Sunday, August 23, 2009: On Lunch and Lakes

On Lunch and Lakes

Our biggies for the day…we had lunch at a place in Croce called Barcola. It is part of an ‘agriturismo’ (as in our agritourism) effort. Our booking agents recommended it as very typical Italian family style restaurant….Yes, more food talk but it was so spectacular. It was in a tiny town, Croce, west of Menaggio….To get there you have 7 switchbacks on roads narrower than our driveway so I was fweaking out.. Since we found the restaurant fairly easily we just did a little drive up the mountain, to a place called Codogna. Len was taking photos of some horses and I went in to what appeared to be a government court yard….Holy Smokes….an incredible church built in 1744Rosario. Photos will tell all.

Back to restaurant talk– Len had to park in a ‘lot’ on a higher level — then you descend to the farmhouse…nice fat cows, ducks, chickens, birds, cats, dogs, and rabbits. Rabbit was on the menu. Hmmmm.

Andrea, of Holiday Homes, reserved a table for us at noon with the repeated warning that it was difficult to find so we left early and killed time when we found it fairly easily….the photos will give you an idea of how pretty it is. Before lunch rush! The story: I am pretty sure we annoyed the waitress because we didn’t speak Italian and I am pretty sure it would annoy me too, but still and all, we weren’t there to be annoying. SO, after a while of staring blankly at an 8 page menu, a young guy came out with a handwritten translation. Even that was daunting.   Clearly we were to order 5 courses…we had 3. Our antipasto was something I read about during my polenta phase. It was very coarsely ground polenta served with sliced lard and honey….Sliced lard and polenta and served on a wooden board. I like the idea of eating sliced lard….it was paper thin with just a sliver of lean meat on it….and drizzled with honey….you put the lard on top of the polenta and it melts….starting to think bacon fat? Very good….Len and I shared it. For the second course, I had Pizzonccheri, buckwheat pasta ribbons, served with cheese, and sautéed spinach, celery, cabbage, and potatoes…..outstanding. Len had Rigotoni with hot peppers and pesto….also well received. My green salad, was just that, shredded mega green leafed vegetable. Lastly, we enjoyed petite glasses of ice-cold lemoncello. The ristorante was packed by the time we left with big tables of families….It only took us 1 ½ hours to eat instead of the 3 typical hours… after lunch we took another spin into a different Swiss town…this one not too interesting.

Lake statistics: Lake Como is 56 square miles, 106 miles of shoreline, and get this, 1, 367 feet deep! This makes it the deepest lake in Europe. Max shared the Lake Belton stats…..Lake Belton is 136 miles of shoreline but is only 124 feet deep. There is hardly any boating on Lake Como in comparison to our Lake Belton….Today, Sunday, there has been more activity and lots of sail boats. Sailbots on lake Como We did see one Jet Ski and some speedboats. Oh, and the ferries….both passenger and car ferries and even lake taxis! We have not seen George Clooney’s speedboat or his villa, although we have driven by it a number of times! I will look more closely! Oh, and we did see the tourist helicopter as well as the sea plane.

We are, oh so, ready to get home. Fact of travel: As the journey nears its end, the lure of home grows exponentially. Len and I agree, we have had fun but now we are ready for our own bed, our own ice, and our rotten cats.  


One Response to “Sunday, August 23, 2009: On Lunch and Lakes”

  1. I’m starving now after reading your description and especially any discussion of Lemoncello! I looked at all of your photos last night as a slideshow. They are spectacular. You’ve done a great job of capturing the feel of the places you have visited. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with all of us! Can’t wait for your return this week.

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