Hiking above Lake Como: Rifugio Venini

boffalora_cow

Getting to Rifugio Boffalora and the starting point of this hike was half the adventure. From the village of Pigra, a narrow lane along the mountain’s edge with nothing but a guardrail between us and the immediate drop below. It was with great relief when the road opened up into sprawling pasture and we were greeted by this beast in the middle of our path.

Rifugio Venini

rifugio_venini

Reaching this mountain hut wasn’t too strenuous of a walk, but being at a higher altitude under a glaring July sun was tough. From Rifugio Boffalora to Rifugio Venini: about 3 hours round trip. www.rifugiovenini.com

pumpkin_soup
Nothing like a good bowl of soup to begin the meal. This thin-bodied pumpkin soup with rice came with croutons and grated cheese. It was generous in size, I’d say enough for two.

pork_with_juniper
Roast pork loin in juniper berry sauce with tomato-based baked beans and polenta. Very good, but couldn’t compare to my husband’s dish which was…

cervo_polenta
Stewed venison (cervo) with a wild mushroom ragu and polenta.

cheese_plate_venini
When is a cheese plate a definite must-try? When you learn that it was produced by the farm located 30 minutes down the road. The photo tells all. This is a no-frills goat chevre and cow’s milk cheese made from the animals that graze contentedly on these grounds. I will admit to being a cheese snob, but not so much as to dismiss homemade formaggio! There is said to be three cheese-producing farms in the area. Next time we buy.

saffron_ricotta_torta
A ricotta and saffron torte that needed no embellishment other than a dusting of powdered sugar.

maddie_rifugio_venini

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