03 July 2012

All things Como

Finally got a nice long run in today - about 6.75 miles through the hills of Civenna.  It was terrific to get out and pump up those hills after a few days of not running much.  When I got back to the house, C & I shared a pot of coffee on the terrace and watched the sun burn the fog off of the lake.

Showering in the villa is a complex matter.  There are four full bathrooms in the house, but the way the plumbing is set up, if more than one shower is going at a time, only one shower gets adequate hot water. B & A are using the bathroom at the bottom of the totem pole, so if anyone else is using hot water, B & A get an icy shower. Getting the six of us clean in a timely manner requires a lot of water-flow juggling. As soon as one person is done showering, they announce it to the house so the next person can jump in. When everyone is on board with it, it works well and efficiently, but if anyone isn't paying attention and jumps in out of order, cold showers result.

Anyway, we got out of the house in time to get down to town to meet Laura, who was our tour guide for the day. She led us on a tour of Lake Como, stopping at Villa del Balbianello, a beautiful site that was used in in Star Wars Episode II.  Many people owned the Villa, including a gay explorer who lied about reaching the peak of Everest (long story) and a cardinal who was afraid of kidnapping enough to build secret escape stairs.

After the villa, we grabbed a drink (beer, tea, campari/soda, coffee drinks) and hopped back onto the boat for more fun whooshing on down to Como, at the southern end of the left fork of Lake Como. Along the way, we passed George Clooney's house (Hi George!) and saw some stunning villas & gardens. 

B & A on a boat!
When we got to Como, we took a quick ride up the funicular to a town that looks out over Como. The views were beautiful, but it was a hazy. Laura told us that on a clear day, you can see Milano, Torino, and Switzerland. Como is actually only 4km from Switzerland by car, so we could add another country to our trip, if we wanted. And if we had car.

Then, back down the funicular and on to lunch at a lovely trattoria called Trattoria del Gallo (The Rooster Cafe). B had black rice and chicken, A & C had trout, D had ferro, and S & I had spinach/ricotta ravioli. We shared prosciutto & melon. After lunch, Laura took us to the main cathedral in Como:

Yet another awesome church.

… before taking her leave from us. Thanks Laura for a great tour!

We hopped a hydrofoil back to Bellagio, bought some food for dinner, and then took the bus up to Civenna. Once back at our villa, S, C, B, & I jumped in the pool to cool down before supper. Dinner was another potpourri of awesomeness: two brie cheeses, two mild local cheeses, a chevre, a stinky cheese, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, coppa, prosciutto, tuna-stuffed red peppers, marinated artichokes, white anchovies, bread, olive oil, vinegar, salad, honey, gelato, and some chocolates. Also, red wine, white wine, coffee, water… Yum!

Tomorrow, C has picked out a town with a market on Wednesdays. S and I are going to make breakfast and then we're all going to hit the market! I have no idea what kind of market it is... food? silk? toys? black market jeans? Who knows?

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