We meet our tour group at 5:00 at Hotel Villa Cipressi so we have the day to explore. We woke up to a bit of an overcast and rainy day but the view from our hotel room was spectacular.

After breakfast and checking out of the Hotel Eremo Gaudio, we headed back towards the main square in Varenna to check into the tour hotel. It’s a very charming place. The fellow that checked us in was very helpful and explained that our room (which is in the older part of the hotel) was recently fixed up. Now older parts of things to us in North America might mean 100 or maybe 150 years old. Yeah no. This part of the building where our hotel is was built in the 1400s. Just think about the history this place has seen and been though. I know my European friends will get a kick out of this but yes, your old “things” are generally much cooler than our old “things” :-)

We spent the morning wandering around the town, mostly down by the lake. There is a very nice walkway that winds its way past little shops, restaurants and peoples homes. It’s raining but it’s not cold so we don’t mind it too much. Rain back home is always cold and miserable to be in. Here it’s part of the charm. Mind you, if it rains for six weeks then my tune will change but at the start of the trip it’s ok.

After walking around for a couple of hours we stopped for lunch. Pizza of course. It was very tasty but also very filling. We’re going to have to pace ourselves food wise on this trip. I can see us eating our way through Italy and France and coming home weighing 1,000 lbs. Moderation will be the key I think.

We came back to the hotel for a little rest before heading out to meet the tour group at 5:00. We met in the lobby of the hotel and then proceeded to another hotel for the orientation and a little walk around. After picking up our ferry passes for tomorrow, we headed back to the hotel for dinner. Dinner was fine. There was a lot of it and it was tasty. Not over the moon good, but it was fine.

I’m still feeling the effects of jet lag and didn’t get much sleep. Hopefully this will improve as the days wear on.