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After the quick sojourn to Rimini/San Marino, my next destination was the north of Italy, specifically Comer See (Lake Como). Given my previous train experiences in Italy, I was less than optimistic that I would actually make it there, but set out on the journey anyway, since pessimism is part of the fun of traveling.
My pessimism grew as what began as rain in Rimini started to switch to snow near Imola. At one point, the train stopped, and I assumed we weren’t going to move on due to the Italian rail system’s inability to deal with a few snowflakes. After about a 15 minute wait, we continued, and I somehow made it to Como on time after switching trains in Milan.
Como itself was a nice lakeside town. After arriving and checking in to my hotel, I had a few hours of daylight remaining. Despite a freezing cold wind coming of the lake, I decided to go to an even higher location by taking the funicular railway up to Brunate to watch the sunset.
When it comes to taking photos of a picturesque location, I can be remarkably stubborn. In this case, I stood on the side of a mountain in sub-freezing temperatures, facing a strong wind. My reward was some great views of the sun setting over Lake Como. I didn’t lose any fingers, so it was worth it. Como itself was just barely snow-free, but Brunate had nearly a foot of snow that had recently fallen. The snow would be a sign of things to come later in the trip, but for now, the cold was just temporary.
Once the sun was down, I took the funicular back down to Como and set off in search of dinner.
I ended up at a pizza joint a couple of blocks away from my hotel. The pizza was just fine, but my experience there was one of the odder ones I’ve had while traveling.
Despite having been to Italy several times in the past, I had a unique experience at this particular restaurant. The woman in charge refused to serve me tap water. I can understand being refused tap water if you’re in some country where the water is dangerous, but surely there are no issues with water that is coming off of glaciers or snowpack near an alpine lake. The woman said that she wouldn’t even give her kids Como tap water, and despite me asking many times, would only give me bottled water.
For the record, I had tap water from Como several times over the few days I spent in the region. Considering it is now a year and a half later, and I have not yet died, I can reasonably conclude that the Lake Como tap water is perfectly safe for you to drink.