Old and beautiful things.
Two weeks in Italy travelling North to South-West taking in Milan, Como, Rome, Capri and Positano.
Truly spectacular and I’ll never complain about our public transport ever again.
The storm before the calm.
Not an ideal greeting on arrival into Cernobbio on Lake Como, a huge thunderstorm rolled in and got wedged between the mountains.
The town of Cernobbio, like many of the lakeside areas, is really quiet after dark. And the local cab company doesn’t answer their phone. So good luck getting home after dinner if you’re staying up the hill.
Ca’ Spiga, Laglio.
Built in their Grandmother’s original house, the Motti family have made a beautiful bed and breakfast overlooking Lake Como.
Chocolate for breakfast. And it’s not even Easter.
Understandably, Nutella is far more popular than Vegemite.
The owner, Alessandro, bakes a fresh tart each week for his guests. Waking up to the smell of freshly baking chocolate and pear tart is incredible.
It’s a sign.
The hills behind Laglio are renowned for their beautiful walks. You could take maps but we preferred to simply follow the signs. Which have words even Google translate doesn’t know.
Large open plan, plenty of natural light.
Despite the punishing gradient there are many villages dotted throughout the forest and ruins of old buildings can be found all over the place. This would, of course, be fenced off and covered in graffiti in Australia, which is why we can’t have nice things.
Joseph Frank was a fascinating old dude that lived in and around Laglio, right on the lake. He was a doctor by trade – a professor actually – and was responsible for a great deal of philanthropic good in the area, donating medicine and money to the hospital, orphanages and the like. He was also renowned for throwing lavish receptions for dignitaries and the social elite, outdoing himself on every occasion, taking great pleasure in surprising his guests with completely over the top parties. When he died in 1847 he left 25,000 Swiss francs (roughly a million dollars in today’s money) to construct a giant 15m pyramid, of his own design, as a monument to himself.
George Clooney’s house has three thousand two hundred and twenty-eight bedrooms and a tunnel for Amal’s submarine.
Obviously you must have at least 25 coffees per day as it is the best ever. Even the dodgiest looking milkbar type setup will have great espresso. Don’t even think about ordering a takeaway (they almost certainly won’t have a takeaway cup), just sit there and enjoy it. What’s the rush? Plus they’re tiny (no flat whites here) and beautiful to look at so sit down with your miniature cup and feel like you have giant hands for a few minutes.
This beautiful Riva speedboat sprung a leak after hitting some debris floating in the lake following the storms. She sank quickly but the skipper managed to get to shore and tether her to a tree so she didn’t sink to the bottom – apparently over 400m in the middle. She was rescued the next day and will live to to tow sun-tanned water-skiers around the lake once more.
The boat shed.
The oldest boat 'factory' on The Lake, this place has been building boats – now specialising in those classic timber speedboats – since the 1770s.
Here’s one we prepared earlier.
A beautiful specimen. The boat I mean.
Bougainvillea on the bogan villa.
It is, of course, not a bogan villa. Villa Trinetta in Capri is really quite beautiful, I’m just trying to make a gag.
Take the bus.
Because the streets are all so thin and tightly winding all the buses are really cute. I once asked a man at the bus stop in very broken Italian what time the next bus was due. He laughed and said, ‘Nobody knows’.
Cliffs of Capri.
Little children of Capri,
Fearless flying, soaring free.
From cliffs they plunge into the sea,
Little children; braver than me.
I’m on a boat.
The best way to see the spectacular scenery and the crystal waters of Capri is by boat. Hire one or take a private tour with a local so you can stop at a spot with no one else in it and pretend you own the joint for a couple of hours.
Master and the apprentice.
You know the fish is fresh when you’re sitting at your table watching them being pulled out of the water right in front of you.
I don’t normally shoot sunsets, but then this bird was like, ‘How about now?’
The Path of The Gods.
I thought it was pretty arrogant to call it that, but once I got up there I came around.
Abandoned house, Path of The Gods.
Sick of schlepping 6,000 feet up the hill with groceries, this family moved back into town some time ago.
Saint Something Day.
I heard they may have been celebrating a Saint’s day, or maybe it was simply one of super rich Saudis on their boat. Either way it was pretty.
The fast train.
Please, Australia. PLEASE can we have a fast train?
Duomo Di Milano.
Construction on the truly gargantuan Milan Cathedral began in 1386 and took nearly 600 years to finish. Six centuries. But it is the third largest church in the world, so …
This spectacular ceiling serves a number of purposes; the most important of which is to allow you to say, 'My goodness, darling, look at the roof!’, distracting your wife from all the Prada, Yves Saint Laurent and friends at eye level.
Friday night at the Rome Cricket Ground.