Well, we made it!
It’s ten times more beautiful that I imagined. “bella” beautiful.
We arrived at the Milan airport at 7:40 on Monday morning. (sorry for the delay in the post – jet lag has hit me hard) and easily found the bus stop for our trip to Verbania.
Everything felt exciting and new as we watched the scenes go by. As we turn to leave Arona, a small town on the way to Verbania, we get our first look at Lago Maggiore (meaning the largest lake). The bright blue sky accented the slightly moving water. The foothills of the Alps consumed your attention and I almost cried at the beauty. No shit, it was that amazing. I turned to Bob and said questioning, “Is this it? Is this the lake we are going to be living on for the next six months?” He simply nodded, overwhelmed as well with the beauty of the area. The rest of the bus ride, about 35 minutes was along the lake driving through small towns built into the foothills with terra cotta villas, Grand Hotels, and small cafes of which I imagined visiting. Stresa and Baveno are just two of the towns.
The bus dropped us off at the Piazza Gramsci, and no lie, we walked two blocks down a stone cobble street road happily pulling our luggage. Bob had done the research and knew exactly where to go. It was quite impressive and I was grateful. Here, I cry. It was everything I had imagined and more perfect. We turned left from the cobble stone street onto our piazza, Piazza Garibaldi, and our yellow stucco apartment building peaked out of the trees. I’d seen it so many time in pictures.
Now, we are three hours early because we catch the early bus from the airport and realize we have no way to contact Tara, our landlord. We were to meet her at 1:30, so we think we have time to kill and notice a restaurant next to our building. As we are stashing our luggage in a shady spot, a woman comes out of the building and …yes, it’s Tara. We can’t believe our luck. Talk about synchronicity! After many welcomes it was decided we would meet back up in half an hour to see the apartment. Tara had another meeting.
Tara returned to the restaurant and took us up to the apartment and again we were pleased – it’s charming. Bigger and much sunnier than we thought for an attic apartment, with lots of clever nooks. After reading the contract, (I’m starting to feel the jet lag and almost fall asleep as Bob and Tara chat in Italian), unpacking a little, resting for a bit, (not a good idea to nap on the first day in order to adjust to the 7 hour time difference), we are off to the grocery to get a few items for a simple dinner.
After dinner, I’m in bed by 6:30 pm dead to the world. I woke up the next day at 10, and yes that is 16 hours of sleep. A lot for even me.
On our first full day, Tuesday, we walked about 1.5 kilometers to the “big” grocery to stock up with we could carry and spent the rest of the day settling in to our new home.
So much has happened since Tuesday, so I’ll write again in a few days.
This weekend there is a flower festival at our piazza. Our location is perfect!