of an hour eating my lunch and exploring the sanctuary, which the tourist information says features frescoes from the School of Giotto (although nowhere in the signage at the sanctuary does it say this–perhaps because the lower part of the church is closed off and so only one of its frescoes may be seen from the gated entrance). This fresco, of the Virgin Mary being crowned by Jesus, occupies the prominent position behind the altar (and a wooden soasa, or pillared structure). The wall on which it is painted curves it at the top, so the photograph has a somewhat strange perspective at the top. I did not find this image in a quick search of Montecastello fresco images online, so I am posting it as the image for yesterday’s hike.