|a large villa on Lake Como used for high profile gatherings/ events|
|My host's chickens- fresh eggs each morning|
|Host's proud country home from the outside|
I set out the following morning having been woken by of all things a goose honking through the night.
I quickly arrive in the town's center, highlighted by an artificial turf soccer field and a single cafe, wifi not provided.
I enter inside- locals gathered around the bar, shoveling out 2 euro coins for cappuccinos in the morning, and beer and wine in the evening. The ubiquitous slot machines sit in the corner, their flashing lights attempting to attract suckers like a bug zapper does moths.
Within a couple hundred meters of leaving the cafe, I'm back on the empty, windy road; walking it is a perilous proposition. Italian motorists, who are about as cautious as the ocean is dry, peel around the many blind curves as though they were on a racetrack. When I hear the revved out engine of a car approaching, I race up the embankment for some measure of safety.
|hills on the Italian countryside|
|frequent Italian balcony/ windowsill decoration- flowers|
I pick up the small white ball, and attempt to dribble it like a basketball for entertainment purposes. After a couple kilometers I lose her as she takes a bad bounce and rolls down the steep hillside.
|a cemetery in the Italian countryside|
video: the countryside of the Lake Como area
I walk well over 10km, before arriving at my destination is the Sighignola, known in English as "The Balcony of Italy," which overlooks the Swiss border town named after Lake Lugano which it sits on. On a clear day one can see the high peaks of the Swiss Alps, including the Matterhorn. Unfortunately for me, today was quite overcast.
|Literally overlooking the Swiss border on the Italian side. Just below me- Swizterland|
Video: The Balcony of Italy, overlooking Lake Lugano and Switzerland
|The city of Lugano, on Lake Lugano|
I gaze at the view over Lago Lugano and beyond for half an hour, before returning and starting my walk back to town. It starts to pour, big droplets. I seek refuge in a rustic restaurant, which specializes in locally harvested wild boar.
I depart an hour later as the rain abates momentarily, soon returning accompanied by rolling thunder as a companion.
Video: THundER on a lonely Italian countryside road
|Italian countryside- quite peaceful. High in the hills|
I make it back to town, the day passing me by about as quickly as the 23km I traverse. I'm not sure what I could look back on and say I "accomplished," but in the Italian countryside, it really doesn't seem to be a requirement to have enjoyed the day immensely.
|As the sun begins to set late in the summer evening|