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Seeing Italy again for the first time

Boat on Lake Como, Italy.
Boat on Lake Como, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Villa d'Este (Cernobbio)
Villa d’Este (Cernobbio) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The lakes region of this country is a marvel. Lakes thirty and forty miles long, surrounded by tall green hills with towns and villages thrown along the shore on either side like beads on a rosary. I find it so beautiful that I think you could be dead and enjoy a visit here. In fact I’m sure this countryside could resuscitate most emotional and spiritual corpses and set them on the road to life again.

What a drive here to Cernobbio, just beyond the town of Como on the lake of the same name (Lake Como). We began in Switzerland, entered Italy, went back into Switzerland, then re-entered Italy – all in a little more than four hours. And a passport was never requested at any of those four border crossings. Who says that trust is a thing of the past?!?

We’ve stayed for a couple of days now at the hotel Regina Olga at Cernobbio. It is beautifully set on the waterfront. The food of Italy never disappoints, even when is trying to avoid the intake of gluten.  I’ve been able to take some great walks around the town and up the htil behind it, welcomed by some dogs and given a stern warning by others.

A ferry ride along the lake of only 13 minutes brought us to Como proper. I spent some time in the impressive Cathedral of the Assumption (the Duomo of Como) built between the 14th and 17th centuries. We sat in the square in front of the  Cathedral where I ate a plate of assorted cheeses, imbibed a cappuccino in its perfection, and watched humanity struggle, strive, love, fail, and rejoice through it all. This is one of humanity’s hometowns.

Each day here the forecast has first been for rain, later revised to better conditions. This afternoon it is finally drizzling, but nothing too bad thus far.

Tomorrow is the feast of the Ascension here in Italy. We’ll be heading toward Verona and beyond, ultimately into Austria.



A native of the North Shore of Boston, I currently live on Long Island, New York. I worked at Boston College as the Acting Director of The Church in the 21st Century Center until August, 2010 and served until November 2016 as Canon for Formation, and Dean of the George Mercer Jr. School of Theology of the Diocese of Long Island. I am now Rector at the Church of Saint Anselm of Canterbury in Shoreham, New York.

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