Many years ago, I spent some time in northern Italy, studying the language and culture. I had a wonderful few months exploring Milan and Como, checking out museums and medieval buildings and new shops full of the latest fashions and gorgeous silk accessories.
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One of most vivid memories is of Lake Como, driving around it and sailing on it. It has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Nestled in the southern edge of the Alps, surrounded by hills and mountains, the lake has some of the bluest water I’ve ever seen.
Small towns and grand villas lines its coasts, often nestled into the sides of the hills. A variety of boats, from small fishing skiffs and motorboats, all the way up to steamers and ferries, ply its waters. During my stay I was fortunate to take an all-day cruise on the lake, stopping at a couple of the towns, where I walked up streets into fabulous, colorful markets.
The place is close to paradise on earth, which is undoubtedly why celebrities like George Clooney have chosen to acquire summer homes (or should I say summer mansions?) there.
And it’s why I gave my hero a villa there. When he asks a former student he’s never forgotten to check out some paintings for him, he meets her there. It was absolutely the most romantic setting I could imagine.