Coming into this trip, I always held the stereotypical image of Switzerland and never
could have imagined how influential the surrounding countries could have had on
Switzerland. The biggest trademark of Switzerland I saw retained in the town of Como was
the green rolling hills surrounding the area, but other than that it seemed like an Italian
city. This isn’t so surprising considering that Milan is just 25 miles south of the town. Like
Lugano, the town borders Lake Como offering options for quick trips to other nearby areas
around the lake. The area is also a favorite amongst the rich and wealthy. On our morning
boat tour of the area our tour guide pointed out various expensive hotels and summer
villas owned by celebrities. George Clooney, Ronaldhino, and Gianni Versace were just
some of the names she dropped as we sailed past the expansive homes under the cloudy
overcast before taking a tour of the city of Como.
Despite the overcast, my brother wanted to fulfill his sea-faring fantasies and drive a
speedboat out onto the lake. The threat of rain did nothing to quench him, even when the
boat rental company asked him three separate times if he was sure that he wanted to go out
into the water. So again my family was whisked away on another one of his adventures,
while the rest took a train to Milan or to the nearby city of Bellagio. The boat ride was only
an hour but we managed to make two laps around three different areas near Lake Como.
Aside from sightseeing, I spent most of the boat ride precariously leaning to take pictures
of my brother who demanded constant reshoots at different angles.
Once we were done with the photo shoot—I mean boat ride, we joined the rest of
our group at the town of Bellagio. There we ate a lunch by the lake, enjoying some
mushroom risotto, minestrone, and lasagna. A couple of small shops were open selling
souvenirs, but both my brother and I focused our eyes on the gelato shop. Out of the many
shops, though, there is a special gem one wouldn’t expect to see in the small town.
Pierangelo Masciadri is a designer that formerly worked with Giorgio Armani, Pierre
Cardin, and many others. He has designed and sold ties to Bill Clinton, George Bush, HRH
Prince Albert of Monaco, and even Bill Gates. Our own Mr. Bucek Lie, with royal
connections of his own, bought one of his ties. Even if you aren’t much of a tie guy definitely
take a look at his shop if you visit.
Lake Como was a wonderful place to explore. The numerous small towns
surrounding the area all offer stunning views and shops with their distinctive nuances.
Despite the gloomy forecast, only a few drops managed to catch us and none could put a
damper on our spirits as we drove back to our hotel in Como. ( Stacey Irawan /