Right now we’re on the little island of Burano watching it absolutely downpour into every little brightly-colored gutter and I’m forcing myself to use the weather to my advantage and get this blog post up.
Earlier this week, we stayed on Lake Garda outside of a small town called Salo. We’d heard that Sirmione was the village to see, but after a day trip there we realized Salo was more our speed.
In a word, Sirmione was crowded, its miniature cobbled streets and beach and restaurants were all very pretty, but the foot traffic was pretty insane. Porter and I went there thinking we’d spend the day and ended up coming back to Salo after about an hour, grateful that we happened to be staying in what turned out to be our favorite town anyway (we will say, it was worth going to Sirmione just for the ferry ride – which is cheap and about an hour long and stops at all sorts of little towns around the lake. The views are crazy stunning).
The next five days or so we came into Salo for dinner every night or got take away pizza and sat on the waterfront. It reminded us both of the Little Venice section of Mykonos with lots of restaurants lined up right by the water, looking out at The Alps. I love how in Italy every town is a little bit different, but structurally usually the exact same. There’s always a piazza with a fountain or sculpture at the center, and extra small streets winding off of a medium-sized main one. There’s a sort of predictability about small rural cities here that’s oddly comforting and relaxing.
Originally, we weren’t even going to stop in Lake Garda, but opted to go there instead of somewhere south of Rome because we knew we were heading to Venice right afterward. There are definitely places more “on the radar” that I was hoping to tick off during this trip to Italy (mainly Puglia and Positano) but it seems like you always leave a less well-discovered place appreciative that you got to see it while that was still the case.
We’re in Burano right now, and there’s just one single hotel on the island and Porter and I both have kind of been experiencing that sense of ownership over a place – the way you do when you “discover” a song years before your friends and know it’s going to be a hit but feel like it’s more “yours” because of when you found it (Porter claims that he discovered Lady Gaga while we were in high school – jury’s still out on that, and the fact that he thinks he invented Gogurt as a seven year old. Putting yogurt into a ziplock is not the same thing, Port). O
Anyway, there’s something bittersweet about visiting less well-known places and loving them, while knowing full well they probably won’t stay that way. All the more reason to visit all the places you feel compelled to go – both in the guide books and out of them.
Anna Lisa & Porter