Posted by: roamingolivia | March 8, 2010

Como, Part I

This post is about the trip to Como (where there is a famous lake, where George Clooney has a house but maybe is selling it, not that I’ve ever been to it), and about the town. Tomorrow the post is about the lake itself, and being out on it. I had too many pictures, and honestly there are too many in this post and I should probably split it into, like, four posts, but that assumes I have nothing interesting to say this week. Which I might not; you never know.

Anyway, the pictures are pretty. It was a lovely day (unlikely today, Sunday, which is grey but not snowing), with lots of sun, although it was really, really cold. Especially by the lake, and on the boat (to discuss on Tuesday).

We started the day with breakfast in the Italian way: coffee and a brioche, which is like a croissant but has things in it (or not). I ate a rasberry one, but I didn’t take a picture of it. But here’s the bar, which is not that nice of one but we wasted a lot of time in it:

Then we took a really old train. Like, really old. We accidentally sat in first class, and it looked like this:

It is amusing that you still make first-class and second-class distinctions when your train looks like that, but okay, it’s a way to make money.

We got to Como after about an hour, and started walking around the town. First, on the lake side…

… and then in the town. There was this nice cafe, which we wandered into for a coffee (obviously):

There was tasty food in it, both salty …

… and sweet …

… and free (it was apparently late enough at this point to be drinking prosecco and/or spritz, which is a prosecco-related drink), at least for the Italians:

But we had to postpone our consumption (except for a bit of cheese while we were waiting for our coffees) because we had business to take care of. Namely, wandering around the piazza/square:

I just realised I didn’t define “we”. It’s me and my Kazakh friend Leila (pictured here), and her Bulgarian boyfriend Georgi. They’re basically the second and third friends I met here in Milan.

They speak okay Italian, as well, which is good inspiration to me to learn Italian. They also have traveled a fair amount around the country and have good stories that inspire me to do that, too, like about visiting vineyards, etc.

Anyway, back to the piazza:

The point of the piazza is, of course, the duomo, or cathedral, which is predictably stunning:

Then there is also this man with the little dog in a red sweater (there are a lot of clothed dogs here), whom we followed unintentionally for a while:

We wandered the streets a while, listening to street musicians…

… looking at old buildings like this cinema …

… finding courtyards …

… and laughing at some of the more hilarious dog hair-dos:

We also found a street market …

… and little families …

… and a little bakery with this cheery 8 March (Women’s Day) display:

It’s also worth noting that some of the old signs (like the cinema above) have good sans serif fonts. The one on the train station public toilets, for instance, was great – very art deco – but I didn’t want to take a picture of that gross entrance. This one is also lovely:

And, last, I will leave you with this old man and the Italian flag, as we return back to the lake, which is for tomorrow:

As a bonus, I recommend watching this video of my friend Andreas, from a lovely day when we were at a banquet on a bridge last autumn in London:

Andreas and the bread from Olivia Jean on Vimeo.



  1. I love your pictures and short descriptions!!! You can really see that you are a journalist :))) It’s like “notes from the traveler’s guide…”

  2. My old second home!!! I have spent so much time in Como, as it was the city closest to the village where I lived in high school and my ex lived, that it feels weird to see pictures after not being there in so long. I’d skip high school once a week and take the old train to Milan for dance classes…it’s funny that you call those trains “old,” when I remember first thinking that that’s just how Italian trains were. They have some newer ones on that route these days, too, though.

  3. molto gelosa, can’t wait coming back…(((((((( next trip to Venice together!!!!!!

  4. I NEED TO GO THERE IMMEDIATELY!!!! seriously, why is george clooney selling his house? that is crazy talk.

  5. clothed dogs?! lots of clothed dogs?!!! i’m booking my ticket xx

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