Como

October 11, 2013 § 3 Comments

After a storm that raged all night and dropped temperatures into one-digit numbers, the morning greeted me with sunshine.
It was one of those perfect days; clear and sunny, but cold and windy enough to wear a jacket and boots.

I was offered use of the household’s bicycle last night, which I enthusiastically accepted.  Only problem is that I have no idea where to ride it (no trails here!), so… I left it in the garage and instead hopped on a train to Como.  I tried to find some nice parks/walking trails around Brianza, but it didn’t produce many useful results; between non-existent transportation and weird park hours, I gave it up.  I did find one park relatively close to Como though, which is only a few train stops away from Desio, so I headed toward the Swiss border.

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Of course, I didn’t actually find the trail.  Instead, I strolled around the town.  I had imagined that Como wouldn’t be the perfect satisfaction to my craving for outdoors and nature (and it definitely did not have rustic trails and isolated spots), but I was pleasantly surprised by the city.  I had feared that it would be bigger/dirtier/more modern/richer, but… it was actually pretty quaint.

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With interesting statues:

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And fancy grounds:

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And plenty of sun (in addition to the freezing winds eating you alive on the west side of the lake):

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The only annoying part were all of the fences.  Whether you were trying to walk near the lakeside or climb up a hill, you always ran into a fence.  And many of the streets shooting uphill zig-zagged steeply for a while before you reached the Dead End Gate and then sludged back downhill.

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But other than that, it was a lovely stroll by the lakeside (with snow-peaked mountains on the other side of the water), through villa grounds, around little alleys in the city center, and up-and-down private paths.

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When I decided to head back to the station, I walked by a little art gallery… and stopped in my tracks.  Swayed from foot to foot, twirled in a circle for a little bit, and then decided to head inside.  Which was a great decision because the current exhibition (Giampaolo Talani) was refreshing, interesting, alluring, and satisfying.  If I had a place of my own, I would have bought a painting.  Instead, I asked the man working there if it would be possible to buy the featured book about the artist.  He tilted his head, and started to shake it slowly. “Mi dispiace, signorina… putroppo, comprare, no…”   And then he put a copy of the art book in a bag and gave it to me.

Hah.  That got me grinning for the rest of the evening : )

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Between nice gallery keepers that give away rare art book and being one day too early for the International Contemporary Art show at the Villa Olmo, I’ll definitely have to pop back into Como next time I head north.

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