Wednesday, August 1, 2012

ITALY Lake Como | Day 10

Florence > Milan > Lake Como
View from our hotel room in Lake Como
DAY 10: We got an early start with our last breakfast at this hotel {and I borrowed some strawberry jam that I liked} Then, we headed to the train station to catch our fast train/trenitalia to Milan.  You didn't know Milan was in our itinerary? It's not really - it was just a destination for us to pick up our rental car to drive to Lake Como! I didn't even take a single picture in Milan. Oh well, we were there for a hot minute. I promise.

In the days leading up to our trip, I was most excited to stay at our hotel in Sorrento {Maison la Minervetta} More pictures here. BUT -- Lake Como was the city I was most looking forward to experiencing. It was different than I pictured it, but gorgeous, amazing, luxurious... You name it! It was everything! But, I digress.

First, we had to pick up our rental car outside of the train station because there was some construction going on. After a short walk, we found Europecar and it was packed! The tiny office was not big enough to hold all the people, so it looked like the wives waited outside for the husbands with the luggage. I was not opposed to this, so I sat down with our luggage and waited outside the office for our car to be ready. Our confirmation said "VW Golf or similar"... Guess what we ended up with? This lean mean driving machine:
Pretty cool right? Not really... but it did the job!
Jake was the driver {I said you couldn't pay me enough money to drive in Italy... } and I was charged with being the navigator.  Reasons I was terrified about driving (1) The roads are so narrow, like there are sections where two cars cannot fit. Literally. (2) Tolls. (3) Crazy Italian drivers! (4) Italians and tourists on mopeds passing on either side of the road. Really? Like driving on the white line in the middle and narrowly escaping death? Mmmkay. No Thanks. But, Jake was a trooper and did all the driving and we all survived. Even though I was a little nervous at some points.  We decided to spring for the GPS because we felt it would be a good backup to have in case we got off course from my printed driving directions.  Which did happen! Despite our best efforts, we missed an exit on the freeway and ended up lost for about 45 minutes. We kept getting stuck in roundabouts. The GPS would say "Take the third exit from the roundabout" but would not say that street name or give any other indication of which exit we were supposed to take.  Jake and I tried to keep our composure as we took an exit only to get more endlessly lost in roundabout hell {roundabout about roundabout, I'm telling you}.  See why I hate those things with a passion????? Needless to say, at the end of the trip, we wanted to throw our GPS in Lake Como!... But we didn't!

This might be the only action/ driving picture I took. I was concentrating on being a navigator. It was a tough job.
OK, I lied. I took more.

Look how tight the roads are, sometimes traffic had to stop to let the cars go by in the other direction
 Get ready for it! Bam! Aren't the colors gorgeous?

Getting closer!

Tremezzo, Lake Como
Our Hotel: The Grand Hotel Tremezzo {our room was on the top floor of the white colored newer building to the left}

The water on the water - what we were most excited for!!!! Stay tuned for tomorrow's post!
When we checked in at our hotel, we got upgraded to a lake view! Woohoo! And we got to stay in the special Villa Emilia room.  More on that later.  After checking out our room, we were starving so we ordered pizza {and wine} at the T bar and restaurant.

Wine, swimming pool and a topless lady -- what more can you ask for?
Jake's pizza - with salmon!
My pizza with prosciutto
Our waiter recommended that we walk up this hill steep mountain to see a "grand view" of the Lake and mountains.  I don't think we quite made it to the top but we got about halfway and took these photos and then walked back down.

The Swiss alps were gorgeous
Bellagio, in the distance
We made it!

After our walk hike, we went back to our hotel room and crashed. Getting lost was apparently very tiring.  When I woke up from my nap, it was pouring, like thunderstorm style.  We got ready, but weren't sure what the evening had in store for us. We made it to dinner at La Piazzetta {Jake drove to the next town over which was about 15 minutes away}, but we didnt get many pictures. I do recall that the power went out for about 10-15 seconds while we were eating dinner. Nice, romantic touch!

Appetizer: tuna! To. Die. For.  One of the top 3 things I ate.
Another angle.
Pistachio Ravioli - I can still remember the taste now
Seafood pasta

Tempura in Italy? You bet! And it was delicious...
A delicious bottle of wine we shared

I will write about the special background story on our hotel room (Villa Emilia) and post photos with my blog recap tomorrow.

Ciao, Kim

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