. Oh, as a side note, maya and I have been fantasizing since the day we stepped into Italy that some kindly old Italian woman (outfitted with shawl, little dress, hairy mole and maybe a jaunty scarf) would take a liking to us and cook us a huge Italian meal while we reclined and made light conversation (not too deep, so as to keep her focused on the critical task at hand). But, alas, we've had no Nona encounters. We've SEEN a lot of Nonas (and even considered branching out to Nonos or just anyone else who looked like they could open a can of Ragu), but never got any nibbles. On about week 2 we started uttering to each other in loud pitiful voices ("Ho Fame", or "I'm hungry"), but the bait has yet to be taken. So, at our guesthouse, I guess we'll have to chalk this up as our Nona experience (which must be purchased, as do all things here). So, back to Lierna. The first morning was served by our rent-a-nona with fresh grapes from the yard, bread, juice and butter churned by the guy next door (the following morning we were surprised with some of his homemade cheese). It was nice and relaxing and we looked out over the lake whilst eating (and had, BTW, amazing Italian coffee, rivaling Sbux). That day we spent all day at home and caught up on the website and did laundry (complete with hanging our scivvies a la Italienne style on a line). This is also, incidentally, the first machine wash our threads have seen. So, day one was relaxation at home (I think rent-a-Nona kinda wanted us to go, but we held our ground)
. The nights of sleep, however, were not as pleasant, as along with that homey experience also came the dander from the cat which I must assume slept right where my nose would be placed to snuffle up some midnight dander. So, nights were rough, but the cuteness of the place prevailed. The following day (yesterday) we took a little boat to Bellagio and walked the streets there. Very cute, but I was a little disappoined when I realized there would be no water show every fifteen minutes. So, to make a long story short, Lake COmo was relaxing and beautiful and now we are bored enough to go tackle Venice. I have breakfast in 20 minutes waiting for me, then we're off to Venice. We can't promise timely delivery of these updates but we hope you keep reading, cuz we LOVE the comments and it makes us feel a little bit of home in these distant lands. Ciao for now. Next update will probably be from Eastern Europe!
Up in the North of Italy, Lake Como offered a much needed retreat from the frenetic, espresso-and-scooter-driven chaos of Rome. We arrived in a little town called Lierna (a stone's throw from Bellagio, and a lot cheaper) after a the long trip from Rome, via Milan (where, yes, we ate at McDonald's for the third day in a row). The train stations here are about the size of a 4 bedroom house and have none of the unsavory elements found in some of our favorite places such as Naples (have I mentioned I hate Naples?). So, we weaved through the tiny town of Lierna (which sits right on the lake) and made it to our B&B. The house has 3 guest rooms and you REALLY feel like you are staying at someone's house (see the video I uploaded). It is so authentic that we are 99% sure the lasy manning the guest house hooked up our last night (I ran into the morning-after suitor the next day). The great thing about this place, though, is that we finally found the Nona we were looking for (Nona=Grandmother)