So here’s what. We started out in Lake Como, at Villa d’Este. Twas lovely, magical. Like literally heaven on earth. We were there for a full week, which was about 4 days too long, though.
Como, the biggest town, itself is kind of crummy. I think they have a problem with their youths because their was tagging all over the place and it just felt really industrial and charmless. But Cernobbio, the town Villa d’Este is in, is charming and fun to walk around and has some cute shops and a great park by the water.
Villa d’Este was amazing, the service, the facilities, the grounds, the restaurants…perfecto.
So the “problem” with Lake Como is that everything is pretty spread out, and you have to take a boat everywhere. If you WERE going to stay there for awhile I would recommend taking a day trip into Switzerland.
Around Lake Como my tips would be these. Il Gatto Nero in Cernobbio……that’s where George and his flavor of the month are known the dine. The view is UNREAL and the food is pretty fantastic as well.A boat ride away is Isola Comacina which is a fun boat ride, and a great little dinner theatre situation.
This was some gnocchi situation on a pea puree with caviar. Made for my mouth.
We ate at Mistral which is a Michelin star rated restaurant in Bellagio with a fantastic ambience, but I am sure it is hard to find a bad meal there.
After Lake Como we drove south to Portofino which was pure magic.
We stayed at the Splendido which is where all that fab deco decorating was. The service there was..meh…But the food and hotel itself were awesome.
In town we ate at Splendido del Mare which is Splendido’s in town local base, best pesto of my whole freaking life. And I have eaten a lot of pesto. Trust. We also ate at DelFino’s- good and baby friendly and got drinks at Jolly Wine Bar.
If I were staying in Portofino I would recommend going to this monastery town for lunch, we didn’t get to eat there because of poor planning but it looked stunning, only accessible by boat or a two hour hike. I am pretty sure they only serve lunch and maybe do dinner once a week with some theatre.
I would also go to Santa Margarita for the day, and if possible over to Cinque Terre for a day of hiking, eating, and drinking.
In terms of traveling with a baby Gracie’s age…I highly over estimated how much stuff she would need. I brought two bags of toys and she played with like four of them. Also, we brought her carseat on the plane and bought her a seat hoping she would sleep in it…and she did not. I think having an airplane seat with her was worth it, just for the extra space and she played in her seat. But the carseat was completely unnecessary. She was never in it, all of the cars we took provided a carseat, and overall it was just a waste.
We brought earplugs for the other passengers but got lucky in that she was pretty good and no one really complained. Lots of snacks. An iPad full of ELMO.
She got sick the second we landed and was sick for the first week, not unhappily so, but enough that our family who was joining us later had to bring us medicine. I would travel with medicine basics: vicks, saline solution, nose sucker, maybe some Tylenol. That might seem super obvious, but it didn’t occur to us.
Does that look like an unhappy sick baby to you?
We also brought this portable high chair which was a winner.
Traveling with a baby Gracie’s age is tough/tiring. But I couldn’t have enjoyed the trip without her, missing her so, and we were fortunate enough to have a lot of help along the way. Traveling with Pete’s family was so special, and bringing our girl and getting to see her eating crazy new foods (who knew chick loves figs??) and taking pictures of her in these unbelievable places filled my heart for a long long time. I know she won’t remember everything she was exposed to, but Pete and I will, and it was priceless. So sweet. Delicious.
It’s all for da meeeemories.