Monday, April 22, 2024

"Como, Lugano, and Milan: Lakeside Escapes and Urban Adventures

The final stretch of my 9-day Italian adventure (Verona) marked another chapter of exploration, beginning with a visit to the stunning Lake Como, nestled cozily in the embrace of Lombardy. The moment I laid eyes on its tranquil waters, I was utterly captivated. We took our time, strolling leisurely along the shoreline, capturing each moment with our cameras and basking in the peaceful atmosphere. The morning breeze was crisp, sending shivers down my spine, but thankfully, my trusty scarf came to the rescue. While I was wrapped up like a mummy, the others seemed unaffected, lost in the beauty of the lake. 



Our time at Lake Como was brief, just an hour or so, before we embarked on our journey to Lake Lugano, nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of Lake Maggiore and Lake Como. Even from a distance, its allure was irresistible. We sauntered along the lakeside, soaking in the spectacular views, crossing over to the fountain for a closer look.


Then came the thrill of shopping, especially for those who had postponed their shopping spree until now, hoping for better deals on luxury items like handbags (Venice & Florence). Despite our guide's warnings that prices were pretty much the same everywhere (Rome), some still clung to the hope of snagging a bargain at the branded stores. While they scoured the shops, we took a more relaxed approach, content to indulge in some leisurely window shopping. Eventually, we regrouped as planned, gathering at the designated spot before treating ourselves to a delightful lunch at Cerruti 11 Café. The lively ambiance perfectly complemented our meal of roast chicken, ice cream, and coffee.



Our plans to explore Milan hit a snag when our coach broke down halfway through our journey, throwing our city tour plans into disarray. Despite the inconvenience and the subsequent traffic jam upon our arrival in Milan, our group remained unfazed. After a long and tiring journey, we finally reached Milan City for dinner before retiring to our hotel for the night.

 

The following day was dedicated to shopping in Milan, starting with visits to some of the branded stores before heading to Franciacorta Outlet Village. While some eagerly splurged on designer goods, I found myself simply browsing, nothing really catching my eye. For lunch, some opted for McDonald's, only to be disappointed by the absence of chili sauce. I settled for a Panini and coffee at Auto Grill, though I couldn't help but miss the fiery flavors of home. 



As we bid farewell to Franciacorta Outlet Village and enjoyed our final dinner in Milan, we savored every moment. The next morning, as we checked out of our hotel and made our way to the airport, I couldn't help but reflect on the unforgettable experiences of my first overseas trip. It had been an incredible journey filled with valuable lessons, from understanding the true definition of weather to the importance of leaving space in your luggage for shopping.  And while Italian cuisine was undoubtedly delicious, nothing could compare to the bold flavors of Malaysian food. Though my wanderlust begged for more, it was time to bid Italy farewell, carrying its beauty and memories with me always. Grazie, Italia, for the unforgettable adventure.


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