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Day 7 - Italy & Family (La Famiglia)

While I am mesmerized by the lushness of the vegetation and Lario (the lake), being here in Lake Como is an experience of beauty and, most notably, the family ties that make it even more special. I am making reference to the restaurants on the main Regina street and the villa where I am now staying. Most are family-run small businesses and Villa La Mirabella is one of the many places where there is a sensation of an intimate connection that I have rarely experienced in big hotels.

Villa La Mirabella is run by two brothers, Paolo & Stefano, and their lovely mother, Liliane or Lili. It is a prestigious 19th-century villa, restored and opened to the public as a hotel in 2010, in the village of Griante – Cadenabbia, on the shore of Lake Como.

There are only eleven rooms in this beautiful villa situated near Villa Carlotta and near the Belle isole restaurant where I usually go for dinner. When entering the villa, with the scent of jasmine we are transported to a beautiful and unpretentious heaven where you can feel the warmth - the vibe emanating from this united family whose harmony brings a sense of a bygone era.

I knew that family is most important in Italian culture but I didn’t quite realize how strong it was until I stayed at Villa La Mirabella. It is said that the family (la famiglia) is the most important aspect of an Italian’s life, providing emotional and economic support. What resonates the most to me is that eating & celebrating together is a major aspect of the Italian’s social life. Viva la Famiglia! Viva Italia!

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