Como, Italy


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June 22nd 2012
Published: June 22nd 2012
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Friday, 22nd June, 2012

Our trip yesterday from Monterosso al Mere to Milan to Como went without incident, apart from one train being 15 minutes late, but it didn’t impact us too much.

On leaving Monterosso, for about half the distance (or 1 ½ hours) to Milan was through mountainous terrain, and Steve’s guess is that approximate 50 to 60%!o(MISSING)f the time was through tunnels, until we came to the agricultural flatlands south of Milan.

After an hour and twenty minute stopover, during which we left the Milan train station to get some “real” food (as opposed to “Macca’s style”), we boarded the train to Como – a short trip of about 35 minutes.

Como is an ancient town that has been in existence since early Roman times when it was an important crossing point between Central Europe and the Mediterranean.<span> It’s also the birthplace of Alessandro Volta, 18th century inventor of the battery and the man who gave his name to the unit of electrical force - the Volt.

The hotel we’re staying at is a bit back from the shores of Lake Como, but it’s only a 5 minute walk to the old part of town and the lake.

Today, Gail found a hairdresser and spent a few hours there, while Steve went walk about, exploring the old town.

Where else but Italy would you come across a group of musicians who russle up a party in the street, inspiring random dancers to take to the cobblestones! It was such a fun, happy, random party!
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After lunch, we caught the Funicular Ride (first opened in 1894) - the cable car (funicolare) to the tiny village of Brunate perched on the hills overlooking Como.<span> Some details on their web site at http://www.funicolarecomo.it/ The view from here was absolutely stunning.<span> The day was very warm and clear – evidently one of the better viewing days for some time.

Como is a playground to the rich and famous, some of the villas up in the hills are amazing. Beautiful boats are parked at the marina on the edge of the main piazza, where the owners have a quick stroll to the many restaurants. Helicopter and sea plane transfers are regular modes of transfer for visitors………….then there are others who take the plain ole traino!

Gail was hoping to have a cooking class here which did not work out, however had a lovely meeting with a famous Italian chef who has authored a number of books. We left the meeting with a couple of her signed cookbooks under arm – those language classes will come in handy, the books are all in Italiana<span>. She also gave us an intro to one of the best restaurateurs in Como, and we will drop in for a meal over the next couple of days.

Temperature range has been from 21C to 30C.<span> It’s currently 8:45 pm and it’s still 30C.<span> Thunder storms are forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning, but it’s still day light (though fading fast), and clear.

Steve’s walk around this morning was enthralling.<span> Came across a cathedral called Duomo – from what I can work out, construction began in 1396 and was completed in 1740.<span> It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.<span> It contains tapestries and paintings from the 16th and 17th Centuries.<span> Another ancient structure is the Porta Torre (1192), but I still haven’t worked out what this was used for.<span> There’s still lots of exploring to do, and we only have 2 full days left here.

Como is just like all the other places we’ve been to date – so much to see and do, so little time!

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23rd June 2012

Gail and Steve, What a trip! You realise how young Australia really is, when you go to places like that. Keep on enjoying the trip, and keeping us all informed, and jealous. Peter

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