After three days of storms and cold cloudy conditions Sunday turned out to be a millionaire’s day – and not just in terms of the weather. As we were leaving we wandered onto the campsite’s private beach alongside Lake Como to have our photo taken.
And over our shoulder in this photo is a spectacular millionaire’s house which was used in the Casino Royale film in which James Bond shot Mr White at this location.
Our route took us along south along one of the prongs of Lake Como to the town of Como itself. And it was indeed a millionaire’s route in the sun. Lots of wealthy tourists sitting in cafes overlooking the water; dozens of professional looking cyclists in all the fancy gear; fast fancy cars and some exquisite villas clinging to the hillside. You celeb watchers I am sure will know that the likes of George Clooney, Madonna and Richard Branson have had properties on this lake.
It was all pretty manic and Phil and I had to keep our wits about us with everybody and everything whizzing around us. We got some peace and quiet in the last few miles of the trip when the old lakeside road became devoid of traffic as most traffic took to the modern road above us.
Well, it was all quiet until we entered the village of Cernobbio when we saw dozens carabinieri guarding a very plush 16th century renaissance villa. It turned out to be the upmarket Villa d’Este Hotel which was hosting the annual Ambrosetti forum of politicians and finance leaders.
Como itself was slightly less frenetic and we loved wandering around the narrow streets near the cathedral.
And then it was a long final slog uphill to our campsite – suddenly all the mountains had disappeared and we seemed to have come back to earth with a bump on our basic campsite. But then we read that the Grand Prix at Monza has been taking place this afternoon less than 30 miles from here. You can’t say that the Bath to Rome crew don’t get a sniff of the high life from time to time!