Friday, July 1st
This was my last full day in Italia. I have had such a wonderful trip! I packed up my bags and was able to leave them in the owner’s office for a couple of hours which was nice. I went shopping for a couple of last minute gifts and then walked back up and down the steps to Pescallo one last time.
I sat for a while taking in the beauty and then headed back to grab some food for lunch.
Final Thoughts on my stay in Bellagio and time on Lake Como: This was my second visit to Bellagio (my first time was a day trip when I stayed in Menaggio). I knew in advance that the town would be filled with tourists. Bellagio ended up being not as crowded as Sirmione though. Still, the presence of so many tourists was felt.
In Bellagio, English seemed to be the main language and was heard more than Italian. Even though I missed more of the “Italian” feel of the town, I still enjoyed my time in Bellagio and thought it was a fun place to explore, with so many wonderful views. I also loved taking boat rides on the lake.
Although it was crowded with tourists, you could easily get away from it all by walking a little way away from the center. Pescallo was my favorite place. I also loved Varenna, as I did on my last day trip visit in 2003.
If I ever return for another visit, I would either stay in Pescallo or Varenna. I also would like to return to visit the north end of the lake a little more on a sunny day and explore a few more of the towns up north.
My studio apartment at Residence La Limonera worked out fine once I swept the place. It was in a good location and it was nice and quiet at night.
Leaving Bellagio / traveling to my airport hotel
After lunch, I went to the boat dock, bought my ticket, and waited for the slow boat to take me to Como. The ride was wonderful. I took lots of pictures on the way of amazing cliffs, villas, and the cutest little towns!
When I arrived in Como, the train station was right in front of me. This is not the regular train line but another private train that you can take to get to Malpensa Airport in Milano (with one change midway).
Before purchasing my ticket, I stopped in this supermarket called something like the Grande Supermercato (can’t remember the exact name). I wanted to pick some food for the plane. Inside, I realized that it was not a big supermarket as advertised and I did not see anything that would last in the heat. I bought some water and then headed back over to the train station to buy my ticket.
I kept forgetting that if you want first class, you have to ask or you automatically get a second class ticket. It didn’t matter for the first leg of the trip though, as there were plenty of seats. The train went through some poorer sections of town and I was a little nervous with some of the people coming into the car I was riding in but all went fine.
When I got to Saronno, I got off and looked for the Partenza board. This train had different information posted, which was confusing for me. Finally I went to ask a train conductor which binario I needed to catch the train to Malpensa Airport. He told me Binario 6 and off I went.
This train station has escalators up which is nice, so you only have to carry your bag down the stairs. When I got to Binario 6, I asked again and was told the first train was not the train to the airport and to wait for the 2nd train. I am glad I asked because there was nothing posted anywhere.
When my train finally did arrive, it was quite obvious that it was the train to the airport. On the front and perhaps on the side (cannot remember now) there are words saying something like Malpensa Express. I was confused about where to board for 2nd class as the sign by the binario said something about 1st class. When I looked for the second class trains, a woman told me there was only one class. I was not sure if my second class ticket was ok, but it ended up that no one ever checked my ticket.
This train was super fast and soon I was at the airport. I had no idea where to go and so I just followed the crowd which took me upstairs where there were a couple of shops and a little supermarket and lots of signs to many different places.
Now to figure out where to go to get my shuttle! My cell phone came in handy. I called the hotel to find out where to catch the shuttle. She asked me where I was. Just “the airport” was not a good enough answer. I had no idea what terminal I was at or near and so I went back to the little grocery store where I just bought some coconut yogurt and gave the clerk my phone asking her to explain to the woman at the hotel where I was in the airport. They talked for a few minutes and then I got the phone back and was told how to find the shuttle.
The shuttle arrived a few minutes after finding the pick up spot. The man driving the shuttle was very helpful and told me where I would need to go the next day for my Continental flight.
When we arrived at the hotel, Hotel Cervo, I was a little leary. The area did not seem very nice, but I figured I was only staying at the hotel for the night and so it was not a big deal. Unfortunately things got much worse.
I was given a room that stunk of smoke. It was on the bottom floor of the older section of the hotel. Across from my room was a little neighborhood which ended up being quite noisy (some sort of construction work going on much of the night). The smell of the smoke was so strong that it seemed as if the person just left an hour earlier after smoking three packs of cigarettes with all the windows closed.
The hotel room had two windows. The window in the bedroom with bars on the outside and a window in the bathroom that opened up right into the parking lot. I opened the windows for about an hour to see if I could air out the room with no luck and then went back to check to see if there were any other rooms available. The hotel was booked and I was stuck in that room. I probably should have tried to switch rooms right away, but most likely I would have been stuck in that room anyways and who’s to say if all the other rooms would have reeked of smoke.
After a couple of hours, the mosquitoes started coming in and so I was only able to leave the window open a tiny bit with the curtain closing off the opening. I also did not feel comfortable leaving the bathroom window open at night because the window was pretty easy for anyone to climb through.
I ate dinner at the hotel. It was just ok. Then, I went back to my room for the night. I am fortunate that this was the only bad experience during my trip. It’s just too bad it ended up being my last night in Italy.
If departing from Malpensa in the future, I will definitely look into alternative accommodations and will definitely never stay at Hotel Cervo again! I’m not even going to add a link to this hotel in my resource section. You don’t want to stay there!