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Day 1 - Journey to Lake Como

It was a very long journey when my flight to Milan from Montreal was delayed for three hours. When I arrived I took a taxi to Como City and waited for my friend’s parents to pick me up to bring me to my hotel. Alessandro, my friend and curator of my exhibition at Villa Carlotta, was kind enough to arrange for his parents to drive me, a 45-minute drive from Como to Griante where I will be staying at Villa La Mirabella for the next 24 days.

When the taxi left me off at the train station where I was supposed to meet Alessandro’s parents, I had no idea that I was at the wrong station. While trying to sort it out with them, I felt helpless until I asked inside the train station's name, San Giovanni and not Sant Agostino where they were waiting for me. I couldn’t believe their patience with me, such kindness is rare to find these days. Then when we drove on the only two-way road surrounding the Lake, the sky got very dark and we could see that something ominous was upon us. A huge hail storm with such strong winds started. That was my welcoming to Lake Como and as my friend, Chris wrote in a group message: ‘’The pagan gods are cleansing the skies for your arrival - sunny skies to follow…!’’ This is exactly what happened and, indeed, it was lovely after the storm.

I walked today like going on a pilgrimage, visiting the usual places I have been before and stopped for an Aperol Spritz with a salad for lunch, sitting on a terrasse facing the ‘’broccoli’’ mountains and the mysterious ‘’Lario’’ (Lake Como) and the smell of jasmine everywhere. I truly feel at home here where I love to hear different languages and one of the reasons that being in Europe resonates with me as a citizen of the world.

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