Charlotte and I hopped on a Delta jet bound for Milano yesterday. Today, we are enjoying the village of Varenna located on the east bank of Lake Como. The entire idea of this trip began simply enough… find the cheapest airfare to anywhere in Europe and return to Atlanta in time for Thanksgiving dinner with our family. Why go? Because I got the travel bug, I had some free air miles I needed to use, and Charlotte needed a few miles to bump up her frequently flyer status.
So here we are driving along the picturesque route along the lake, dodging what seems like hundreds of spandex clad bicyclist out for a Sunday afternoon ride. The weather is beautiful, clear blue sky dotted with white billowy clouds, bright sunshine, and a temperature about 40 degrees F. I’m trying out a brand new Garmin GPS unit I purchased online from www.tigergps.com and only had a chance to test it out en-route from my home to the airport. So now I am really running it through the hoops here in Italy. So far, it got us out of the Malpensa airport parking lot and on our way to Lake Como. I’ll let you know more on this new GPS in the coming days.
We arrived in Varenna by 12:00 noon, quickly found a parking spot on the main square, Piazza San Georgio, and began our hunt for a hotel. We were quickly sidetracked by a sign advertising pizza and fresh regional specialties. We were the first customers of the day, but by the look of the town we might as well have been the only customers! Varenna seemed closed for the season. Driving into town we noticed no tourists, many “closed” signs, and not a single shop open for business… however it was a Sunday afternoon which traditionally means closed businesses in small-town Italy. The Hotel and Restaurant del Sole appeared to be run by a husband and wife team with two small boys who had really good lungs. The pizza and vino hit the spot, and during the course of our lunch several other couples arrived and ordered lunch.
Sated, we now set off to find a hotel. As I mentioned before, many of the hotels were closed for the season but we did manage to walk along the lakeside, orienting ourselves to the locale, and wind up back in the town square. We did check out a couple of hotels but finally ended up back at Albergo del Sole, where we had lunch. We got a nice room with a view of the town square and a bit of the lake beyond. By now it was after two o’clock and the jet lag was beginning to catch up with us. Stretching out on the bed we both drifted off to sleep…