“Every dreamer knows it’s entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick then for familiar ground” – Judith Thurman
Warm air drifts over my skin. I close my eyes and take in a deep breathe. For a second I forget about everything except the way I feel right now. As I open my eyes, I’m greeted with the warm hues of villa’s stacked one on top of the other, playful… like a delicate balancing act. It’s late spring and Italy is vibrant with new growth. Bright clusters of Bouginvilliea blossoms cascade from every window. The Air is warm with a tease of summer, floating between the closely tucked buildings and trees. Aqua water caresses the shoreline like hands shaping the sand and rock into place. Everything seems somehow familiar as if I’ve been here before.
Reclaiming the shore I make my way through the winding streets. The people all seem oblivious of the paradise they inhabit as if nothing exists outside their peaceful little town. I stumble upon a secluded green space tucked away behind villa’s and shops and bordering the lake. Weary from traipsing around town all day I lean up against a tree and kick off my shoes rubbing my feet on the cool grass. Taking in yet another big breath of air, I allow my mind to wander to what it would be like to live in this enchanted country.
To my right is a small jetty with rails and a few small staircases leading into the water. Curious, I wander over. A large splash takes me by surprise and I turn to see two local teens jumping from the jetty into the water. They swim and splash around. Makes me smile.
As much as I’d like to stay here forever and just watch life in this little heaven unfold before me, it’s getting late and I need to get back to Como.
I slip my shoes back on and make may way to the Vaporetto dock. I quickly check to see what time I can expect the next boat immediately realizing I missed the last ferry scheduled.
A little panicked I head to the operator and ask if there are any vaporetto’s at all that leave a little later. She tells me, no there aren’t, but there is a bus that leaves in half an hour down the pier and she shows me where I can buy tickets for that.
Of course, I’m not the only one to miss the last ferry so the line for the bus is long and full of weary tourist and locals alike. The bus finally arrives and I manage to procure myself a seat near the window. As we slowly wind along tracing the edge of the lake I’m honestly shocked that the bus doesn’t roll over the edge of the narrow bumpy road which seems much more like a path. Somehow I get back to Como in once piece.
Feeling refreshed and a little relieved to be off the bus I walk along the shore until I get to the base of a long manmade peninsula that jets into the water running along the edge of town. I walk out till it feels as if I’m in the middle of the lake. By now the sun is low in the sky and everything starts to glow. Once again I’m blown away by just how beautiful this country is.
I have one last thing I want to see before I leave this enchanting little town. The Funicular that climbs to the little mountain city “Brunate”. After some difficulty I find the base of the mountain tram and board. I can’t sit, I’m so excited so I stand at the very end of the funicular near the window so as not to miss a thing. The doors shut and the gradual climb starts up the mountain, past houses and trees until it seems like we couldn’t go any higher but still we climb. I hop off at the final stop and the view before me is breathtaking. Coral rooftops and stucco buildings contrast perfectly with the Mediterranean vegetation as if the buildings have been there since the beginning of time.
I can’t seem to soak in enough of this new world I’m exploring, but unfortunately the sun is quickly setting and I’m starting to get hungry so I make my way back down into town. It starts to rain and I and grab some pizza at a place recommended by my Airbnb host. The food’s delicious of course and the house wine is incredible. I really can’t find anything I don’t like about this paradise!
Full and happy I head through the streets back to my Airbnb. I collapse on the bed exhausted still smiling thinking of the events of the day. Italy you have my heart.