|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 for a couple hours before arriving at my destination- the Sighignola, known in English as "The Balcony of Italy," which overlooks the Swiss border town named after Lake Lugano. On a clear day one can see the high peaks of the Swiss Alps, including the Matterhorn. Unfortunately for me, today is quite overcast.
|Literally overlooking the Swiss border on the Italian side. Just below me- Switzerland|
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.
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 quickly. 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|