Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Trip to Como, Italy

This past weekend B and I went on our first official European weekend getaway to Como, Italy. Thursday was a holiday, so B took Friday off as well and we spent 3 days consuming gelato and enjoying the lake views. It was so wonderful to get some time to ourselves and see B take some time off. It was my first time in Italy, and it lived up to my hopes - and a surprising number of stereotypes.

Water fountain on the lakefront in Italian colors.
- The lake and surrounding mountains were gorgeous. Super gorgeous. Stunning. Crazy, movie scenery. This was aided by the multiple million-dollar villas scattered along the lake shore.

Como, with the Duomo as the overwhelming centerpiece.

Villa Olmo, walking distance from Como.

One of the many lakefront properties on our 2 hour boat trip up the lake.

All of the villas had impeccably done gardens and grounds.

- It was hot. Super hot. According to the weather on my phone, it was around 27C (80F) and never got above 31C (88F), but B and I call bullshit on that. The humidity was off the charts, and the sun was relentless. Neither B nor I are built for heat, so we spent most of the days planning our meanderings around where there was shade. Many, many visits to gelaterias helped take the edge off the heat.

Dark chocolate gelato. One of the dozen plus that B and I consumed over 3 days.
- Grazie, Italian language, for allowing me to realize exactly how much progress I've made in German. Coz I understood NOTHING people were throwing at me. But I did enjoy eavesdropping on both German and French tourists, which made me feel all multilingual (make no mistake - I'm totally not. But compared to 0% understanding in Italian, the 30-50% comprehension of German and French made me feel positively genius).

- Our dining out experiences varied greatly, but the best meal by light years was the tasting menu at The Marketplace. If you ever find yourself in the Como region, check this place out. Five courses, 35 euros, and B also got a wine tasting flight to accompany it (4 types of wine, 15 euro). The dishes were inventive and unbelievably delicious. It was one of the top five meals I've ever eaten in my life. We also loved the decor of the restaurant - cozy, quiet, upscale without pretention. 

First course from The Marketplace - a roasted tomato salad with basil ice cream and some sort of salami and I don't know what else but it was SO GOOD.

Tiramisu at a restaurant in Bellagio.

Mango tart tatin with violet ice cream at Ciboooh (yes, that's the restaurant name) in Como.
- We took a boat up to Bellagio, which is located in the center of wishbone-shaped Lake Como, where we enjoyed walking around the gardens of Villa Melzi. I wish we could've spent more time exploring the town, but one of the afternoon boats back to Como was cancelled and we were concerned about getting a seat on the remaining one.

The gardens of Villa Melzi

- Our return train on Sunday evening was 40 minutes late arriving in Como, and then broke down 10 minutes later (Italian transportation did not measure up to the Swiss, in our short experience). We were shuffled onto a smaller regional train to Lugano, where another train was waiting for us. On the overcrowded regional train, I ended up sitting next to an Italian-speaking (only) mother and small girl in a stroller, who was fascinated with my Kindle and insisted on playing with it. The delays meant that the regional trains had stopped running by the time we pulled into Zurich, so we had to take a cab home around 1:20 am. Very, very long day.

I finished two books, started a new crochet project (almost 3 squares done on this afghan), and managed to avoid a sunburn - overall, a very successful vacation, and I'm looking forward to our next one!


  1. I want to go to there! Looks amazing - so happy you are getting out and about and writing about it (I could take a lesson or three from that and am hoping to soon).

  2. Thanks for the great read. I’m getting “Reise Fieber” as they say in German, just watching the gorgeous pictures … such a beautiful world !