I am in love with this place. First visited here four years ago and only dreamed I'd be back. We used to say it was Italy's best-kept secret. I think the word got out. The streets are bustling with tourists, mostly Italians, though. So it still holds a certain amount of the charm from my first experience.
Randy is called to a planning meeting with the other three members of the staff, so I take a little walk (with camera in hand, of course) and reminisce by myself.
The colors here? They are so charming and inviting.
It makes me sad to see Hotel Orta, our previous trip's "home away from home", vacant and dilapidated. I've heard word that it has been purchased -- maybe it will be up and thriving in a few years.
The island of San Giulio from Orta's piazza.
The streets here are VERY narrow. Cars are not allowed with the exception of service vehicles and the occasional small car driven by home dweller. The cobble stones are medium-sized and a bit uncomfortable to walk on. Potts and I each take one of the two smooth granite strips in the center -- we reach across the middle to hold hands, and duck quickly into a narrow doorway when the occasional car comes by.
This year's Hotel Garni La Contrada dei Monti is on a quaint side street.
Our room is small but adequate.
No internet, no cell phone, no tv (okay, there is a little one, but who in the world would want to watch it?) Instead, I open the windows wide and listen to the church bells, the music of Italian chatter, a celebratory shout from a wedding party, a call to dinner (at least I THINK that's what it was.)
From our window.