We zip zip zipped through the Italian countryside via the Autostrada, my husband at the wheel, our car moving too fast—I am not exaggerating—for me to capture a single decent image through the window. (This was a tad heartbreaking, I must admit. I am a big fan of my friend Vickie’s #carwindowphotography and had long dreamed of the shots I’d get.) In hindsight this was a gift. A magnificent surprise awaited us the moment we turned off the Italian interstate and into the little town of Como*.
I want you to picture this place. With great intention the Alps rise from a magnificent lake that stretches miles and miles and miles. Extremely close to the edge is carved the tiniest, winding-est, ancient-est one lane road you’ve ever seen, bordered on one side by the great drop to the water, the other side by a stone wall that jets in and out of the road in a random, you-never-know way. (My heart gets jumpy just thinking about it. It is a two-way, one lane road after all.) Homes and restaurants and churches cling to the mountain, stacked one on top of the other, on a rise so severe it clearly defies scientific possibility. It’s as if they’ve made a game of it, the buildings and these mountains, a bluff neither has called for so long they eventually settled into each other.
And still you get the feeling that if you pulled one card the whole thing would come tumbling…well, you get the idea.
We drove 30 miles alongside the lake, deeper and deeper into the mountains, to finally reach our destination. We checked into the hotel, climbed to our room, then walked out onto the balcony.
I will never forget this view:
I will never forget that lake.
*You undoubtedly already know what I did not when we planned this trip. Como moved from relative obscurity to the destination limelight when George Clooney bought a villa there. We have it on good authority (our favorite hotel waiter) that Clooney is very well liked by the locals because he is “a simple man.” (We think he meant “a regular guy.”) And yes, George and girlfriend Stacey Keibler were vacationing in Como when we were there. We did not see them, unfortunately. But we did find the Villa, due to Tim’s exceptional triple cross reference mapping skills.
earlier posts on our trip: