Apologies for the gap in posts; we’ve had a busy few days at Oktoberfest and a day celebrating my birthday in Paris! It was fabulous yes thank you for asking.
It seems hard to top our already magnificent two stops of Italy, but we proved ourselves wrong!
After an amazing few nights in Florence and a couple of train rides later, we arrived in the STUNNING Lake Como! All I knew of Como was that it was a really pretty lake, it’s expensive, and George Clooney owns a house there. Let’s just get the disappointment out early; there were no sightings of George or the twins.
We stayed in a little town called Moltrasio, and we were so glad we did! It was nowhere near as busy (or as expensive) as the main towns of Bellagio and Varenna, but there were some great restaurants, it was easy to catch the ferries to other towns, and most importantly, our Airbnb was perfect. We had incredible views and the most beautiful little nonna, Mara, looking after us and she was the key to us loving Como so much!
Como was another place where there wasn’t a heap to do other than take in the beautiful scenery, hike, eat and drink. So obviously a must visit. They’ve also filmed a few movies around the lake like Star Wars and Casino Royale, and it’s not hard to see why with views so magnificent.
There are heaps of easy hikes to do around Como, we did Moltrasio to Laglio and back again, and it felt good to work off maybe one of the nine massive carby meals we had consumed in a matter of days.
Sad to be leaving Lake Como after only three nights, we jumped on the train and headed for Venice – the city built on water.
Navigating our gigantic suitcases on a 34 degree day through the busy alleyways and over a million bridges (including the massive Rialto Bridge, that was a sight to see) was probably the only thing about Venice that wasn’t great. Turns out there are cheap water taxis that go all over the Grand Canal which would have saved us the nasty walk to our hotel, but hey you live and you learn, and take said water taxi back to the station when you’re leaving. Much nicer experience.
Anyway, the painful walk eventually came to an end and it was time to start exploring.
As we only had one full day in Venice, a free walking tour proved to be a real highlight – our guide was a local and had heaps of good tips on how to do Venice properly, and also fun facts on how the city was actually built on water, I don’t remember much of how it was built except it sounded like a big, expensive, pain in the ass job that involved a whole lot of water drainage.
I also enjoyed discovering the cocktail ‘white russian’ in an Irish pub- essentially just vodka, kahlua and cream mixed together, followed by a drink called ‘the zombie’ so-called because that’s what you feel like after consuming one (classic), finding ‘pasta to go’ and sitting on a step eating tasty penne pesto, and eating so many slices of freshly made pizza, both sober and drunk, great at both times.
When you’re ready for a proper meal, we learnt the key to Venice is to just get lost, which takes about 12 seconds, and find a tiny little restaurant to eat in. There’s usually a nonna cooking authentic, obviously delicious Italian in the kitchen, it’s affordable and the service is super friendly.
Something that we didn’t do was a gondola ride. My sister was beyond disappointed when I told her this, but honestly we weren’t willing to spend 100€ (budget life) to sit on a boat where the gondoliers just sat on their phones and didn’t engage with the passengers. I instead chose to spend my money on an authentic Italian leather bag, and Nick chose to spend his money on beer. I think we both did well.
Tip; If you do want to do a gondola ride, you can share with other passengers (less romantic), to split the cost of the ride (more romantic).
Italy went above and beyond all of my expectations, and I will make sure I get to go back again. I’ll need that daily food coma again some time in my life!
Next up, Sail Croatia.
Love Kelly x