10:07PM | Sala Comacina | Italy
Landed this morning in Milan; picked up our rented Renault, and headed north. Enormous, jagged white alpine peaks rise without warning, like the Rockies from the western planes. After some chocolate, espresso, and a hard-won lesson in the phrase di andare (“to go”), we pass from outskirts of Milan into lush green mountains.
The mountains around Lago di Como are as dramatic and beautiful as advertised — think James Bond, or Talented Mr. Ripley. We wind our way up the western shore, ducking in and out of carved stone tunnels, as carefree motorcyclists buzz past us like flies. Our landlord is a charming older British woman who gives us a tour of our tiny village, Sala Comacina, about a third of the way up the lake. We settle into our flat, and crack open a Barbaresco.
Dinner is a hundred yards from the front door, a trattoria splayed across a stone piazza on the shores of the lake. Twilight falls on the water as we enjoy house-made ravioli, breaded octopus, and panna cotta.