I moved across the lake today: a planned trade of one apartment for another, gaining some proximity to Lugano and a bit more quiet above the valley. The quality and value of these holiday apartments has really been outstanding, I took a leap of faith booking in sight unseen, but the locations, families, and facilities have been perfect.
I went shopping for a place to stay in the local “Holiday Apartments” guide, looking for a bed, bath, kitchenette, wi-fi connection, and few stairs. The flats are all keyed with their amenities, and are generally set into a potion of a family home with a private entrance and outdoor terrace. In comparison to Lugano city hotels (low-end at 80 euro per night), these were 50 euro per night / 300 per week. The families are very kind, available if you want them and invisible otherwise, and the facilities are complete and well maintained. They take pride in the neighboring area, and are happy to provide maps and directions for local villages and hiking trails.
I may never do another hotel on holiday if this keeps up…I’m only sorry that I can’t take advantage of the wonderful natural areas nearby.
The only disadvantage has been that the homes are isolated on mountaintop villages, with impossibly narrow hairpin roads and honking Italian drivers to contend with at every turn. Grocery shopping and cultural attractions are about 5-10 km away, which is a major outing given my current mobility.
I did get to Como during the move: it’s a resort town at the north end of Lake Como in Italy. The border crossing has been reduced to a wave-through on both sides: it was casual last year and has reduced to just a rolling inconvenience this year.
Como’s waterfront is set between gamboge-Mediterranean architecture and steep veridian-green hills against a smooth lake. Uniformed crew run to meet the boats that run people up, down and across: captains polish the wood and brass between passenger loadings.
Although there’s block-modern architecture creeping in, the town keeps a resort charm. Men wear sunglasses, dark jackets, and pastel pants; the women turn out in light, swirling dresses and heels. A dozen languages are exchanged in the ice cream shops, although the waiters stubbornly stay with Italian.