Posts Tagged ‘lake como’

Lowered Heart Rate

May 9th, 2009

May 9th

varenna_smToday we went over to a neighboring town called Varenna.  It was a beautiful town, but much more traffic and busyness than Bellagio  We went walking to explore the town, with an ultimate desired destination of a little beach or swimming.  Although I already had stuck my hand into Lake Como, I kinda wanted to actually put my legs and/or body in.  Spoiler alert:  I would be denied.

I had read about a couple of swimming locations in my Rick Steeves book.  We set off in one direction and we walked miles.  We saw a great bit of the town, and even a town next door.  It was very pretty.  Everywhere you walk, I would look to my side, and there would be very serene views of water, mountains ,and snow capped peaks.  The book said that Lake Como would lower your heart rate and, I must say it is true.  It is very peaceful and serene, and very majestic and pretty.

We walked for a long ways, and took lots of pictures.  We also saw a beautiful rushing river/waterfall coming down the side of the hill towards the lake.
We turned around and made our way back.  We found the first beach the book had mentioned, a little 10×10 rocky patch.  We decided to keep walking for the other one, but not before stopping for lunch.

pizzavarenna_smWe stopped at a little pizzeria, and ordered their 10E lunch special of a pizza and a salad and some frizzante water.  I was a little disappointed that the pizza wasn’t exactly like I remembered.  However, the pizza I ate before, was from southern Italy and perhaps it was just a difference of locale. 

Although, my disappointment (too strong a word), was tempered because it was very good and delicious.  It was an enjoyable lunch, just outside the main town square, near the picturesque old church where weddings were taking place.

After lunch we made it to the other Lido, which was just a big cement slab where you could rent chairs.  Even though it was overcast, we still stripped down to our bathing suits (I thought these were European style) and took in whatever sun we could on  our white bodies.  Well, white except for our noses which burnt a little in the sun on our 2 hour boat ride yesterday.  We ate some gelato and took the ferry back to our town.

pergolawindow_sm

pescallostairs_smWe soon travelled back to Bellagio, made our way to our hotel and rested. 
We have a great view out our hotel window of a really peaceful lake. Our hotel is about a 10 minute walk up and down steep stairs before you get into Bellagio.  We are in a town called Pescallo and it is a nice place away from the center of town, therefore we have a room with a lake view on the back side of the peninsula.  It is family run and they are really sweet people.giantolive_sm

After a little siesta, we headed back towards Bellagio and found our way to an underground-esque wine bar and appetizer restaurant.  We had a glass of wine, some lasagna, and Lisa ate some giant olives.

The Man With The Rubber Glove Was Surprisingly Gentle

May 8th, 2009

May 8th

bellagio_sm

Met up with Lisa at the Saronno train station.  I was a little worried about meeting at a random trains top since we didn’t really know how big or small the station was.

As it ended up, she was waiting at one end of the train station for 90 minutes and I was at another end for 45 min before our paths crossed.  Though, it went surprisngly smooth.

wine_smWe took the train 40 minute’s to Lake Como.  Then we caught a boat that took us slowly town to town for 2 hours before we reached Bellagio.  The lake is really peaceful and beautiful.

We walked around all day, burnt our noses in the sun.

Then we had a really pleasant dinner on the waterfront:  a half bottle of Montepulciano wine, risotto with perch fillets, minestrone soup, beef filet and tagliatelle with meat sauce.  The risotto and the pasta were extremely delicious and the wine was very tasty.

A wonderful day.

Zantastic

May 7th, 2009

What an odd and interesting day  Let me take you back a few weeks though.  

I have been losing weight for the past few months because:

  1. since my knee injury, exercise is very limited.  I went from exercising 6 days a week down to zero.
  2. the last time Juan visited, we did some heavy eating and drinking.
  3. I wanted to create room for pasta and pizza and wine while I was in Italy.

I dropped around 20 pounds back to the weight I should be.  Sometimes I used good ad healthy methods for these results, and sometimes I used poor methods- like cramming for a test and pulling all nighters–you may get results, but you may suffer for it.

The last part of this week I have been increasing my food intake to prepare my body for heavier loads and the last few meals, my body would get a little sick to my stomach.

After I ate Monday night, my stomach started having problems and feeling very nauseous.  Come Wednesday I almost called in sick to work, and suffered through the day.  I was hoping it was just stress from the trip.

Today, Thursday, I woke up at 4:15 am for my trip.  Before Robbie even arrived to pick me up, I had already knelt at the toilet in anticipation of vomit.  Fortunately it never came.  But it got really bad.  A few ties I had to run upstairs.  I was nervous that they wouldn’t let me o the flight or worse, that I would be throwing up on the plane.

I had Robbie make na emergency stop at CVS where I picked up a sprite, some zantac and CVS brand antacid.

Just in the nick of time the zantac kicked in.  I was partially hoping Robbie would drive slower as I wasn’t ready to be at the airport feeling this way.  

I could feel the drug kicking in just before I got there an shortly after I did arrive, I felt a lot better.

But it wasn’t gone.  It went through waves all day.  Some moments it felt like the ed of the world and at other times I felt great.  

I went thru the maximum allowed for a 24 hour period.  I’m hoping I survive this flight I am on at the moment.  

My flight this morning from San Diego to New Yor, I was in seat B.  I had booked each flight to have the aisle seat as I sometimes get a little claustrophobic in tight spaces.

So I get on this flight and to my surprise I am in the middle seat.  Fantastic.  But this turned out to be one of the couple of good surprises of the day.  It happened to be the exit row and the leg room was massive for a coach seat.  i sat there, stretched my legs, happy.

I was kept company by a few Cd’s I bought on itunes last night.  A couple by the one-man band Coconut Records; the solo live album by Noel Gallagher of Oasis; some Sia; and a little Jason Mraz

I arrived in New York and although I had a very short layover, I went and hung out in the American Airlines Admiral Club.  That club is so worth it.  You enter the room and it has abn aura ofpeace and calm,m not like the chaos and fear of the terminal.  

I got myself a ginger ale and took another zantac.  I was feeling nauseous and was hoping for calm to envelop y insides (sadly as I sit on the plane and write this, that hasn’t happened).

(another thing, as I sit here, the lady in front of mejust let the stewardess have it).

I board my flight to Milan and I’m disgusted at first by my row.  There was chip debris everywhere.  It was like I was i my living room.  As wegot closer to take off though, I began to love my seat and row.  5 minutes before take off, and the seat next to me was still vacant.

We pulled away from the gate and I was happy.  Despite having and up and down sick day, I’m on an international flight with a full row to myself, drinking some sprite and watching “Yes Man.”

Only about 9 more hours to go and I’ll be in beautiful Lake Como.  

Ciao Bello

Earth To Italy

April 27th, 2009

So I have been planning a trip to Italy to travel around as well as to visit my parents.  Finding hotels has not been an easy process.  For instance, during my time in Rome, there will be a sporting event that could equate to our Super Bowl. Google Earth has this great feature where you can turn on icons to represent lodging.  But even with that great tool, almost every place I searched for in Rome ended up being unavailable.  Eventually I found a place through http://www.vrbo.com.  

I figured out general locations where I wanted to be situated in each city.  Then, when looking for a room, often the hotel would claim that they are near that location.  But Google Earth has been a great tool in this.  I would merely punch in the address of the hotel, and it would show me exactly where it was in relation to where I wanted to be.  You would be surprised at how many hotels claimed to be near the Duomo in Florence, only to be not so close.

At this point I have everywhere booked, except for 3 nights – 2 of those nights are in the Cinque Terre.  Here are the screenshots from Google Earth and websites where appropriate.

 
Here is my itinerary:

  • May 7th leave San Diego
  • 8th land in Milan
  • 8-9 Lake Como
  • 10th Milan (I am hoping to  get tickets to the soccer game or the opera as a fallback)
  • 11-12 Venice
  • 13-14 Cinque Terre
  • 15, 16, 17, 18 Florence
  • 19, 20, 21, 22 Montalcino
  • 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 Rome
  • May 28th Fly home

 

Lake Como
La Pergola

La Pergola, Hotel and Restaurant, drawn from a sixteenth century-building, lies by the lake, in a most typical fishermen’s hamlet called Pescallo, right on a shore of the promontory of Bellagio, turning south-east and facing the Lecco branch of Lake Como. The House was drawn from a building dating back to 1500, and assigned to a convent in the past centuries. The centre of Bellagio is but 10 minutes’ walk, among the luxuriant olive trees and mediterranean vegetation spread out on the Spartivento Point.

La Pergola

 

Milan
Best Western Cristoforo Colombo
About a 15 minute walk from the train station and about a 15 minute walk from the Duomo.  Im desperately hoping to get tickets to the Juve v. Milan soccer game, but am considering the opera as a backup plan.

milanhotel

Venice
Hotel Ai Do Mori
They have a crappy website.  They need Gorirra.  But it is only about 10 meters from St. Mark’s Square.  

Venice Hotel

 

Cinque Terre
Vernazza
Ivo Camere
The apartment which is also in the center of the town is accessible via a characteristic “carugio” (small side street) and is steps away from the piazza and the sea. 

vernazzahotel

 

Florence
Brunelleschi Hotel 
Hotel Brunelleschi is located in the middle, pedestrian area of the historical center of Florence, just steps away from the Cathedral and the Signoria Square, from a part overlooking the Via Calzaiuoli.

Florence Hotel

 

Montalcino
With My Parents
Next time I get the address from my parents, I’ll take a Google Earth pic.

montalcino

 

Rome
Private Apartment
its perfect location. From there the most important sights of the City can be reached with a short walk. You are just in the heart of the centre. 200 metres from Piazza Navona and Pantheon, 300 metres from Spanish Steps or Trevi Fountain and, in the opposite direction, just crossing the Tiber, you can reach Sant’Angelo Castel and St.Peter Cathedral (400 metres).

Rome Apartment

This Week I'm Thinking About: Greg Crisci