Day five: Como.
Well, Como lived up to its expectations as an Italian paradise. I’m sure that the glorious sunshine helped, but I can see why it was such a popular place to go.
I took the bus to Como in the morning, already armed with my map and instructions on the best places to see while I was there. It’s smaller than I was expecting, but that meant everything was nice walking distance, although it being hot as it was (30 DEGREES. As a pasty northener, this is a very foreign concept to me), you didn’t feel very inclined to do much of that.
My first stop on the walking tour was the duomo or the cathedral. It was absolutely stunning – so elaborate and intricately detailed. It was a respite from the heat too, what with the thick stone walls making it nice and cool inside.
Then it didn’t take me long to walk from there to the (in?)famous lake Como, and, true to the rumours, it was surrounded by very expensive-looking houses and very expensive-looking motor boats. It seemed like everyone had the same idea, too – head down to the lake to look at the scenery and swim/paddle in it. You can walk all the way round it, too, and visit all the beautiful historical villas around it.
I was recommended to go to the Villa , which was the furthest round the lake on the left bank (at least it seemed without leaving Como). It was gorgeous – essentially an Italian version of a stately home. It had grounds and gardens that went all the way down to the lake, and out the back of it with shady trees (another respite from the heat!). Apparently it’s been used as a set in lots of films too, which doesn’t surprise me.
After that, seeing as I was halfway there anyway, I decided to walk around the lake to the next ferry stop to get the ferry back. Although, when I got there, I changed my mind and went even further up the lake! I ended up having a quick look at a little town called Cernobbio, which was very pretty, but tiny. There wasn’t much there apart from some town squares and ice-cream. Proper Italian gelato. It was amazing.
I was fortunate enough to have a friend in Como who offered me her room to stay in. So that evening, when I’d got back to my her house, I was invited out on a walk with the village by her mum. That was fun! It was interesting having my (quite frankly pitiful) grasp of Italian, but the benefit of learning a language from the same family is that you can at least work out a converstation despite only being able to reply in monosyllables! But at least it meant I got to see and walk through some gorgeous countryside. And it felt like I was getting a chance to live a real Italian life (or something)!?
Anyway, that was my day in Como. Next and final stop: Milan.