We took our train at 9:05 from Milano Pta. Garibaldi to Como San Giovanni. Scintillated by the beauty of the surrounding hills, growing on each other and creating valleys and canyons leading toward the lake, we stepped off the train into the small station fifteen minutes from Switzerland. We walk down through the park in-front of the station and then head down Corso Bordovico searching for where we would stay for the night. We try the Bordovico hotel sequestered back against the hill but its filled to the gills. We wander around the corner and search the Park and Ingardino hotels, both are full and room prices are 130+ for a tripla (three person room). We keep wandering and I spy a street sign listing: “Hotels of Bergamo” with the hotel name and then its star rating. We walk back to the park leading up the mountain to the train station and we follow the Piazza to the left, heading south back toward Milano.
We pass a best western continental hotel and ask them for their prices. 125, no luck but they have a room. There’s hope yet. We start out and the clerk rushes out with us and points us on to another hotel down the street, hidden off the main drag in a small narrow side street. We meander in the Il servizio di Locanda and begin to chat with the reception desk. We get around to room prices and we find a tripla for 100 Euro even. Its rough and expensive but it’s a good room (bathroom and room are the same size) and we’re ready to explore.
We spent the rest of the day walking through Como and then we took an afternoon ferry to Cernobbio home of the famous five star Ville D’este. Dad and I smoke the first of two precious gifts from Gabriella, wonderful cigars that are mild and smoke slow but with fortitude. A dear reminder of the best part of my experience in Milan. We enjoy it immensely with the backdrop of Lake Como and the cities etched into the mountains.
We leave the lake side to explore the city. Walking through the narrow Italian streets and along the alleys of the sleepy little village we catch a glimpse of ancient fortifications rising halfway up the mountain. We decide we need a closer look and walk along the lake side road. We pass the grounds of the Ville D’Este a five star resort sequestered outside the village. Included is a private path to the fortifications and a helipad – definitely a destination for the affluent. I catch a few pictures of the fortifications and a massive hydroelectric plant sucking air and life into its entry tunnel.
Satisfied we head further up into the city, finding a little Tavola Calda we sit down and order two pizza’s, funghi with prosciutto and a Giulia – artichokes, cheese, tomatoes and ham. Then we ordered a liter of house wine, pure without preservatives and unbottled (cask in the cellar) it had a beautiful rosy pink tint. An amazing meal. Finishing with a café we headed back out of the city and caught the ferry back to Como. We spent the night exhausted in the room and planned for Sunday’s journey to Flavio Tosi’s town, Verona!