From Genoa we drove on through Piemonte, into Lombardy, around Milan, and then up to Como. (No sane people would bring two small children on holiday into Milan…)
We are sentimentally retracing the steps that brought us through this beautiful province once before…
The first view of the lake is amazing, but it doesn’t stop at that! Every turn of the (very twisty) road leads to a spectacular view. Just past Tremezzo is our hotel: a special place for our family and overflowing with significance. The last time we came to Lake Como we only needed a table for three – this time, never mind the opinions of doctors and such, we came with a family member who owes his own beginnings to the magic of this special place. (As Stana said before our first visit: “Ah, Como… sempre romantico!”)
The Hotel Grand Cadenabbia is like a genteel aunt at a garden party… quiet, stately, well dressed and never flashy. Style and composure are her hallmarks…
It is nice to be back, and to see that the hotel is in good repair although five years have passed since our last visit…
Last time we were here:
In spite of a sudden torrential rain (thunder included!) we braved the outdoors to swim, as promised to our children, in the hotel pool. So fun! Just the four of us and one adventurous middle aged Brit made use of the pool in the warm rain, which became quite a spectacle for the other guests with more delicate constitutions – we were photographed and cheered on by many families who watched us laugh and play in disbelief. (It was only rain! We are from Vancouver!)
After drying off with our hotel room blow dryer we wandered down to El Timon in Tremezzo for pizza (just like our last visit) and spent the evening sharing a mixed language conversation with a French couple seated next to us. Back and forth between three languages for one meal was a stretch – one of the great challenges/benefits of travelling! Also worth noting: children are natural ambassadors. Ours are constantly making friends with random strangers, and we are all the better for it…
Tonight’s pizza selection: Hawaiian, Diavola, Tmon – the last made with pesto and sausage, yummy!)
After dinner we took a walk north past Cadenabbia for gelato (mirtilli, lampone, caffe, cioccolatto) and some window shopping in preparation for a big day tomorrow. One of my very favourite places: Villa Carlotta and the garden of fairies…
So much still to see, but we are thrilled to be back! (Miss G. wants to stay for a week. Better start saving. )
Morning at Lake Como is grey and misty. We woke up early for breakfast in the dining room and were rewarded with a gradual lightening of clouds and sky to reveal the lake and the opposite shore… Where we are on the west side of the lake looks directly across at Bellagio. More chocolate croissants! This seems to be an Italian breakfast staple and is another motivation to move to Italy forever!
After breakfast we took the ferry from Cadenabbia to Bellagio.
We were just in time to see all the shopkeepers opening up their stores and laying out their wares for display. Silk scarves are the stars of the show, followed by jewelry (including murano glass), leather goods, ceramics and gourmet specialty foods…
All of these shops are lovely to look at, but not as lovely as the winding cobbled stairs and overflowing flowers with beautiful views of the lake all around.
This time I managed to stop into the church – a beautiful place for prayer or reflection – dark and serious and absolutely silent.
Our early morning quiet was disappearing as more and more people came out for the day. We ferried back across the lake, soaking in the views just one more time.
We are on our way north again!
In the meantime, something is starting to catch my attention, even while I am half way around the world on holiday… Could it be almost that time again?