This weekend, two friends and I traveled to Lake Como and Milan, both in northern Italy. We took an early train on Saturday at the crack of dawn, and the views of the mountains and the sunrise were stunning. Our first stop was in Varenna, a town on the shores of Lake Como, and my favorite part of the weekend. This place was so mesmerizingly beautiful and laid-back. The only bad part was that the bathroom at the train station was literally just a small hole in the floor.
We walked along the shoreline and took lots of pictures, and briefly met a couple that sounded like they were from Australia. There was a man playing the accordion, and the whole scene felt surreal.
We walked to the Villa Monastero, which used to be a monastery, hence the name. It was closed due to a lack of nuns, then opened as a villa. It now houses a museum and BEAUTIFUL gardens. We paid 4 euros to get in, meandered around the gardens, admiring the scenery and snapping more photos. This was my favorite part of the whole trip. It was so beautiful and so relaxing. We visited the museum and were out in about 15 minutes, since it was very small.
We headed back to catch the ferry to Como, another town on the lake. On the way, we stopped and got a sandwich, and I got ginseng coffee. Two of my teachers had recommended it, so I figured I should try it. It was so worth it! It has a sweet, caramelly flavor, and I like it better than regular espresso. I guess it’s an italian thing, because I’ve never heard of it in the U.S.
We boarded the ferry to Como, had a great view of the lake, and got to our stop. We took a shuttle to Como, which was a little more modernized and not quite as pretty as Varenna. It was still pretty, but Varenna was hard to beat. We bought our train tickets for that night, walked around, and found a place to wade in the water. Apparently you can’t really swim in Como, which was kind of the reason we went there. There was a private “beach” you could pay to use, but we found some steps leading into the water and chilled there for a while. The water was cold, which makes sense because it’s fall and in the north of Italy.
We took the train to Calco, where we stayed in a airbnb. It was actually really nice, with a kitchen, some food, and everything.
We walked a lot and looked at a lot of cool things that represented a lot of cultures, many of which I was unfamiliar with. I got espresso from Rwanda, lunch from Nepal (steamed pork momos and samosas), and gelato from Israel. It was very interesting and very tiring. I was glad to get on the train and finally sit down. Now I can say I went to the Worlds Fair!