I recently had an opportunity to ask my mother what one of her unforgettable travel memories was and she replied, “It was time together on Lake Como.”
To celebrate our parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, my brother and I had decided that a family trip instead of a party would be more meaningful. And, where better to visit than the Cappelletti family’s Villa Belvedere (unfortunately, no longer owned by the Cappellettis) located alongside the sparkling waters of Lake Como. Mom and I had stayed at Villa Belvedere on my second cousin’s high school graduation trip. And Ken and I had returned for our honeymoon. Knowing how much Mom had enjoyed Villa Belvedere I wanted Dad and the rest of our family to get to know the Cappellettis and experience their gracious hospitality.
I emailed Jane Cappelletti and explained that we were coming for 6-nights and asked that she reserve the room with the balcony overlooking the lake for my parents. Over a dinner with the entire family my brother and I surprised our parents with a trip folder containing the itinerary and trip reservations. We were all excited and looking forward to our time together on Lake Como.
After flying into Zurich and making our way to Lucerne for a night we trained over the Alps to arrive in Como. We then took the hydrofoil boat across Lake Como, admiring the many beautiful villas along the way, to the village of Argegno. We arrived at the dock late afternoon and rolled our luggage the short distance to the entrance of Villa Belvedere. Jane warmly greeted us upon our arrival and after taking turns transporting our luggage up two floors in the tiny elevator we were settled in our rooms overlooking the lake. Two days later my brother and his family arrived.
Our days had no schedule, no plan. We were simply together and allowed the days to unfold exploring nearby villages via the lake taxi, taking the ladder down into the icy cold water and swimming, fishing off of the side of the Villa Belvedere stone ledge, taking the cable car up the mountain, or walking into Argegno for pizza. It didn’t matter, we were together.
The morning sunlight on Lake Como is unlike any other. By the time the sun lifts over the Alps and reaches the tall double door like windows in the bedrooms and bathrooms of Villa Belvedere it is blazingly white and hot which quickly begins to evaporate the cool temperatures of night. To escape the rising heat in our rooms, mornings were spent alongside the lake enjoying the generous buffet breakfast and the cooling breeze from the mountains that came whisking down across the lake. The hot days found us in the water or taking the water taxi to nearby villages with our evenings enjoying the cooling Alpine breeze as we dined al fresco beside the lake.
Half way through our time together we planned a special celebratory dinner alongside the lake as the sun began to set. That night, we all dressed up in honor or our parent’s 50 years together. The chef and staff at Villa Belvedere were especially attentive of this tender moment of honor as we spent the evening enjoying the fresh pasta and lake-caught fish perfectly paired with Italian wines. The following day my brother and his family left, heading home for work and summer activities.
Many of the moments from this trip hang on my mother’s wall of unforgettable moments. When asked for specifics about what made our being together on Lake Como so unforgettable, my mom said, “It was everything – our breakfasts, our dinners, the time in the lake, our visits to nearby villages – it was the gift of time together.”
Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.