It’s funny how the weather can change your perception of a place. 

When you think about Lake Como in Italy, you probably imagine beautiful blue sunny skies, hanging above sparkling water. Probably something like this. Not the photo above. 

When I went to the Italian Grand Prix last September, my friend and I arrived at lunchtime on the Wednesday so we had the rest of the day to kill. We both really wanted to go to Lake Como and decided to drive up. 

I didn’t drive, I refused because having experienced Italian roads the year before I was convinced I would end up having an accident and paying the rental company a small fortune. My friend had booked a hire car before we went and asked for a small car, because that’s what he was used to driving. Instead we got some kind of family wagon tank type thing and to make it even scarier for him, it was an automatic and he had never driven an automatic before. 

After a nervous start, we found our way to Lake Como in one piece. To my dismay, it was a pretty dull day. 

We were met with grey skies and cool air, not sky so blue it looked like it must have been photoshopped and warm air with a slight breeze coming off the lake like I’d imagined. 

Don’t get me wrong, it was still a pretty spectacular place and what I actually loved the most was seeing big houses nestled in the hillsides and I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to live at the top and be treated to a beautiful view when it was actually sunny. 

Having not eaten since about 6am we decided to have pizza at an outdoor restaurant. It was a poor representation of pizza, which was a bitter pill to swallow in a country renowned for pizza. To compound matters, I was still basking in the glory of the amazing pizza I’d eaten in Germany two weeks prior. (Yes, I’m still talking about that pizza!) 

It was so underwhelming. I’d gone there excited about the prospect of seeing a place I’d been aching to see for years and when I finally arrived it was such a comedown. It was a bit ‘oh’.

I wanted to wait around to see if the sky would clear but with an automatic tank and the thought of rush hour traffic in Milan, we left earlier than we’d have liked to.  

When I got home my Mum and Nan eagerly asked me about what Lake Como was like and it sucked to tell them that it wasn’t as good as I was expecting it to be. Truthfully, the Lake District has provided me with better views than Lake Como on that dull Wednesday. 

It’s strange how we think that we have to go abroad to see something beautiful, when there’s so much stunning scenary on our own doorstep.

I’m sure I will go back to Lake Como and give it another chance and I’m sure it will amaze me and make up for that grey day last September. 

Tell me about a place you visited which disappointed you. 

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Pizza Wars: Germany Vs Italy


It’s fair to say I’m a bit of a pizza fanatic. Some of my friends wonder if I even eat anything else (I do.)

For years I have longed to go to Italy and eat their pizza. With the taste of that glorious pizza I had in Germany (this must be the 6000th time I’ve mentioned it now) fresh in my memory, I wanted to find out if Italy could beat it. 

With my constant waffling about the German pizza, I think we’re all aware of how high the standards are. I was confident that Italy, the birthplace of pizza, would have no problem kicking German pizza’s butt. 

I was wrong. 

During my trip to Italy I ate four pizzas at different ‘restaurants’ (that’s a term I use loosely and you’ll see why soon.) I wasn’t overly-impressed with any of them. 

First the was a pizza from a restaurant in Lake Como which was pretty bland and forgettable (Yes, I describe some pizzas as forgettable like a song.)

Secondly there was the pizza in my hotel. Now you might be saying ‘well what did you expect?’ What I expected was a delicious pizza. I’ve stayed in a few IBIS hotels this year and the one in Spain and Germany made very nice pizza. This one did not. 

In fact, it was microwave pizza. Can you believe that’s even legal in Italy? 

My IBIS pizza was an insult to Italy and pizza. The base was soggy, the tomato sauce was bitter and there was not enough cheese. It sucked. It also cost me €8.50! €8.50 for a crap pizza. The glorious German pizza only cost €7! Why not just slap me in the face?

The third was from McDonald’s. It wasn’t really a pizza, it was more like a calzonne. I think it was called a pizzarotto. It was alright but didn’t taste of much. 

The fourth was actually the best pizza I had all week, though it wasn’t great. It was a slice of pizza that had probably been sat out for hours from LIDL.

My Italian pizza experience was disappointing and Germany is the clear winner here. If you’re planning to go to Italy for pizza, don’t. Go to Im Alten Zollhaus in Aachen, Germany – it’s not that far, it’ll take you about eight hours by car. 

What’s the best pizza you’ve ever had? 




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