Villa Melzi

May 04, 2012

Our English friends have arrived in Menaggio and we have not stopped laughing since they got here. We are all comfortably settled into our three room villa at the moment and enjoying talking quickly with each other in English. Neil and Sue can speak French, I can speak Spanish, and Greg gets us by with some Italian so we seem to have the rest of our trip covered.

We enjoyed an amazing meal last night with lots of wine before dinner, during, and after. We promptly went home to plan our next day’s adventure around the Lake and sleep off all of our wine.

Today, we took the ferry to Bellagio for a day of walking around one of the famous villas along the water, Villa Melzi. It was built by Napoleon’s Vice President in 1808. Very gorgeous with the azaleas in bloom, and the brightly colored coi swimming in the ponds darting from underneath the lilly pads. The grounds are covered by small cobblestone paths throughout that wind underneath huge sequoia trees, and rose bushes extending up the terraces and down through small rock caves. Each path has many little benches perfect for an afternoon picnic or a few hours spent with a good book. Sue and I were noticing that the boys were stalling for time as the Italians take a siesta from 12-2pm everyday and the only thing open would be a place to get a good beer or glass of wine so we hurried to shop.

Shopping was fun as we picked up a few more small things that we were convinced can fit into the back of Neil’s Ford Focus. Hopefully tomorrow morning when it comes time to pack we will see that we have not bought too much. We made our way back down to the lakeside promenade for lunch and some people watching. While down there we noticed many young women all wearing stiletto heels on these incredibly steep cobblestone streets and thinking to ourselves, “they must be crazy.” We learned a couple had been married in the local church that we were sitting outside of a few days ago drinking tea and eating croissants. We knew this because we saw the bride and groom driving around in a horse drawn carriage through the streets. Very romantic.

After lunch, we decided to head back to our town of Menaggio and enjoy some tea and a leisurely rest before dinner. We were quick to learn that even in small towns like Como, the ferry captains can strike. We eventually discovered through some interesting and very repetitive conversations with the Italian ferry workers that a boat would be coming in 45 minutes. We unfortunately missed our boat due to the language barrier but ended up taking one to Varenna and finally to Menaggio. The others didn’t mind much as the sights were beautiful. I did mind though as the water was a little rough and I became a bit nauseous. I was very happy to put two feet on solid ground although I still felt like I was swaying for a good hour afterwards.

We have planned that tomorrow we are hopping in the car and driving down to Genova and then probably spending the night along the Italian Riviera. I hear it’s much warmer and I might get my first glimpse of a beach. I am pretty ecstatic.

Our last night here has been great as we were able to catch a beautiful fireworks show from our balcony. We like to think it was especially for us but are guessing it was probably for the newly wedded couple in Bellagio. We are ready to move on though down the Mediterranean Coast and see what the rest of Europe is like.

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