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Ligurian Coast & Lake Como: Moscardini, Missoltini and Much Else

Ligurian Coast & Lake Como: Moscardini, Missoltini and Much Else

Old Oct 30th, 2008, 10:18 AM
  #101  
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Zeppole I wish I was there eating soup with you RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!

Just one note now: Julie: I did not stay in the little single room at the GH Victoria in Menaggio. I was able to move to a very nice double for just a bit more money. I ended up becoming fond of the hotel, despite the preponderance of pink-satin-upholstered furniture in the lobby areas! It really is quite charming, and even kind of homey, in its own way. (As long as someone does not go there expecting a "typical" four-star hotel experience.)

But from the two single rooms that I saw during this trip (the one I stayed in in Camogli and the one I moved from in Menaggio, I realize that single travelers really get the short end of the stick in many hotels!)

More soon...
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 10:24 AM
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Be careful what you wish for, eks. I'm sure we would have had great fun perched over the roiling sea eating our soup -- it was like being thrust into the middle of a great silent movie -- but it is really tough to walk around today without getting nearly blown off your feet, and the thunder and lightning is fierce.

Okay, it's still fun.

Solo travelers in Italy should consider B&Bs instead of starred hotels. The single rooms are often snug and charming, or else the same rooms given to doubles.
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 03:09 AM
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Zeppole: It must have been dramatic with the waves crashing against the castle!

I have two questions for you: Are there many tourists around now (last week October?)

What is the name of those boats with the red sails and the rowers? I saw one of these on a Sunday morning (before I met you for lunch) and think it is a reproduction of a historic boat; maybe they were practicing for a race? Forgive me if I have already asked you this (!)

Oh, also, how long of a walk is it, more or less, from the Villa Rosmarino to the post office? And where is the town public parking..if someone were to stay at VR, for example, where do they park when they drive into town for dinner? As I said above, I met a couple who were staying there and were just gushing about the place..
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 10:01 PM
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Hi Ekscrunchy - based on your report we have just booked four nights at the Miramare in SML. We tossed and turned like you over whether to stay in Camogli or SML. The TA reports for the Cenobio dei Dogi seemed inconsistent whereas the Miramare were all glowing!!! We managed to get a 4 nights for three offer which made it even more attractive. I will print out all your restaurant advice. We are not going until June next year!

We are looking at staying three nights somewhere else along the coast and again based on some Fodors posts I think perhaps Sestri Levante could be a goer, what do you think?

Has anyone stayed at the Helvetia Hotel, Karen Brown recommends it and it does look rather cute though they are not taking bookings until next year.

Zeppole can you comment on Sestri Levante please. We will have come from a month in Paris and we are looking for total relaxation, good food but somewhere that also has things to see and do. We have already seen Cinque Terre so are not looking particularly to go there again.

Thanks again EK for all your tips and resto reviews.

Does anyone know of the best way to get from Paris to Liguria? EK I will post my own questions if no one answers here, sorry to high jack but your report is so good I am riding on it's coat tails.
Schnauzer

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Old Nov 1st, 2008, 01:52 AM
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Schnauzer: I am glad I was able to offer some help. You will not be sorry you booked the Miramare and you got a great deal with the 4 nights for 3 offer for June! The Miramare is a better hotel than the Cenobio as far as the physical structure and the service, and certainly the rooms and more luxurious and much more attractive. And their bathrooms are very nice, with terry robes included! And remember that the Miramare pool is heated and the Cenobio's is not, which would be an issue in June if you like to swim. Both hotels have large pools for swimmers.

I am also interested in Sestri Levante and also looked at hotels on TA and liked the Helvetia. I would love to hear more about this town because it looks lovely, has a good beach, and seems to be a little off the usual tourist trail for North American tourists, at least.

I flew to Genoa from Paris (after arriving from JFK on AF) on BritAir. They use fairly small aircraft departing from the new Terminal 2G at CDG. The flight provides fantastic views of the Alps:


http://www.britair.com/

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Old Nov 1st, 2008, 03:28 AM
  #106  
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When we arrived in Menaggio and the Grand Hotel Victoria for the first time, I had presented Paolo at the front desk a list of the restaurants I wanted to book and asked him to phone for reservations. He looked at my list and when he saw the name, La Fagurida, he smiled and showed the list to his co-worker, Valeria, who told us that this was her favorite restaurant in the area. So I had a good feeling about this place before we arrived.


La Fagurida is located in Rogaro, a hamlet, or frazzione, in the hills about 1.5 km above Tremezzo. After twisting and turning on the very steep road that rises from the Lake, we finally spotted a small sign indicating the name of the restaurant. After parking on the street, we followed a cobbled path to the restaurant, located in an old farmhouse that also serves as the residence of the owners. A massive fireplace dominates the dining room (one of two) where we were seated. Dark wooden beams, whitewashed walls, and a jumble of copper pots, iron fireplace implements, and old pottery and glass contribute to the farmhouse feeling.

While the menu offers lake fish, including missoltini, alpine specialties including game, sausage, and beef are the focus of the menu. Bistecca Fiorentina is also an option at 4 euro per etto, or 40 Euro per kilo) There were no tourists here on the night we visited, but a note on the menu reads:

“This is a local restaurant specializing in regional dishes; we apologize that this does not include pizza or pasta.”

Because my friends wanted to eat lightly, we passed up the mixed appetizers and began with main courses: I had a terrific Tagliata di Manzo, beef steak served very rare (16 Euro) My friends ordered the Congilio Arrosto (14 Euro) This burnished golden roasted rabbit, snug in its an oval copper dish was certainly a rabbit worthy of the cover of a food magazine! We shared a mix of roasted vegetables, but the meal’s crowning glory was, believe it or not, the polenta! I’ve never been an aficionado of polenta but I knew it was a regional specialty and I figured I ought to order it just once.

Well this polenta, a version known as Polenta Uncia (8 Euro) just about knocked me off my little wooden chair with its gooey deliciousness! In answer to my question, the waitress told me that it was just polenta, oil, garlic, and cheese (I think there as butter as well) …somehow I do not think the same ingredients will yield the same results in my own house! (There is another polenta specialty of the area around Bellagio, toc, which is served in a communal vessel called a paiolo in the fall and winter months; the ingredients appear to be similar to these but without garlic).


http://www.comoeilsuolago.it/polente.htm

We closed this very simple, but almost perfect, dinner, with house-made apple torta and coffee. With house wine and water, the total was 92 Euro for three of us. La Fagurida is closed on Mondays. No credit cards are accepted and no English is spoken.


From Rogaro, it was an easy drive of about 10 or 15 minutes back to the hotel.

Tomorrow, our last day: The Larian Triangle, a rewarding shopping foray to Switzerland, and a visit to the Villa d’Este.

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Old Nov 1st, 2008, 10:57 PM
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Hi Eks,
I am sitting in my hotel room in Napoli reading your trip report and loving it - thinking about a great picture I have of you with a huge smile on your face when the waiter brought out the scampi at Nonna Nina - Zeppole, why am I not surprized that you are still eating those amazing meals?
xo
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 02:05 AM
  #108  
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Bellalinda: Finally I see your screen name! I did not remember it so mentioned you as the "charming poster."

I have been wondering how you were and how the trip was going...I wanted to write to you but did not have your e-mail..

I am still thinking about that meal at Nonna Nina..it was among the best of the trip food-wise and as far as the company went, it certainly was the best!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 06:18 AM
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the charming poster - so diplomatic eks.
I will be home in a few days and send you a proper mail, but I also need to think about what I can tell the forum - I know I have information to share after 2 months of rambling around this wonderful country -Italia, and I certainly gleaned a lot of really good information from other posters before I left, but I am not quite as eloquent as some, so it may just have to come out in bits and pieces.
Ciao for now.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 09:42 AM
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Ciao BellaLinda!!!

Bringing this to the attention of PSGMartino....Lake Como was our last stop..
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 12:01 PM
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Here is a bit more, mostly about shopping in Switzerland, at the Foxtown outlet:




On Monday, the last day of our trip, we planned to do some shopping. Before leaving home, I had done a bit of research into discount shopping in the Como area:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=35139989

After speaking to a couple of locals after arriving, the consensus seemed to be that some of the best shopping in the area was not in Como, but across the border in Switzerland, at the Foxton outlet mall in Mendrisio.
And so, after breakfast, deciding to combine a scenic drive with some heavy-duty shopping, we set off on the ferry to Bellagio. From there, we drove south along the western shore of the mountainous Triangulo Lariano, the promontory that juts into Lake Como and has as Bellagio as its pinnacle.



http://www.cmtl.it/galleria.aspx


There was very little traffic on this road and the views of the lake were stupendous; we drove through Lezzeno, Nesso, Torno, and Blevio, (where Soprano Giuditta Pasta is buried in the local church) before reaching Como. Como looked like a very pleasant city and I wished that we had had more time to explore. We drove past the elegant railroad station and main ferry docks, and with no difficulty, found the highway to Chiasso and Switzerland. From the border, a drive of less than 30 minutes (follow the small signs to Mendrisio and the “Centri Commerciali.”

From the outside, Foxtown looks like a typical US shopping mall. After parking the car and beholding all of the Nike and Adidas signs plastered over the exterior, I began to wonder if this was to be a wasted day in mall purgatory. The situation became clearer once we entered the sprawling multi-tiered space and began exploring a couple of the more than 200 shops inside.

Fendi, Prada, Ferragamo, Dolce Gabbana, Hogan, Tod’s, Etro, La Perla, Loro Piana, Gucci—they were all here. But the prices were very different than they were back home, and very different than they were in Italy. In a good way!

http://www.foxtown.ch/info.php?lingu...ntro=mendrisio





One member of our trio had opted out of the shopping spree and decided to wait with a newspaper at one of the mall’s fast food outlets. So the two shoppers had to work quickly. We ducked into the brand-new McKenzy shop, where cashmere sweaters for men and women in a rainbow of colors and styles were stacked floor to ceiling.

http://www.mckenzy.it/html%5Fen/

My friend bought two twin made-in Scotland cashmere sweater sets for a total of $500 CHF, or about $450US.



I will return soon with more shopping and a visit to Villa d'Este.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2008, 06:58 AM
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I should make it clear that the prices at Foxtown were very good for Americans due to the exchange rate for the dollar vs Swiss franc.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2008, 01:34 PM
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A bit more on shopping at the Foxtown outlets in Switzerland:



Our next stop was Loro Piana. Happily, they were having a sale which reduced prices on many of the already discounted men’s and women’s clothing. I bought a wool coat here for what I consider a very good price. We also browsed in Tod’s, where many of the women’s shoes were priced at 230 CHF, or about $200 US. The VAT refund brings the prices down even further.

The only downside to shopping at Foxtown is the lack of good eating places. My friends settled for a quick lunch at one of the food shops within the mall. ( I passed, knowing that the remains of my mateloc cake awaited me in my hotel room.)

After lunch, we headed back to Chiasso and the border. After a quick stop at the Swiss customs post, shopping bag in hand, for a VAT refund stamp, we were on the road back to Italy, heading for the legendary Villa d’Este, in Cernobbio, a short distance north of Como on the lake’s western shore.


http://www.villadeste.it/t0_thehotel.html.

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Old Nov 5th, 2008, 07:14 AM
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topping for Bejjie, with info on Lake Como towards the end of the report..
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Old Nov 5th, 2008, 11:06 AM
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I want to add two restaurant suggestions for the Bellagio area to ekscrunchy's excellent trip report for anyone heading to Bellagio.
We visited there for the third time recently and had excellent dinners at one of our old favorites as well as a new place. La Barchetta in Bellagio is better than ever. We were worried because we heard that it has a new owner but the four of us were so pleased with all of our courses both nights. We were offered a complimentary appertif of prosecco and orange liquer to start.Highlights were seafood risotto, tagialini with lavarello, ravioli with cinnamon sauce, veal Milanese,lavarello with capers, small pancakes stuffed with apple slices. It is a more upscale take on local cuisine than it was formerly. Both times we ate there it was packed with Italians.
Alle Darsena in Loppia, just beyond the Melzi Gardens was another wonderful dining experience. The chef was formerly at the Hotel Serbelloni.www.alledarsenadiloppia.com. Highlights: seafood soup with cavatelli, zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta, veal tenderloin coated with walnuts and hazelnuts, lake fish of the day,fresh plum cake, and almond cream brulee.
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Old Nov 5th, 2008, 11:54 AM
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Happy: You scooped me! Our last dinner was at La Darsena! I will finish up this report soon..
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 03:24 AM
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Mm, my mouth is watering. Hadn't heard of polenta uncia before so I googled & there seem to be a few recipes online, one including sage too. DH normally puts a bit of butter & Parmesan in polenta but this sounds even better ! Can't find a translation for 'uncia' - wonder if it means 'unctuous' ? It certainly sounds unctuous !
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 05:24 AM
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Caroline: If someone had told me before this trip that I would be gushing about a polenta dish, I would have laughed! But this was truly extraordinary! And although I do not know what "uncia" means, "unctuous" is certainly a good description of this dish!

Here is one recipe I found; the entire site looks interesting (lots of recipes):

http://www.ricettepercucinare.com/ri...enta_uncia.htm
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 01:42 PM
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"unica" = unique in italian.

ie they were doing it their way.

regards, ann
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 01:58 PM
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But it is "uncia!" Maybe this is a word in dialect...
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