Saturday, October 8, 2016

Lake Como Lodgings and First Impressions

Oh my gosh, I completely and totally understand why people love Lake Como.
I, too, felt myself falling in love at first sight, completely wooed by the quaint little towns, the beautiful villas, the ubiquitous seaplanes and boats, the water, the mountains, the sky...and that ineffable sense of satisfaction at seeing the sum of perfect parts falling into a more miraculous and wondrous whole.  I think even the most unsentimental would be susceptible to the lake's charms, drawn inexorably into its dreamy web and cast under its powerful spell.  For a romantic like me, the fall was swift and unrelenting.

 This is the villa we stayed at, the Villa Nina:
It turned out to be absolutely fantastic, albeit a more intimate experience than I had bargained for.  The couple, Federico and Claudia, lived in the top floor unit, renting out the two rooms on their second floor for guests, so that at any one time there were no more than 6 co-inhabitants in one (big, grand, sweeping, gorgeous) house.  On the day of our friend's wedding, we had to borrow their iron, which entailed walking into their closet past all of their clothes and things.  I am not sure I would be able to share my home in this way.
 But I am very glad that they are willing to share theirs!   I actively shunned the idea of a big hotel.  When researching lodgings for the trip, something about the little towns dotting the lake made me believe that a small, private, quiet house would be just the ticket - and I really think that that was the right instinct.

That wisteria..  it slayed me.  Here is a view of the lake from the main front doors of the house, at dusk.

They had a common area on the first floor, consisting of a reading nook, living room, dining room, kitchen and common space.

 This was where we had breakfast every morning.
The back of the house was just sheer rock cliff, but heavily populated with a wall of green ferns and plants.
The colors here seem to have been deliberately selected from a painter's palette, the perfect jewel toned backdrop of hardy evergreens, scrubby pines, palm trees, and moody wisterias, dotted with bursting gems of red, pink, white and purple flowers.  These plants seem to grow without any help or landscaping.  We never saw anyone gardening, leading us to conclude that Lake Como really is the stuff of magic and fairies.

This was the view from our room:

 There was a pedestrian bridge that connected the house to the garden and patio across the road.

It was a beautiful wrought iron staircase, reminding me of a grand madame draped in a magnificent cloak of ivy as she flounced her way to a ball: 

Our room had a big private deck, which you can see is on the left on the second floor of the house, and also a balcony, directly and squarely facing the lake.
This was the view from our deck, looking down the street:
The villa was on Via Regina, right on the water and just a little bit down the road from George Clooney's villa.
On one of the afternoons, we sat on this deck with some wine and just watched the sailboats and motorboats drift and zoom by.
I took a lot of my pictures during the morning, which is when the lake looked a little bit gray and moody.  But it warmed up a lot during the day, as you can see in these pictures from the late afternoon, and on the last couple of days we were there, the sun was practically dancing across the lake, sparkling and glinting and throwing darts of light into our vision from every angle.  
It was enchanting.

Our bedroom was painted a pleasing cream and lined in a bright yellow ochre, with soaring ceilings lined in peach and contrasted with white molding.

The bathroom was huge, with a standalone shower, separate sinks, and a big soaking tub.
They just don't make houses like this anymore...
It was not uncommon to catch glimpses of little seaplanes outside our window.
Waking up every morning to this view... I felt like I just could not get enough!

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