Hats By Katrinka

Kate Brown Pernia is a Milliner on sabbatical in Switzerland. She has been designing hats and teaching millinery under her Katrinka label since the 1980s. Kate is also the founder of Houston Hat Net. View Katrinka hats and hat patterns at www.hatsbykatrinka.com.

Monday, May 08, 2006


We took off Saturday for a weekend in Locarno in the Ticino (the Italian canton of Switzerland). The spectacular 4 hour train trip was quite different from the snowy scenes of my trip in February. We were treated instead to gorgeous green hillsides and fields of wildflowers punctuated by blooming apple trees, newly shorn sheep and grazing cows. (How DO they stay upright on those steep hills?) The higher peaks of the Alps were still covered in snow but the slopes leading upward were dotted with the paler greens of deciduous trees among the conifers.

When we arrived in Locarno we found mild but hazy weather around Lago Maggiore so our views were not quite postcard perfect. The haze didn’t interfere with our enjoyment, however. We’d just missed the Camellia Festival but the roses were blooming along with a variety of other flowers. On Sunday we took the Funicolare (100+ years old) up the mountain to the Franciscan Santuario della Madonna del Sasso consecrated in 1487. From there we boarded a cable car and then a chair lift up to the summit of Cimetta to enjoy the cool breeze, birdsong (cuckoos!) and watch the parasailors. Here I am 1670 meters above sea level but these fellows are much higher! As for the haze ... we hear Eric Clapton will be on the Piazza Grande for a concert on July 11 so we may give Locarno another try! K Q:-)


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