One of our favorite days trips from Milan is to the quaint little city of Cernobbio, located on Lake Como. It’s probably about a mile long (or less), sits right on the lake, and is beautiful year-round, especially in the summer months when you can walk through the little city, sit outside in a restaurant with a refreshing glass of Prosecco and delicious cheese platter, or sip on a cappuccino in a cute cafe. I took the featured photo after a hike up the mountain that brought us to this gorgeous panoramic view of Lake Como.
I’ve jotted down some thoughts from previous trips of mine as I’ve been there on holiday at different times of the year (and also lived there for a short period of time years ago). I’ve included lots of photos and maps since I’m a really visual person – so hopefully that will help some of you as well 🙂 Feel free to comment and/or ask any questions that come up and I’ll try to give you any insight I have.
One of the first things I loved about Italy was their attention to detail – their presentation of food and desserts – which is such an important part of their culture. I remember seeing this gorgeous display of gelato when I was in Florence and almost couldn’t believe it was real… and not only does it look amazing, it’s equally as delicious. My favorite flavors are limone on a scorching hot day when I need something refreshing, or the combination of caffè and mascarpone e noci (mascarpone with walnuts) when I’m in the mood for something a little richer.
One of my favorite things to get when I visit Thailand is a dessert called Khao-Lam. It’s a speciality of the province of Phetchaburi, my dad’s hometown, which is famous for its cuisine and desserts. (Apparently, the cooks in the King’s Palace are always from this region, as they are “the best in Thailand,” which sounds a little biased, but quite honestly, the food there is pretty much amazing!). The dessert is made up of a sweet sticky rice (with coconut milk) and black bean mixture which is then placed into hollowed out bamboo pieces and grilled until the sticky rice becomes soft and warm… it’s seriously delicious. It’s pretty rich, so in the future I have to remember to not make the mistake of telling my relatives I love it or else they will buy endless bags of it, which you just can’t refuse (it’s a little like Italian culture in that respect). It’s like you can’t say no and hurt their feelings, so you are almost obligated to keep eating until you feel like you’re going to …
The old summer palace (aka “Monkey Hill”) in the province of Phetchaburi, Thailand that was built by King Rama IV. The decor is a combination of Thai, Chinese and European styles and the final construction was finished in 1858. There’s a tram that will take you up to the palace as it’s situated on a hill – the only thing I’ll warn you of is that the palace in inhabited by monkeys that freely roam to and from, and enjoy stealing from unsuspecting tourists. Keep your belonging tucked away!
While visiting Sicily last spring we decided to check out the quaint little city of Taormina. The layout is unique as Taormina has a beautiful beach with gorgeous clear water, but the city itself is located on a mountain – so since there’s limited space for car traffic (and parking), there’s a tram available to transport people who have parked at the base of the mountain up to the top. It’s really an incredible place to visit – with lots of food stands on the side of the streets, plenty of cafes and bars, historic buildings and museums. I loved wandering down little alleyways (such as the one pictured) and stumbling on markets and treasures. Taormina is also famous for “aranchini” which is basically a fried rice ball stuffed with a variety of different things: my favorite is the mozzarella and spinach, but some have pomodoro sauce, mushrooms, ricotta, prosciutto and cheese, sausage, ragu… the options are endless!
Today was one of those gorgeous, crisp autumn days in Cernobbio (quite possibly our favorite little city/town on Lake Como). I had quickly snapped this shot as we were heading to the Wine & Food Style event that was being held at a venue across the lawn from this castle-looking structure – it was just too beautiful to pass up.
For those who haven’t lived abroad, you’re probably wondering what this post can possibly be about. Well, basically, October is an awkward month for doing laundry, as is the spring. Contrary to what many people from the States might imagine, many Europeans (as I learned from having spent long periods of time in France, Italy, Switzerland), and actually most of the world, aren’t big on dryers, so if you’re living in a typical apartment or house over here, you won’t have one. (Unless you’re an ex-pat or something, then it’s an entirely different story).