Italy part 1 – A Wedding at Lake Como!

Wow, it is crazy to believe that all of the excitement for this amazing, double-barrel trip has now come to an end…

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IMG_7968 - Copy IMG_6507 - Copy IMG_6124 - Copy IMG_7722 - Copy IMG_7352 - Copy IMG_7693 - Copy Gone are the weeks of anticipation; an entire 2 and a half fantastic weeks of inter-railing around beautiful + sunny Italy have come to an end all too soon…But I am so excited to share this massive bundle of the food + scenery pictures that were taken along the way…

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That said though, it is definitely good to be home. Don’t trips feel as if they sometimes peak at just the right time, so you feel just a little homesick and pretty excited to go home as the end of the trip nears? It helps to offset the holiday blues.

Touchdown back in London marked the first day in 2 and a half weeks on which gelato was not consumed. Not one bit. In fact, i’m pretty sure we made a substantial dent in world gelato supply….ungodly quantities of the heavenly stuff were consumed. But in our defence, it is just so ridiculously cheap there to buy such immensely creamy ice cream! 3 Euros for 3 scoops, you say? Hellz yeah! I’ll take a million! Take that South Kensington! Ain’t nobody got time for your £6 artisan cones…Italy = pure food luxury.

For anyone thinking of travelling to Italy though, just be warned that some of the toughest decisions that you will ever have to make in life will unfold as you stare wide eyed into the heap high, multi-coloured Gelateria counters (something which you will never ever learn to professionally resist).

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Even though myself + my girls who came out later each kept our own sloppy travel diary of every days conundrums, most of the scribbled down content is practically unreadable…So many wonderful memories were made during the trip that it would be virtually impossible to try and recollect even half of them…So I reckon that a mass of photos will be the best substitute – I guess it’s lucky that I took well over 4,000! (Let’s just blame continuous shooting, blue skies and vanity…)

As you can see from the disorganized bundle of pics above, the holiday started out in Lake Como for the wedding of my gorgeous cousin L, and her newlywed hubby M, before moving swiftly on after about a week for a mini inter-rail from Milan to Venice, from Venice to Florence, before heading down a little more south to Rome…

Let me just highlight that lake Como is absolutely beautiful! It can be quite annoying to get to (2 trains and a loco bus) but the trip is absolutely worth it. It was at least 30* during the week of the wedding there, so its pretty hard to imagine this exotic lakeside ever being covered in snow – but apparently it frequently is?!

It is perfection galore

Take a look!

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I have also gotta say just how much I am so grateful for smooth fate; once I got to Como (the main town on the lake where buses set off from) I was walking in the complete wrong direction. I hadn’t at all anticipated the resort I needed to be a 55 minute drive away. I also had no clue that the bus there ran once every hour, and the sun was also starting to set…

However, 2 cheery, old Italian guys found the goodness in their heart to stop and ask whether this sweaty girl trekking down the road with a ginourmous, flowery wheelie was okay. Then with the most utterly perfect timing, this rare bus stops right in front of us on its last few minutes of its circuit. Down they hail this the empty bus, chat to the driver, before heaving up my huge ass suitcase and persuade the driver let me on without a ticket. Legends… Suave. This wouldn’t happen in London.

So I managed to roll up and met L + M as if I knew what I had been doing the whole time. If it wasn’t for those 2 guys though then I’m pretty sure I would have spent the week broken and alone in a Swiss hostel…

Meanwhile, due to work + responsibilities, the family all arrived in bits and pieces. I got to stay with my big cousins and aunty in a cute + spacious shabby chic apartment right over the lake in Tremezzo – a quiet but occupied little village on the west side of the lake…

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And of course, I also got to practise some of my wedding photography skills at my cousins amazing ceremony and glitzy reception…I was SO excited to take part in this! It was so fun to take shots of the bridesmaids getting ready as well! They put up with me very well.

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The food was amazing too! How does Sicilian tiger prawns with peaches sound?

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A plate of pasta for starters and fresh lake fish for main! Let’s not forget about the tiramisu that followed and the fruity + local white wine abundance…

It was a happy day full of reunion, new greets + fun!! And LOVE!!

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I think that the pictures really do speak for themselves!

And again, I simply love the tranquillity and authenticity of Lake Como. There is a lot of wandering around to do. Along the lake there are both boat + bus stops. Single tickets are like, 4 Euros each way, or day tickets start from 15 – which comes in pretty handy when you happen to enjoy darting to-and-fro across the lake in the sunshine and breeze! There is not ‘a lot’ to do, but that’s the art of the lake! It is so fun to sit back, take it slow + just enjoy the scenery for once…

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The art lies truly in the freedom to simply explore all of the quaint little villages, their cafes, churches, climbs and marinas that it has to offer.

Long walks occurred. A lot.

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My favourite village was Varenna. Only ‘quaint’ can sum up this tranquil little heaven. This was where I took a solo day trip (most of the family hadn’t arrived yet) and followed a dirt truck up a molten hot mountain, with nothing more than a Sudoku book and factor 10 bronzing oil. So anyway, this mountainside got a little dodgy after 30 minutes or so (strange men carrying chainsaws…), and because I was so scared about having to slide down in my flip flops; I figured it was probably easier to just carry on upwards…Bad move. If it wasn’t for the 2 teen British couple I spontaneously met halfway up, I probably wouldn’t have carried on up so far. I figured that they were in proximity enough to hear any screams…

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But there was also Bellagio and its fabulous little lido…and its gelato…and its pizza too!

…Oh, the pizza…

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That is in addition to Menaggio + Lenno. Lenno was more isolated and simply blue…We made the typical pit stop at a lakeside cafe for juices and snacks after wandering too far. Bliss.

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It seemed that Tremezzo was  a good place to stay over all. Aside from having the wedding venue centrally located and being easily accessible from Como’s train stations, every other village was quick + easy to get to from here, and we didn’t have to walk for more than 2-10 minutes for an affordable evening meal. Since it isn’t the most well known lake village here, it wasn’t too touristy either like some of the others.

So, via wandering, I stumbled across some of the tastiest bruschetta ever (Gorgonzola, pear and WALNUT!!),

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As well as getting through many pizzas whilst refuelling ourselves for steep climbs that would allow a view like this…

 

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This was taken at the top of a cable car station. That was a funny day. We spent about an hour and a half trying to find a cable car dock, before following a windy + extremely narrow forest road further and further up to the mount of nowhere, before realizing that a) we might never find this cable car, and b) even if we did, it can only go down since we were so freaking high up to begin with. Once we got over the view at the top (and melted a little in the sweltering heat) we realized that the next cable car (yes, downwards) wasn’t for another hour or so. Keen to make the most of the successful trek, we waited out this time in the one and only cafe/bar, who’s extensive menu stretched across cheese, bread, ham and…toasted cheese, bread and ham…you get the picture. The beardy owner was pretty offended when I asked whether or not he had the odd slice of tomato to throw between some toasted bread and cheese….

After waiting out the hour, we walked the 2 minutes back to the dock to be greeted by a man telling us that we had missed the cable car. Srsly? It worked out at long last, though.

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As the post wedding buzz died down and family came and went, some of the final few days were spent simply sunbathing, reading, wandering in these newly familiar places + taking a 45 minute drive to Switzerland for some delicious (un-pictured) prawn cocktail and avocado salad (my new trend!)

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3 misc things I learnt from Lake Como:

  1. Italians love peach, pear and pistachio. The peach + pear juice is so thick that it tastes like a smoothie. I decided that I love pear a little more than peach, and that never again will it be a good idea to drink an entire litre before a boiling hot wedding service…
  2. Italian drivers are crazy. My first taste of wild driving happened as i got on the bus from the station to Tremezzo (where we stayed). Within a 3 minute period alone (as we travelled up a hill with no crash barriers against the lake drop below), the bus majorly swerved at least 3 cars as the driver answered his phone call, despite maintaining a solid conversation with the woman talking right into his ear from behind and reassuring me (in the front seat) that I was on the correct bus. Italian bus drivers can multi-task, alright. *Wipes forehead*.
  3. Como cabbies don’t pick up their rank phones past 1am…we learnt this come the end of a late night wedding reception miles away from our beds…Car hire here is ideal.
  4. Siestas are a thing here. Buy bus tickets before 1pm or you may/may not be allowed on the hourly bus. If you are lucky enough to get onto it, be prepared to leave all of your bags/luggage on board whilst the driver summons you to get off at the next stop with a bus ticket machine. Take care. At 7am with a 6am wakeup I was too sleepy to give my suitcase a second thought.

Going through these thousands of photos is so fun, but incredibly time consuming too! I also despite having to unpack! How long does it take you to settle back in again? My untouched backpack still looks weary and distressed from the flight home.

Have you taken any trips this year? What have you got planned for summer?

It is definitely good to be back can’t wait to share the rest of the trip with you all!

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Tash xo

  • http://evaetsandra.com Eva

    What a Lucky girl you are! The como’s lac looks so nice!
    Weeding is amazing, you must have so much fun !
    Lovely pictures!

    • Tashiana

      It is beauts, add it to your bucket list 😀 Thanks for stopping by, Eva :)

  • http://www.pinaforesandpies.co.uk Hannah

    Wow these photos are AMAZING. I was thinking of getting married in Lake Como but we will probably do it on honeymoon instead as some of my guests are coming from Canada and the UK is probably far enough for them to travel. X

    • http://www.tealightsky.com Tashiana

      Thanks Hannah! :) It is a beautiful place indeed! But at the end of the day, home = comfort! The UK has many beautiful places anyway! Thanks for stopping by x

  • http://www.truefemme.com Alex @ True Femme

    These pictures are stunning! What an absolutely gorgeous place for a wedding! I have some family friends who are there right now and I cannot wait to see their pictures when they get back! Italy is one European country I sadly haven’t gotten to but hopefully that will change very soon :) Looks like you had an amazing time!

  • http://www.uninterestinglife12.blogspot.ie Ciara Delaney

    Looks like a beautiful trip! Love to go to Italy one day :)