We made it home to Wellington’s best summer ever. We hope there’s lots of it left. We aim to enjoy every minute.
We unpacked our bags, got through the washing, got some food in the house, stocked up on charcoal for the barbie and we went back to work!
Our last days in Italy were glorious. We took it easy on the super relaxed, serene banks of Lake Como. We became adept at driving around the lake in our Volkswagen and crossing from side to side on the ferry. We had a nice small car suited to Italian roads but we still didn’t manage to keep pace with Italian drivers. Perhaps they have a sixth sense or maybe they have lots of accidents?
Like the Amalfi Coast much of Lake Como was closed, particularly in Bellagio. It’s so hard to grasp a tourism industry so strong they can shut up shop for four months of the year. Restaurants, cafes, whole hotels just closed up. Apart from one restaurant, the waterfront on Bellagio was not open for business at all. Menaggio, on the other side had a bit more going on.
None of it stopped us having an amazing time. The architecture is beautiful and the views sublime. We’ll just have to come back another time to visit the grand villas and their gardens that were all closed up.
We had a delightful day in Varenna, a picturesque little fishing village, not more than a stones throw away from Bellagio by ferry. We found the only restaurant that was open for lunch – cafes and restaurants closing between 2.30 and 7pm and shops between 12.30 and 3pm was the one thing we struggled to get used to in our time here!
We walked up through olive trees and villas, wondering what it would be like to own one, to spend long, lazy summers here … and how on earth the get the groceries in! We thought our access in Wellington was bad. Really we just expect too much.
We took the lakefront walk and imagined what it would be like in summer buzzing with activity. Varenna was one of our favourite places on the lake. We found the perfect lakefront villa for sale there. It’s important to dream!
We all trooped off to Wellington High to learn Italian before our trip. It seems one of us is better suited to learning languages than the rest. Luckily we got by with big smiles, buongiorno, bona sera, grazia, arrivaderci and si! We did remember the coffee drill though: Pay at the counter, give your receipt to the barista, stand at the bar and drink. Sitting down costs more. Got it!
The trip was a dream come true for the three of us. We’ve been talking about it for a really long time and we finally made it happen. We’ve got the most amazing memories and about 2,500 photos to remind us should we forget.
How are we coping being home?
Last week we sat on our Wellington deck, cooking on the barbie, hanging out, chatting and sipping wine. This weekend I’m in Invercargill helping my sister furnish her new house and eating roast dinners with the rest of my family. On Wednesday morning I’ll get home in time for work. I’ll catch up with my boys. My limelight hydrangeas are flowering. Life is good.
Thanks so much to Harbour City Travel for our fantastic itinerary. And to our bosses for letting us take such a long time off work.