Tuesday, April 20:  Welcome to Lake Como

Today I was woken up bright and early, ready to go. I packed up all of my stuff, including proving I can also cram my bathing suit, jeans, nutella, and mom’s medicine in one pocket. The breakfast room was open, so we walked down, where I ate what I always do. I thanked the maids and walked up, grabbed my bags, and brought them to the front desk. We left the stuff there, and went to check out the fish market nearby. My mom wondered which fish you would buy from, while I wondered who would eat fried octopus in salt. I noticed that there were film people taping some footage of the fish, and it was fun to watch the camera stand on a little track. I wonder why they were? Some other gross things to eat were squid, anchovies, flounder, and moving shrimp that they claimed were “dead”. After that we grabbed our bags and said bye to the people at the desk, including the dog Tina, and went to the boat dock. I got on a ferry that would take us to the parking garage, and enjoyed the trip. When we reached the stop, and the place where cars and vespas were OK, I got in the cramped elevator and went up to the top floor. We got off and in the car, to start driving. We drove for 30 minutes until we came to Padova, a city we were going to quickly stop at. My dad payed for parking in a lot, and we piled out, to find it was very hot and sunny. After that my dad stopped for directions, but eventually got us to the Scrovegni Chapel.

We had reseervations, but we needed to pick up the tickets. The man at the desk was hardly a help, and just gave us a sticky note that said we could go in in two hours. Since we had plenty of time to kill, we went to lunch at a cafeteria nearby which had a great selection. I chose to have some noodles with a tomato sauce and a kiwi. The noodles were very good, but the kiwi wasn’t that great. I purposely stalled to make it only an hour to wait. Afterwards, we went back to the park around the chapel to wait. But my dad noticed a museum, so we walked in. It was no biggie, and we hurried through all of the Roman and Etruscan art. After that we went to get in line near the chapel, while Robert and I sat in the grass until it was time to go in. To keep the place preserved, we had to wait in a room that would take out all of the outside air and replace it with fresh air. While I waited, they showed a 15 minute movie about the chapel. It wasn’t very interesting, and I anticipated seeing the real thing. Afterwards we went through the airlock and came into the chapel. It was amazing! There was tons of pictures, and my favorite was the “Last Judgment”, which took up a whole wall. My mom said that this whole place was under scaffolding for a really long time, and I was grateful to see it all. We weren’t allowed inside for very long, so we were kicked out soon. After that we left the Chapel and got to the main building to get our bags back. My mom got herself a postcard about cheerful Palm Sunday in a painting, but got us the evil inferno of the “Last Judgment”. It was very hot out, and when we got back to the car, I was boiling. Luckily, my dad opened all of the windows to air it out. Cool, we got back on the road.

For the next three hours I read my book, until we came to a huge lake, Lake Como! I was amazed at how mountainous yet tropical it was in one place. The autostrada highway passed over the lake, and we followed a road along the water. It was almost sunset, and everything was shiny. After a half hour we reached a house with a gate in front of it, the hotel! My mom opened the gate while my dad parked and was greeted by a little weiner dog and a huge Irish setter. I started petting the setter, and he (or she) liked it. After that I grabbed my bags and went inside. A nice man at the desk showed us our room, and how the beds work. A bunk bed came out of the wall, and that was where we slept. My parents were in a double bed on the ground. The view outside was especially pretty, with a bunch of trees and grass. The bathroom was neat too, it had a tub and another window. But I also enjoyed the swivel TV, so my brother could hog it on the top bunk. After unpacking and exploring the room, we went for a walk. Some nice old ladies showed us where to go for dinner, so we followed them. The walk was very steep, with lots of stairs, but it was also fun to tear down the downhill ones leading to the water. Emerging from an alley, we came to the water and a huge island on the other side of the peninsula. It was very scenic, but everyone was hungry and wanted to eat.

Up another alley across from the water was a restaurant with lots of colored lights around the sights. Inside was very homey, and had lots of good food on people’s plates. I decided to get some pizza with ham, and didn’t have long to wait until it came. Plopping on pounds of parmesan, I pigged out. It was very tasty, including the first good ham I’ve had in Europe. My parents had wine, and we had water to drink. We wanted to go, they wanted to stay. We went outside, they kept on eating. Simple! The water and island with many lights was very pretty, and I looked at it a lot. Then my parents came, looked, and told us we were going back to the Nuovo Miralago Hotel. I typed while everyone watched soccer on TV, and then I went to bed. Tomorrow we’re on the road again.

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Photo 253  Beautiful Lake Como
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Photo 254  Vernazza, the Fourth Town in Cinque Terre, Where we Stayed