Friday July 13th
Dear Family & Friends,
Today was our first full day in Lake Como and it did not disappoint. But before I get into our day I would like to discuss some social issues of Italy since I like to observe different cultures.
First, one of the things I am really starting to miss about home is going to a public toilet without having to walk up or down three flights of narrow stairs and then having to duck and turn sideways to get in. It seems like toilets here are an afterthought. Might have something to do with the fact that most of these buildings were built before the invention of toilets?
Second, so far I have not found a single toilet in any restaurant, train station or other public place with a toilet seat on it!! I am not saying they don’t use them or install them. I am sure they do since you can usually see the broken pieces of the hinge where someone broke it off. What is there some kind of socialist induced national toilet seat shortage that people have to steal toilet seats??? The next obvious question is how do people get away with this?? Doesn’t anyone notice someone walking out of a restaurant with a toilet seat under his arm?? Just an observation but one to certainly think about…
Now to Lake Como. I have been here several times on my various motorcycle trips and as romantic as it has been to have a glass of wine and a good dinner overlooking the lake with Duane my motorcycle riding buddy, I have always thought it would be far more romantic with my wife. So I was very excited to have her here.
The first evening we had friends of ours from Switzerland come down to have dinner with us. Georg and his son Robin. They only live a couple of hours away but took the long way over the Alps. They rode 7 hours on a MV August Brutale… Robin the son was barely able to walk or sit by the time they arrived. The rear seat of the bike was only slightly larger or softer than a 4 penny nail… He was a good sport.
Georg is not only an avid motorcyclist but he is in a similar business to me. He has one of the largest Jaguar restoration businesses in Europe. A great guy to hang with.
This morning we took a water taxi from our hotel across the lake to the city of Como. It is an old Medieval city so naturally it is beautiful and a joy to walk around and site see. So we walked and walked up and down ancient streets and enjoyed the architecture, the duomo and town square, stores, and a little pasta for lunch. Oh yes and of course our daily Aperol Spritz. A refreshing as well as relaxing drink.
We then walked around the lake a bit. Wherever you look into the lake along the shore there are some GIANT trout. The lake is full of them. Would be fun to spend a day fishing.
Just down the shore from downtown Como is an amazing villa overlooking the lake. Originally built as the vacation home of Napoleon Bonaparte. I believe in his day he was even more famous than George Clooney but probably 90% of the people under 40 wouldn’t know who he was….so these days George is the most famous local resident.
By mid afternoon we were tired and hot from walking our daily 6+ miles so we went back to our hotel and had a good afternoon rest….
Around 5:30 we decided to go for a walk down the shore to the Villa D’Este. One of the fanciest hotels on earth!! I tried to get in several times on my motorcycle trips but they wouldn’t let me in. I guess I looked too much like riff raff, but with Bonnie on my arm they let us right in.
The place did not disappoint. It was totally amazing. Grounds and gardens suitable for any royalty and a hotel that looked like only the world’s jet setters stayed there.
Originally it was built in the mid 1500s by a Catholic Cardinal. I guess there has always been good money in religion. In the mid 1800s it was converted into a hotel.
Even though we were way under dressed for the place we walked in like we belonged and they sat us on the patio where we had three very strong and expensive drinks…. Two hours of total relaxation.
We then walked around the grounds a bit and then returned to town for dinner. The drinks alone cost more than a dinner anywhere else so eating dinner there was out of the question. We did look into staying there and the cheap rooms were only $1100 per night……
So that’s it for the first day… Off to more adventures tomorrow.
First a tour of the Villa D Este…
Right on the lake the views are spectacular wherever you look.
Happy hour, that is one strong gin and tonic!
Here is the view out the back of our hotel… not to bad either.
Our first evening we enjoyed a full bottle of wine and then went for a walk around the lake.. Bonnie decided to walk down some slippery stairs to wade into the lake but slipped on some moss and was quickly IN the lake. No harm though just a wet bottom.
Another view from our hotel. Some where across that bay some guy name George lives there in a Villa.
Our friends Georg and his son Robin.
This guy thought he was hot stuff with his Lamborghini so he pulled right up in front of our hotel, parked in a no parking zone and promptly got a ticket. I guess if you can afford a $300K you can afford a ticket..and the spot to park where everyone sees you.
Georg’s MV Augusta. Imagine riding 7 hours on that back seat.
Bonnie was willing to give it a try… Got to love her… 🙂
Georg and Robin taking off the following morning on another 7 hour ride…
Below are some photos of the city of Como..
Here are some photos of the inside of the local Duomo (Church)
My religious experience,,, a shop full of toy cars and motorcycles…
This tall structure was a defensive entrance to the OLD CITY..
Como is very modern is some ways…
Did I mention this is an old town? This is one of the newer buildings..
Pasta and Spritz time.. 🙂
Below are some more of the grounds around the Villa D Este
What could be more humiliating than have your Ferrari towed from the Villa D Este???
The second night at our hotel were these two cars illegally parked, a Bentely and Aston Martin.. I guess the local police liked them better, they didn’t get a ticket.