On my last morning in Milan, as I was heading down the elevator to grab a bite to eat, I noticed a poster inside the elevator talking about terrace dining at the hotel. Curious, I went in search of this peaceful paradise in this busy city. The terrace was on the rooftop and truly an oasis of tranquility. I grabbed a table and ordered my usual capuccino and marmalade filled croissant and sat peacefully taking in the fresh crisp air of the morning.
Refreshed and ready to tackle the city bustle, I headed out to catch the Metro! Feeling like a pro navigating the city, I found myself in Piazza Duomo once more determined to come away with some fashion purchases. This time I headed in the opposite direction from Via Montenapoleone to the “lower rent” district ( if there is such a thing in Milan), and, to my surprise, I found several “normal” stores! I must have been in a shopping mood, so I was VERY successful! In one of the shops, I even met an Italian pianist who will be performing at The Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco later this month – and she invited me to her performance! What a small world we truly live in!
Loaded with packages, I had to quit my shopping expedition to head back to the hotel for my ride back to Ispra. My cousin surprised me with the notice that he had taken the afternoon off from work so that we could do something together. What to do? We had about four hours to explore…so we decided to take a detour to Lake Como! The only other time I had visited Lake Como was in winter – it was beautiful, but not exactly tourist weather. We parked a bit out of the center of Como and began our trek towards the lakefront promenade. We passed my favorite little alleyways that I’m always so attracted to when I visit Italy. Tiny little winding alleys, with cobblestones underfoot and gorgeous old buildings with flowers hanging off the balconies, make me think of all the millions of people over the centuries that have walked these same steps! Explaining this fascination to my cousin, he said that, unfortunately for them, who have always lived surrounded by these ancient environs, they don’t even think twice about the historical beauty that surrounds them. I think I may have opened his eyes!
We found a beautiful little restaurant and enjoyed some wonderful pasta and a cool glass of wine. I couldn’t have been happier – al fresco dining in a gorgeous setting with a spectacular view, great food, and good company! Now this is my idea of La Bella Vita! Even though I didn’t get any George Clooney sitings, it was the perfect day!