Arrived to our home in Palm Springs at 10pm after an exhausting of total 24 hours flight (three airport stops), we went straight to bed, dead.
Waking up every three or four hours in between, at this moment, I am still fighting back with my jet-lag. We know it will take at least two, three days to get back to normal. So we just relax and sleep or eat whenever our bodies need to.
The only sad thing about coming home here to California is of how much we miss italy. The images of places and peoples are haunting me every time I wake up from my dreams. I am not sure if Ruggero has the same problem like me. I will ask.
However, we are getting ready to work very hard for the next coming months. From this trip, we had gathered so many new and fresh ideas for our business. it will be a total transformation in our restaurant, both the presentation and the management.
We need another day or two to regain our strength and energy. After that, there are many projects need to carry on and many purchases need to be done for the new look.
Meanwhile, I turn on my laptop three, four times a day just to enjoy the pictures and to look back to the good times we had with our friends and family the last two weeks.
It helps to bring back the wonderful memories and to relieve my Italy homesick. I want also to mention on this post our thanks to all of our so good friends like Dario and Miriam for our wonderful, wonderful five days in their home in Rome. The picnic in their garden, the fantastic dinners made by Mirriam, the beautiful days walking by the Mediterranean Sea and the harbor of Fiumicino…
To Luciano and his generosity to lend us his car for the whole week we were in Milan…
To Adriana and Giampiero, for their times spending with us at the unforgettable Lago di Como, and the delicious “pranzo bellissimo” in their home.
To Roberto, Luciano Marenzi and his family to spare some of their precious times to see us.
To Sergio, our good friend for introduce us to many unbelievable good restaurants…
And last but not least, to our sweet and forever beautiful Antonella for her dedication and attention to every need we had each time we visit Italy.
Thank you so much, thanks to you all for giving us the unforgettable memories and to share together this very special, wonderful and beautiful life that we have. You are in our hearts forever.
With the facts that, first of all, I am not a professional travel writer, not an American by blood… ,so it is very hard for me to describe to people in the United State all the uniques and beauties of Milan, and how is it like, the lives of Milanese people?.
Well, living with Ruggero for almost twenty years, an Italian man born and grew up in Milan. And now, it is the third time I have visited this city gives me a pretty clear the picture of life here and how a Milanese lives.
To me (and I am sure to many peoples), it is the land of fantasy and the realization of imagination.
If you come here just for a week or two and visit only the tourist destinations, you will not learn much about Italy and the characteristic aspects of this city.
Even though I have the fortunate connections to the family and friends and of all the time we spent here in Milan, still there are so many places we could not make to visit, no matter how fast we raced with time each day.
Like I said in other posts, beside many famous castles and cathedrals and squares and monasteries…each and every individual small village along the way is a place of its own and a story by itself.
Here and there, we always found traces and tracks of the ancient world and the remarkable forever lasting architectures.
But most of all, the glimmerings from the golden rice fields in the sun set and the impressive grape hills with their restaurants and wine manufactures on the sites that capture my heart forever. I am madly in love with it!.
Time was running out, and we are not finishing our shopping list yet. So, back to the “Il Doumo” center with the subway.
From there, we entered into the “Galleria Vittorio Emanuele” just on the right side of the “Il Doumo”.
I have many pictures but can only show you some on this post.
Another night with our family in a very popular and crowded local restaurant, run by a young Chinese woman (amazing huh!!!…). And this Chinese woman, she knows how Italian love food. So you can imagine, food…food…and food…(O God! I gained at least three or four pounds just in two weeks).
Well, only one more day left, and we need to say goodbye to friends and family, and here we go again, cappuccino and espresso with our dear family and friends.
Packing time was waiting for me at Antonella home. When we left the U.S, we got only two suitcases. Now I had to make sure all that shopping fit into fours, which mean lots of pressures. But, all that had to get in those four case, no matter what.
Well, we need a very good sleep now for the long travel the next day.
If I had lots of money like George Clooney, Lago di Como (Lake Como) would definitely be my second residence.
It’s the second time I came to visit this lake region. The first was in January 2007, and it was very cold and windy. Yet, the first impression was so strong that it kept haunting me for the last three years. So I had made a commitment early this year to myself that this time, back in Italy, I would come back to this place to satisfy this unstoppable desire.
So, I did.
We started out from Milan. Normally, it takes just about an hour of easy drive from Milan to lake Como. But the freeway often get packed at traffic hour just like in Los Angeles. Well, I have to say now after seeing the traffic here in Milan and Como that I have no idea which one, Los Angeles or Milan, is more crazy.
So, after about fifteen minutes (which should take only five minute) getting around Milan, we headed to the freeway which was much better, and faster.
Only the driving to the lake by itself is so worth the time. We passed through so many small villages with colorful old century houses and villages, the symbol of Italy that nowhere in the world can compare.
By noon, we reached Lago di Como. We were hungry so we decided to stop by a small restaurant just by the water to rest and to eat. The food was good enough to satisfy my hunger, but it is not important. We have places to go.
Adriana and Giampiero introduced us to the Villa Carlotta,Tremezzo (Co). A magnificent estate that belong to a famous politician and wealthy Italian family during the fourteen century. You have to come here to see it for yourself. Because, first of all, all kind of electronic devices is strictly prohibited inside this museum-like estate. They don’t want any tourist or local to take any picture inside. Second, I have not enough word to describe the unique and beauties of the magnificent interior as well as the arts displaying in each room of this art-loving family. It is out of this world! seriously…I took many pictures of the garden that surrounded this place though. It is ok to do that.
This garden was designed by the Duke himself who was passionate about the tropical and the biology life of the earth, plants and water. It took about two hours just to finish one side of this estate garden, which required lots of walking up and down the hills. I was exhausted and refused to go to the next side.
To our pleasant surprise, there are some unexpected new friends too.
So, if you ever have a chance to visit Italy, Lake Como is a must-see destination. You have to go! it is so much worth your time and money. Hope the pictures will bring you some interest to this world famous Lago di Como
I have been here twice before, and I have at least about five hundred photographs I have made around this village during these three trips (including this time). Yet each time I go up and down the streets of this small town to shop, to eat, or for what ever reason, I can’t help taking out the camera and “click! click! click!” again and again.
I love history, especially world history, and the stories from the Roman time always fascinate me. So, naturally, whenever I am in Italy, my fantasy and my imagination are in full force.
Like any visitor from all around the world, I am impressed, of course with the Vatican, the Sixteen Chapel, the Coloseo, the Cathedrals, the world famous fashion squares center etc. However, personally, it is the old reddish bricks on the broken walls of the abandon cottages, or the thousand year old gates and entrances of the ancient castles, monasties, large or small around every corner of this village that fascinate me the most, time and time again.
Each time I pass by or stand next to these old buildings, I like to touch my hands against the walls and feel the cold sensation running through my skin. In my head, I try to imagine who were living here in these locations hundred (or may be thousand) years ago. Who were these charaters? and where are they now? Is there still any spirit hiding behind those broken windows and locking doors?…
Another beauty about Pavia that catches my eyes are the endless green fields of corn, rice, sun flowers and grapes. everywhere we go.
The house of Luciano, a friend of Ruggero’s daughter, where we come and stay is located just around the corner of the ten thousand square meters (go figure) of rice and corn fields.
I had the pleasure of coming to the field two days ago to watch Luciano and his helpers reaping the harvest. In Italy, whenever somebody needs and calls for help, the whole village is coming. Only in several days, with the help of his brother in law, his friends, his neibors, Luciano got all his risotto stocking nicely in the warehouse.
Antonella took us today to the bridge Ponte Vechio Coperto in downtown Pavia to pick up her custom leather handbag from a little shop near the bridge. It’s interesting to watch local residents from the old age to young boys and girls sitting along the bridge to enjoy the afternoon.
In between shopping for business and pleasure, we tried to meet with some good friends, old and new along the way.
Last but not least, Italians love with passion. And they are not afraid to show. We drive by everyday a corner with a beautiful display of someone who is madly in love…
Translated: “Between your love and my life, I choose your love. Cause, your love is my life”.
Well, I am not a professional tourist writer, so there is not enough words for me to explain and describe the beauty of Milan and all the small towns around here. They say “the picture’s worth a thousand words”, so I post as many pictures as I can on this post for all to see. Hope you enjoy!…
We have worked so hard for months ever since L’olivo Italian Bistro opened in June 2009 that we forgot how nice it is just to spend a day free. And I mean completely free!…Not just work, but free of everything: weariness, planning, preparing, greeting, watching, even feeling…Today, all we had to do were eating, drinking, talking and laughing…
Then by the afternoon, laying leisurely on the long patio chairs, observing the different shades of the green leaves from the trees and bushes all around us, and just quietly breathed in the fresh air.
For a moment, all I heard was just the peaceful silence of the day. Only, now and then, the chatting from Ruggero and Miriam and the sound of the late summer breezes moving through the leaves reminded me of my existence.
Watching the long fields of carrot and corn laying side by side along the road on the way home and so many local restaurants and coffee bars standing next to each other around downtown where we are staying, I realized life here is so different with Palm Spring city. Over there we have cactus and mountains of rocks and the infamous heat. Whereas, here, I see more of green fields, ocean side live-style, and the obvious friendly, constant daily interacting among local residents, in another word, more human is what I mean.
Late at night, around 10:30pm after dinner, four of us walked a short distance from home to a coffee bar just around the corner.
Endless conversations and laughing again for another hour before we walked back home for bed time.
The ocean is our destination tomorrow, and I am ready for a good sleep now. Buona notte!.
The first time when we were in Rome, it was late January 2007. A cold winter with lots of rain and cold winds, so even though Ruggero and I enjoyed very much the magnificent Coloseo and Vatican with all of their beauties, yet that time due to bad weather and without a local guide, I don’t think we really knew and saw the real, unique live of Rome.
This second time visit was a lot better. The morning with a big cup of coffee and biscuits was such a beautiful day to start with. 85 Farenheit with cool breezes and sun shine, it could not be better. On top of all that, our friends Dario and Miriam were our perfect guidances from the moment we got on the train, then the bus, to several stops like: street markets…
business related resource and new ideas and informations…
To our fantastic lunch at a local delicatesen…
to the famous Piazza Navona square…
Everywhere we stopped and passed by, Dario, the man who grew up and knows each corner of the street and even every cobble stone in Rome just like his own hands explained to us in
detail all the facts and informations of the locations. Very interesting facts and not to mention the great humor he added to the stories which made us laughed so hard.
I don’t know how long and how many miles we walked till we all realized we were tired.
So we sat on the bench in the Pantheon for ten minutes before we headed back to the train station again.
Such a good and beautiful day in Rome the four of us had. It is so worth all the troubles of flying twenty one hours, including the costs of the traveling over the ocean of course. But what can we ask for more from this beautiful life?…