Italy 2018: Day 7

The last day in Italy. If you had told me when I woke up this morning that by this afternoon I would be ready to head home, I wouldn’t have believed it. But after my “farewell tour” of Varenna this morning, and a trip across the lake to Menaggio, I’m ready for home.

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Varenna

I literally didn’t have a plan for the day when I woke up this morning and sort of decided what to do minute by minute. I started with the usual hotel breakfast (I like pastries and cold cuts as much as the next person, but it’s getting a little old for breakfast every day) and hot chocolate before venturing out into the streets of Varenna. I wandered up and down all the little alleyways, discovered a little church I didn’t realize was open before, and took pictures of all the stairways around town.

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Church of St. John the Baptist, Varenna

Just before 11AM, I took the ferry across the lake to Menaggio. Other than passing through to get the bus yesterday, I hadn’t explored this town yet. Menaggio has less character than Varenna and Bellagio, but still manages to turn on some of the Italian charm. Centered around the lakefront and Piazza Garibaldi, the town is a little more spread out that the others, and does not have many of the stepped alleys I was hoping to find again. In the end, I spent a little over an hour in Menaggio before taking the boat back to Varenna. None of the restaurants in Menaggio appealed to me, so I decided I’d rather go back to one of the lakefront restaurants in Varenna for a mid-afternoon lunch (I bet you can already guess what I’m planning for “dinner”…). I’m sure one reason I’m ready for home is that my allergies kicked into high gear the last couple of days and I’m feeling rather congested and tired. The weather has been beautiful; 75 to 80 degrees and sunny skies every day this week. But that also means all of the flowers and trees are in bloom, which I thankfully haven’t had to deal with at home yet. I have a decongestant with me because I need it for the plane, but I hate taking it if I can get by without it.

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Menaggio

Lunch ended up being prosciutto pizza at Bar Nilus (of Day 2’s enormous crepe fame). I had a table in the shade by the lake and I took my time enjoying the meal. Nobody seems to rush you here like they sometimes do at home. When you’re ready to leave, you just flag someone down for the check. Afterwards, I was ready for a nap. I have a love-hate relationship with naps because typically I have a hard time sleeping at night if I take one during the day, but they feel so darn good at the time that they can be awfully hard to resist. The nap won out today, and I actually felt a lot better when I woke up. I managed to repack my suitcase in relatively short order and then sat on the patio reading my book in the sun for a while. Then it was one last aperitivo on the terrace and a gelato from my favorite gelateria before a final walk around Varenna.

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Last aperitivo – Hotel du Lac, Varenna

I will say it over and over again: the people at this hotel – Hotel du Lac in Varenna – are the nicest people you can hope to meet. They all speak near perfect English and have gone out of their way to be helpful and welcoming the entire week. Tonight when I checked out, they arranged a taxi to pick me up in the morning, and someone will meet me at 6AM to make sure the taxi is here and get me a breakfast to take with me on the train. I would stay here again in a heartbeat, though I don’t know that I will ever return to Varenna. It’s one of those places where I feel like I have seen and done everything there is to do and there are so many other places I want to see in the world… Alas, the fairy tale week must come to an end. The taxi will take me to the train station at 6 o’clock tomorrow morning, and if all goes as planned, I should be home around 8PM tomorrow night (if you’re keeping track, that’s about 20 hours of travel time!).

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Varenna

“Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.” ~Anna Akhmatova

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Italy 2018: Day 6

Switzerland. Not Zermatt or Lucerne, but Italian-influenced Lugano, on the shores of Lake Lugano. This was my 12th country, which doesn’t seem all that impressive given how much I love to travel. I’ll have to work on that. 😉 When I started planning this trip, and realized how close Lake Como is to Switzerland, I knew I would have to spend a day there. From Varenna, you can take the ferry across the lake to Menaggio, where you catch a bus to Lugano, a little less than an hour away. I had to set out early to catch a ferry to Menaggio that would get me there in time to make the 8:30AM bus to Lugano. No ten hours of sleep for me last night, but that’s okay.

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Lugano, Switzerland

For a trip that’s very easy on paper, there are a surprising number of logistics involved. Some places have ticket counters, such as ferry terminals and major train stations, but for other things like buses and local trains, you have to find a ticket agent like a tabacchi or a newsagent. I knew there were a few places to buy a bus ticket in Menaggio, but copied some pretty clear directions to a newsagent that was also close to a bus stop. The reality was I’m glad I got there with plenty of time to spare because it’s not easy to navigate a completely new place when you’re on a schedule. I was afraid to leave the bus stop to find food once I got there because I didn’t want to miss the next bus.

Once I was safely on the bus it was easy to relax and enjoy the twisting, winding road over the border to Switzerland. Crossing the border into Switzerland is little more than a formality. Two guards got on the bus, walked through, then got off. And just like that, I was in Switzerland. Once in Lugano, I realized it is a little bigger than I was expecting. First stop: food. I had asked the very nice woman who works at the hotel about the ferry/bus schedule ahead of time and she had offered to prepare me a breakfast to take with me since I would be gone before breakfast started today. But I felt like something different and ended up waiting until Lugano to find a little cafe where I ordered a chocolate croissant and hot chocolate. No language barriers with “chocolate”! And holy cow!! I thought the hot chocolate at the hotel was decadent. It doesn’t even hold a candle to what I had this morning. It’s basically like drinking a rich chocolate pudding. YUM!

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Parco Ciani, Lugano

Then it was off to the tourist information office. I had only a couple of must sees on my list, so it was a matter of finding where those were and figuring out what else there was to see. I ended up wandering the streets of Lugano, window shopping and picture taking for about an hour. Lugano is definitely a shopping mecca… think Gucci and Prada. One of my must-dos was a ride up the funicular to the top of Monte Brè. The top provides stunning views of Lake Lugano, albeit a bit hazy today. While waiting for the funicular to take off, I had about a 15 minute conversation with the gentleman riding up with his delivery of wine for the restaurant at the top. He knew a couple of words of English, and I could make out a little of what he was saying, but we made do with hand gestures and simple words. We managed to cover everything from his trip to New York City in January to the weather and languages spoken in Switzerland without really understanding each other’s language.

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Top of Monte Brè overlooking Lake Lugano

After a quick visit to the top of Monte Brè, I was faced with the decision of how to spend the rest of my time in Lugano. I had planned to spend the afternoon walking to the village of Gandria along the lakefront, but I threw that idea out the window. Instead, I stopped at the supermarket I had passed and picked up the makings of a picnic lunch/snack to enjoy at the park on the waterfront. I had walked through Parco Ciani this morning, and the most beautiful tulips you can imagine are all in bloom in every color of the rainbow. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon. After I ate my crackers and yogurt, I walked around the park, wandered the streets of Lugano, and generally took in the city until it was time to return to the bus stop.

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Salumeria in Lugano

I can’t really explain why I liked Lugano so much more than Bergamo. They’re both cities, but Lugano is much cleaner and it has the lake and beautiful parks. Even the money here is beautiful. European money is much more colorful than American money, but this is incredible. I was forced to take out CHF50 (Swiss francs) from the ATM because it was the smallest amount allowed and the funicular only takes cash. I didn’t even want to break the 50 because it was so pretty. But the CHF20 is even more colorful. I keep currency from all of my travels as souvenirs, and I was able to hold onto the CHF20 to bring home.

Back in Menaggio, I stopped at the market by the ferry and bought a container of hot chocolate mix (Did I mention I also bought some at the supermarket in Lugano?) And some candy. I read online that the hot chocolate here has some type of thickener in the mix which makes it much richer and thicker than what we’re used to. I can’t wait to try it at home! Dinner tonight was at Borgovino, a tiny restaurant (think no more than 10 tables) on a tiny alley a couple of streets up from the lake. The restaurant itself is cute, but I chose to sit at one of two tables outside along the alley to enjoy my gnocchi Gorgonzola and tiramisu.

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Borgovino, Varenna

I am already feeling that familiar struggle that comes near the end of every vacation: I love it here and want to stay longer (arriving in Varenna on the ferry feels like coming home) but I also want to be home in my own bed and comfortable surroundings. Tomorrow is my last day here, followed by a full day of travel to get home on Saturday. I purposely left tomorrow open to decide what I want to do as I go along. I have a couple of ideas, but mostly I just want to soak up every last second of my time in Italy.

Italy 2018: Day 5

I’m just going to put it out there that today was not my favorite day of vacation. I mean, it was still Italy, so how bad could it be, but cities are not my thing and that’s where I spent the majority of my day. But let’s rewind to this morning, when I still had high hopes for the day. It must be the fresh Italian air… last night was the second night in a row that I slept for almost 10 hours. Or maybe I’m still recovering from jet lag. Either way, the sleep has been glorious. I’m not an alarm clock person at all; I can’t even remember the last time I woke up to my alarm. So when my phone alarm went off this morning, I nearly screamed as I bolted out of bed to turn it off! But it was all good because I was about to embark on my journey to Bergamo.

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Bergamo Città Alta

Bergamo is a medieval city divided into two parts: the lower city, or Città Bassa, and the walled upper city, Città Alta. Città Bassa is newer and the area around the train station was kind of gritty (not unlike the train itself), so after a quick stop at the tourist information office near the train station, I high-tailed it to Città Alta by bus. As we neared Città Alta, we passed through the enormous city gates, dating to the 16th century. Since my bus ticket was also good for the funicular, I took the funicular to Castello San Vigilio, even higher up than Città Alta and overlooking all of Bergamo. I was trying to rush a bit because my ticket expired 75 minutes after I first used it, but I climbed to the top of the castle tower and had an amazing view over Bergamo with the Alps rising in the background. I was all set to take the funicular back down when I saw a sign with a map showing what looked like a walking route back. It was a bit off the beaten path, and I only saw a few people, but the views couldn’t be beat. The “road” was cobblestone the whole way, with much of it stairs. By the time I got back to my starting point, I was tired.

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The walk back from Castello San Vigilio

I know you are probably bored reading all this and waiting for me to get to the most important part of the day: food. Well, since I had just done so much walking, I figured I deserved a gelato. I mixed some kind of mascarpone with caramel and stracciatella in a small cone. Not 10 minutes later, I passed this cute little cafe, Il Fornaio, with about a million pizzas/sandwiches lined up in the window. It was calling to me. The one with bacon, cheese, and balsamic. I don’t even know what it was… pizza? sandwich? pizzawich? Whatever it was, it was sooooo good. I finished that off and dug into the enormous meringue I bought for dessert. I know. Sometimes I amaze myself with how much I can manage to pack away in one sitting. I couldn’t finish the pizza thing, but made quick work of the meringue.

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Il Fornaio, Bergamo

The streets of Città Alta are narrow and filled with all kinds of shops selling meats, cheeses, and the specialty of the city: polenta. I had to work off my lunch before I could rationalize any more food. Off to Piazza Vecchia. This is about the time I started to tire of the city and wanted to head back to Varenna. Both churches were closed and the streets were mobbed with people. The woman at the tourist office in Città Alta recommended a stop at the Remembrance Park so I took a look around and admired the view. Then I took one last walk down the main road, Via Bartolomeo Colleoni, and headed toward the city wall. I squished into the funicular going down to Città Bassa, hopped on a bus to the train station and managed to get on the 3:08 train to Lecco, connecting to Varenna. I basically spent 5 hours in the city and by the end of it, I couldn’t wait to leave. I should have just picked another village on the lake to visit.

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The streets of Bergamo

The day turned around once I returned to Varenna and the lake. I took a break for a little while and then headed to Caffe Varenna for a snack. (I can hardly call it dinner after the food I already consumed today!) A table by the lake, a Hugo Spritz, and Gorgonzola, pear, honey, and nut bruschetta helped to put the city far behind me. Tomorrow I’m headed to another country for the day!

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Caffe Varenna

 

Italy 2018: Day 4

Today it was off to the western shore of Lake Como to explore Lenno and Tremezzo. Both are relatively small villages, but lack the character and charm of Varenna and Bellagio. The attraction to both villages is the villas. Just outside of Lenno is Villa Balbianello and located in Tremezzo is Villa Carlotta. I took the boat first to Lenno to visit Villa Balbianello. I was looking forward to walking through the town as Tuesday is market day in Lenno. Unfortunately, the market was a mishmash of everything from underwear to shoes to cleaning products. There were a couple of stands selling fruits and veggies, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.

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View of Lake Como from Villa Balbianello

To reach Villa Balbianello you walk along the lakefront part of the way and can either walk the rest of the way or take a boat. The villa is built in a rocky headland jutting out into Lake Como. I opted to walk, and it was a pretty steep walk (a half mile or so) over the hill before dropping down to the villa. Once there, it was about 15 minutes until the next tour in English. The villa was originally a monastery and then bought and converted into a villa in the 18th century. Most recently it was owned by Guido Monzino. When he died in 1988, he left the villa to the National Trust. There are 6 floors and the tour starts at the top and makes its way down. Monzino had a fascinating collection of artifacts from his many expeditions, most notably to the North Pole and Mt. Everest. The 6th floor is devoted to memorabilia from his expeditions. After the tour, I spent a little time wandering in the gardens and then returned to town.

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View from Villa Carlotta

Next up was a short ferry ride to Tremezzo and Villa Carlotta. I had read about a good pizza restaurant in Tremezzo, but of course did not write down the name or address. I asked a shopkeeper about pizza and she said she thinks the restaurant I was asking about closed and recommended Ristorante Azalea, with a small patio directly on the lake. I had prosciutto cotto pizza that was heads above the one I had in Varenna the other day. Yum! I topped it off with Catalan cream with orange scent. Sitting right on the lake enjoying the view only added to my enjoyment of the meal.

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Ristorante Azalea

My final stop was at Villa Carlotta, a 17th century villa built overlooking the shores of Lake Como, surrounded by 20 acres of gardens. I spent about an hour wandering around the gardens. The highlight was a stop at the panoramic view in the Olive tree grove.

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Villa Carlotta

Then it was back to the boat and across the lake to Varenna. I stopped for a couple of Coca Cola Lights (Europe’s version of Diet Coke) at the bottega and then came back to the hotel. Aperitivo was on the agenda again tonight, along with a gelato by the water. (I am not really a wine drinker, but I am enjoying the Prosecco and tried a local rosé wine tonight.) Tomorrow I’m heading to the medieval city of Bergamo, about an hour away by train from Varenna.

Italy 2018: Day 3

Off to Bellagio! I know what you’re thinking… “But Laura, isn’t Bellagio in Las Vegas?” Why yes it is, and the resort was inspired by the town of Bellagio on Lake Como in Italy. Bellagio is at the northern tip of the Bellagio Peninsula, which separates the two southern legs of Lake Como, and was the location for today’s adventure. Ferries ply the waters of Lake Como during the daylight hours, carrying passengers and cars to villages around the lake. Along with Bellagio and Menaggio, Varenna makes up the mid-lake triad and boats regularly travel between the three towns. I boarded the 9:23 boat, and a mesmerizing 15 minutes later I was walking the streets of Bellagio. I say mesmerizing because from the boat you can see every part of the lake with the majestic Italian Alps rising to the north.

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Bellagio

Bellagio is busier than Varenna and also larger. But it shares the same cobblestone stepped streets and alleys. I picked up a guide for a walk around the Bellagio suburbs and set off for Pescallo. I took a ton of photos of the streets of Bellagio along the way because they were mostly empty and I assumed they would fill up quickly with day trippers before I returned. Also, I can’t possibly take enough photos of these streets. Pescallo is a small fishing village reached by cresting the hill that separates it from Bellagio. Just as charming but much smaller, I was in awe of the tiny passageways with vine covered homes and mossy cobblestone walkways. I followed the guide through Oliverio, Regatola, and Guggiate before reaching San Giovanni.

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Pescallo

San Giovanni is another small fishing village perched on the shores of Lake Como. As I started my walk through town, I spotted a woman enjoying a Coke at a tiny table along the main alley. It was just what I wanted too. So I sat for about 20 minutes enjoying my Coke Zero and taking in the ambiance of the quiet alley. From there, it was a short walk to the main Piazza overlooking the boat harbor and lake. I picked a bench and just sat there for a few minutes. I could have stayed all day, but there was much more to see. Next up was the tiny village of Loppia with its colorful homes and the entrance to the gardens of Villa Melzi. The villa itself is not open to the public, but the gardens make for a pleasant (albeit overpriced) stroll along the lake heading back to Bellagio.

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San Giovanni

Once in Bellagio, my stomach was growling. I had planned on pizza today, but just after I reached town, I saw Cava Turacciolo up a small alley. I had read about this place many times, and soon pizza was out the window and replaced by fresh pasta and wine. The little restaurant is actually a wine cave, with hundreds of bottles of wine lining the stone walls. Amazing. I settled in for a glass of Prosecco and ravioli filled with cheese and herbs. I gave my tired feet a rest while I lingered over the meal.

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Cava Turacciolo, Bellagio

Next up was a walk to Punta Spartivento, at the very tip of Bellagio. From there you can see the northern end of Lake Como, with the Alps to the north and Varenna to the east. My last stop in Bellagio was at Gelateria del Borgo. This time I mixed stracciatella with French vanilla. Gelato is growing on me, but I still prefer American ice cream.

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Lake Como from Bellagio

Then it was back to the hotel for some downtime before… aperitivo! This is fast becoming my favorite Italian tradition. Tonight it was beautiful, sunny, and 70 degrees, and I sat on the patio overlooking the lake next to a couple from St. Louis and chatted for almost an hour. Have I mentioned how much I love it here? After dinner I took a leisurely stroll along the lakeside path to the north end of town and back and am now settled in to watch the sunset and call it a night.

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Lakeside path, Varenna

Italy 2018: Day 2

I love Italy. I know I say that about a lot of places I visit, but it is absolutely stunning here. And I know I’m not visiting any of the big cities like Rome or Venice, but this suits my style much better. Tiny villages where you only have to turn a corner to be away from anything even resembling a crowd. Cobblestone streets just barely wide enough for two people to pass. Italian villas tucked into hillsides. Delicious food. Who needs the sun in a place as beautiful as this?

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Lake Como

If you didn’t guess already, the sun didn’t really want to make an appearance today. But other than a few sprinkles, it wasn’t a washout either. I didn’t sleep great last night and spent a couple of hours tossing and turning and watching Italian television at midnight. I was still up relatively early and ready to begin my first full day in Lake Como. It turns out Italian breakfasts are pretty much the same as you get everywhere in Europe: an assortment of pastries (of which the croissant seems to be a staple), watery eggs, toast with jam, yogurt, and fruit. Imagine my delight to find that my hotel has fresh made croissants stuffed with Nutella! That will be my breakfast staple for the week.

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Fiumelatte

I wanted to visit Villa Monastero and Castello di Vezio today. I decided I would walk to the nearby village of Fiumelatte and stop at the villa on the way this morning, then hike up to the castle in the afternoon. I walked up to the village plaza in Varenna (Piazza San Giorgio) and stumbled upon an outdoor market. There were a variety of vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to kitchen utensils to wine and cheese. I didn’t buy anything but got a couple of samples of biscuits while I walked. Although it’s a pretty short walk to Villa Monastero from Varenna, I kept getting sidetracked by beautiful alleys and walkways. All I kept thinking was, “This is incredible!”. Even in a village this small, it feels like there are endless passageways and cobblestone alleys to explore. Eventually I arrived at the villa. It was pretty, don’t get me wrong, but not a highlight for me. There are extensive gardens which looked they are still a few weeks away from bloom as well as the house to visit. The house itself was originally a Cistercian convent starting in the 12th century, but was eventually bought and repurposed before being donated to the public in the 1930s. Leaving the villa, I walked along the road to Fiumelatte, about a mile south of Varenna. The village is even smaller than Varenna itself, but has the same maze of cobblestone passageways and alleys. It is known for having the shortest river in Italy at about 820 feet. I have noticed several taps of water along the sides of roads and passageways and asked a woman entering her house if the water is safe to drink. She assured me it was, so I took a few sips of the water from the Fiumelatte River before heading back to Varenna.

You don’t need to worry about me going hungry this week. After my morning walk I stopped at Bar Nilus for lunch. I ordered what was easily the most fattening thing on the menu… a crepe with ham and cheese. Unlike any other crepe I’ve ever had, this was baked in its own little skillet and smothered in at least a pound of cheese. At least it seemed that way. And it was delicious. Or “molto bueno” if you will. I wish I could say I couldn’t finish it, but we all know that’s not true.

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Ham and Cheese Crepe at Bar Nilus

I stopped for a while to rest my legs at the hotel, then it was off to Castello di Vezio, high up and overlooking the entirety of Lake Como. It is about a 30 minute hike straight uphill to the castle from Varenna. Just before reaching the castle, you come to the tiny hamlet of Vezio, home to a few houses, a church, and a ceramics shop. I took a peek inside the church (beautiful!) then kept going. My plan was to look around the castle before the 3:30 falconry demonstration. The castle and its notorious “ghosts” were featured in the detour on the Amazing Race so it was fun to see it in person. Once inside the castle grounds, you can walk to the top of the tower and explore the basements. It turns out falconry isn’t really my thing, plus the presentation was entirely in Italian, so I watched the falcon fly for a few minutes and then quietly made my exit.

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Overlooking Lake Como at Castello di Vezio

After the castle and a short rest, it was time for aperitivo. Aperitivo is a lovely northern Italian tradition whereby you order a drink and get a boatload of food to go with it (for free). The idea is that it is a teaser for your meal to come (Italians eat around 8 or 9PM) and you only eat a little. But after my huge lunch, it was more than enough to be considered dinner. My hotel serves aperitivo each day in the bar/terrace, so I decided I would give it a try. I had an Aperol spritz and a delicious spread of local meats and cheeses. My drink of choice is usually cider, but it’s not very common in Italy. (I have a 4 hour layover in Dublin going home and let’s just say I have a special fondness for the Irish Bulmers cider…) I knew going in that the spritz would look sweet but taste very bitter. It’s bright orange and did indeed appear to be sweet. But one sip assured me that there was plenty of bitter alcohol in it! I topped off “dinner” with Coppa Meringa, a dish of ice cream with meringue and whipped cream. Delish!

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Aperitivo

Tomorrow I’m off to Bellagio… the real one, not the one in Vegas!

Facebook EuropeP.S. Interesting fact : on Facebook, the little world icon for notifications in the top right corner is different in Europe (showing the European continent instead of North America).

Italy 2018: Day 1

Car, plane, bus, train…. it was worth every minute of the 18 hours it took to get to this week’s vacation destination: Varenna, Italy. Seriously. I am typing this as I sit on the outdoor patio at Bar Il Molo overlooking gorgeous Lake Como and gorging feasting on my first authentic Italian pizza.

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Bar Il Molo, Varenna

I was inspired to visit Lake Como because it was a stop on Season 29 of the Amazing Race. I don’t think I’ll be disappointed if today’s first few hours in Varenna are any indication of the week to come. Varenna is a small village with about 800 people. It’s built on the side of a hill and there are no automobiles in the main village. Most of the “streets” are actually narrow alleyways made up of cobblestone steps. But its ferry connections to the rest of the lake and train connections to Milan make it very appealing to tourists. Apparently the town becomes very sleepy once the tourists leave for the day.

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Varenna, Italy

The trip to get here was no picnic. I took a “redeye” flight from Boston to Dublin at 5:45PM last night, arriving in Dublin at 4:30AM (11:30PM at home, so it can hardly be considered an overnight flight). Even though I’m not visiting the UK this week, I managed to find a scone with fresh cream at the Dublin airport. Next it was off to Milan’s Linate airport. I was able to catnap for part of that flight and woke up when we were high above the Alps. Linate is far from a modern airport with remote airplane parking stands and shuttle buses to take you to the terminal (which seems to have only about 3 actual jetways). Immigration was a breeze and my suitcase was already waiting when I arrived.

I wasn’t sure how long the rest of the journey would take, but I only had to wait about 10 minutes for the shuttle bus to leave for the 25 minute journey to Milano Centrale train station. Driving across Milan made me glad I didn’t plan to spend any time in the city. It was crowded with people and cars and seemed to have graffiti on every available surface. I wanted to buy my train ticket at the ticket counter but with the long line I figured I’d attempt to work the self-service ticket machine. There were a couple of guys by the machines helping people. One of them talked me through buying a ticket, directed me to the right platform and told me exactly how many stops I needed to stay on the train for. Turns out he was looking for a tip. I handed over 1 euro and 20 minutes later I was on my way to Varenna (a little over an hour away).

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Welcome to Varenna!

Varenna’s train station is about a 15 minute walk outside of town but I decided to hoof it because the weather was warm and sunny. I immediately regretted not packing my sunglasses (“I don’t think I’ll need those on this trip…”) and stopped to buy a pair from one of the small stalls at a roadside market. I took the lakeside pathway into town on the advice of a woman at the tourist office and it was the perfect introduction to Varenna. Coincidentally, I also audibly introduced myself to Varenna in the form of dragging my suitcase along the cobblestone walkway. I’m sure the cafe diners enjoyed a little background percussion while they enjoyed their meals.

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Home Sweet (Italian) Home

After a quick shower in the world’s tiniest shower stall (I exaggerate, but this bathroom is really small… I kept knocking my arms on the walls while I washed my hair), it was off in search of food. Bar Il Molo fit the bill in terms of ambiance, though I must say the pizza was a bit disappointing. Thankfully, I have several more days to find the perfect slice of pizza. After dinner, I tried some Italian gelato and walked around the rest of the town for a bit. My hotel room has a beautiful terrace on the lake with some inviting chairs, so I will spend a little time there and then call it a night!