Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another Weekend

Stefano's mum had cooked another big lunch. We needed some exercise so we decided to go swimming that afternoon at Bormio Terme. Bormio is a mountain town about 60 km (35 miles) from Sondrio.

The nice thing about this place is that the swimming pool is filled with thermal water that comes from the Cinglaccia spring where it gushes out at a temperature between 37°c and 40°c (98-104 F). We swam laps and then relaxed in the outdoor pools while taking in the beautiful mountain scenery. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Before heading home, we decided to drive to Livigno, another 20 miles away to fill up the tank. Livigno is a special duty free area where the Italian VAT exempt from all its goods. The reason at the time (in the 1800s) was justified by the difficulty in reaching Livigno during the winter, for up to six months a year, and the century-long history of poverty in the region. The various states, therefore, wanted to make sure people would have an incentive to continue living in the area so that they could still claim it territorially. Even if this is not particularly true now, the roads are good, there's less snow now and the people are not that poor, the duty free tax status continues. Diesel here costs around 0.78 euro/liter, while outside it costs anywhere from 1.20 euro/liter upwards. It is cold though. I took this picture as the sun was setting.

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