After leaving the gorgeous Lake Lucerne we drove to Lake Como and passed through the 17km St. Gotthard Tunnel, which was far too much tunnel for my liking and I could have done without J telling me its recent history. I was really excited about visiting Lake Como as it was somewhere I had always wanted to go to. On arriving at Como I was not swept away by its beauty and the road around the lake is a bit of a nightmare. We tried to visit the Villa Balbianello (of Starwars and Casino Royale fame) but the footpath was closed and it could only be reached by ferry boat. There was no warning of this online, there were no signs on the ground and, as it turned out, in peak tourist season the path you have to climb up to find the padlocked gate only tells you right at the top that on random days it is closed.
We stopped off at The Grand Hotel Tramezzo for a cold drink of another incredibly hot day. We were greeted by the friendliest valet who we handed the MG keys over to and he went off to park it in a cool underground car park in the hotel and we made our way to the Hotel’s private beach overlooking the lake. It was a nice place for a drink, but we soon found out that unless you were a guest you could not use the pontoon swiming pool in the lake, which was cruel on such a scorching day! I had a good look around the hotel which was lovely and has a gorgeous restaurant towering high over the lake. When we were ready to leave our car was returned to us and sitting on the passengers seat where two ice cold class bottles of water for our onward journey.
We were set on finding a quiet part of the lake so that we could go for a swim, and J found the perfect place that he had spotted from the road above the lake. So we took a dip in Lake Como and had a family of ducks and chicks for company. From there we drove on to our dinner reservation at Restaurant Fracia in a vineyard on the foot-slopes of the Italian Alpes. The location was amazing but the waiting staff spoke nothing but Italian so we were unable to understand the menu or effectively order. We managed to communicate with our waiter that he should choose our courses for us and we waited to see what we would be served. J had some sort of pancake filled with mushrooms, truffle and some form of meat, covered with melted cheese. Then he had braised Oxe cheek with mashed potato. I had prosciutto with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes for a starter and for the main I had fish ravioli with basil, tomato concasse and fish roe. We both opted out of dessert and had for an Italian coffee instead as the sun went down. The coffee was AMAZING as was all of the food!
After we were stuffed full of delicious authentic Italian cuisine we made our way to our hotel in Bormio, just over an hour’s drive from Fracia through another storm….