Italy is a dream of a place. It’s where time slows down, yet each minute is filled with an awakening of senses. The church bell rings every fifteen minutes; clothes flap in the wind (equally as colorful as the buildings which surround them); cicadas chirp; an Italian elderly woman crosses the street, waving her hands in the air as the vespa driver prefers not to yield and instead zips in her path. “I’m walkin’ here,” I whisper…cleverly. 😉
As soon as we landed in Milan, we hopped in our rental car and headed toward Mandello Del Lario, a village on Lake Como. Nothing could’ve ruined the first walk around the city center…not even a parking ticket. (Yes, we paid it).
First stop: cappuccino. After wandering around for a bit, we headed toward the water looking for a lunch spot. We stumbled across Mamma Ciccia cafe, and sat outside enjoying beer, the most delicious pizza we’ve ever had, and the beginning of a wonderful vacation. We studied our phrasebook and watched the teenagers head to the lido. No one spoke English, and I suddenly found myself wishing I would’ve been more regimented in my “Italian Survival” audio course. Needless to say, Mandello Del Lario did not feel touristy; it was absolutely perfect.