There is no umbrella. I have checked every nook and cranny in our apartment (there aren't many) so it looks like we're just going to have run for it today. I know that like an old person I keep commenting on the weather, but it has been really bloody hot. I was starting to think that it was just that we didn't have time to acclimatise but we know what hot days are like. We're having 2-3 showers a day just to cool down. Is it that we've gone soft from having air con everywhere? Domestic aircon in Italy is pretty much nonexistent. It doesn't really cool down at all until the sun sets behind the mountains on the other side of the lake, about 9pm. Last night the threatened thunderstorms finally hit. This morning I can't see across to the other side of the lake, those big mountains make for a pretty ferocious storm. Maybe it won't be quite so hot today. Now, to yesterday. We decided to jump in the car and head north (actually I have no idea if it is north. It is the opposite direction to that in which we usually go though) to a town called Colico. Colico is much closer to the really big mountains we can see from Bellano and at the top end of Lake Como. In fact you can drive around to the other side of the lake this way. John had been recommended a small local restaurant in an out of the way place to eat so we decided to head to that for lunch and see a few other sites while in the vicinity. The cafe for lunch was pretty good, if a bit tricky. It was down a small dead end lane sandwiched between a river and the rock wall of mountains. From my poor translation of signage in Italian it seems that there are grottos in the mountain that lead to a glacier under the mountain and there are places where very cool air is released. There was one next to the cafe. Very pleasant. We were the only non Europeans there and it was a extremely busy, we waited for an hour for a table and weren't disappointed. The food wasn't fancy by any means but was simple good home style Italian food. Yum. I think I could be converted to polenta. We stopped at monastry in Piona that we had thought we might like to see last time we were here but just didn't get to it. Up a few narrow windy roads to get there, worth the visit. A lovely cloister. Next stop an old fort: Forte Fuente. Who knew the Spaniard's were once in Italy? This fort was apparently built back in the Beginning of the 1600's, there's not a whole lot left to see since Napoleon gave it the once over but it was built to stop the Protestants from coming across the mountains from what is Switzerland today, and corrupting the Catholics of Spain / Italy. We had an unusual guide for this visit. A tabby met us in the car park at the bottom of the hill and walked with us all the way to the top of the hill where the fort is located.Read more
You really know you're in Italy when you need 3 different adapters joined together, balanced precariously on the lid of a small bin to make the connection just right to get the charge going into the phone.....not to mention the dodgy internet connection.
Today we're having a leisurely start to the day and taking the 11am fast ferry into Como for the day. Yesterday for our first day after arriving we decided to explore by ferry. We are located quite close to the Bellano ferry terminal so we have no need to get the car out. We decide to go across the lake to Menaggio, then to Bellagio, and back to Bellano. The weather continues to be quite hot, mid 30's each day threatening thunderstorms in the evening. These conditions mean that we really have to find a nice bar or cafe with lake views at every stop for a refreshing drink. Luckily there are plenty of such places and Menaggio was no exception. The little tourist info office provided us with a map of a small walking tour around the town. Highlights being the place where Mussolini was shot. Apparently this town was the bolt hole for wealthy Milanese during the war and also a hidey hole for the resistance.
From Menaggio across the Lake to Bellagio, ready for lunch now. It's going to take a day or two to get the ferry timetable right. Not too many ferrys come up the lake to Bellano so by the time we finished lunch we had to get back on the ferry or wait until the next one at 6pm. We'll have to come back and wander Bellagio on another day. What a hardship. Lunch was great, a nice restaurant right on the waters edge, enjoying the pasta! Back at our apartments Roger wandered up the road to one of the very few beaches for a swim.
We can see a restaurant from our balcony that is only open at night and is quite busy. We went there for dinner last night had a great meal. The prices are so good after Switzerland. What an expensive place that is...last nights meal cost $35 per couple, pizza's, mussels, wine beers, in Switzerland we were paying well over $100 per couple for our meals.Read more