Tis Returns to Italy! Day 1: Touchdown In Italy!

Published by Lisa Tisdale on

On Day 1, I landed in Italy and the journey began

Bellagio, Italy
Bellagio, Italy

Lisa of Tis Travels is on a three-month journey through Italy, exploring, eating, and living like an Italian. Follow along on “Tis Travels” on Facebook and Instagram!

Finally! Touchdown in Italy! I watched the Italian appear outside my window, itching to get out and hear the language. I could not wait to be in the center of Milan, one of my favorite spots in Italy. Who am I kidding? They are all my favorite spots.

After a near brush with a prison term after dropping my overhead bag on a small child’s head, I was standing at the ready in the aisle albeit a little shaken. The child was fine but I was traumatized. I repeatedly asked the Italian parent if the child was okay until they firmly insisted he was fine and I should no longer worry. 

It’s the Little Things

The first day was all about the little things. I simply loved every little pleasure. 

After arriving in the center of Milan where I had to catch a train to my first stop of Lake Como, I headed to a caffè. I ordered and paid for my cappuccino and croissant, all using my Italian. I felt victorious at the surprise on the owner’s face when I gave him the exact change after he quoted the price in Italian. Usually, workers in tourist places speak English and seem to enjoy busting your chops by spitting out the amount you owe in Italian. Most tourists switch back to English at that point. I slowly counted the correct change to him, noted his surprise with a triumphant smile and took my breakfast outside for some people watching. 

I sat at a table where I could watch the trams and all the Milanese people rush by, starting their day. I love Milan. Most people skip it or don’t see it’s true beauty. I love the 

After breakfast, I walked to the TIM store to buy a sim card. Once again, I felt super triumphant, completing most of the transaction in Italian. I had shut off my cell phone for three months and now had a new Italian number. It made me feel like a local! 

Back to Bellagio

Sadly, I left Milan behind and caught a train and then a ferry to Bellagio. Memories of my last time in Bellagio back in 2010 were tainted by a weird, Scandinavian stalker I picked up. Being me, I talked to everyone in the town. Unfortunately, one of those people was a guy who developed an unhealthy interest in me. Everywhere I went, there he was. I began to seek out places to hide from him. Needless to say, I was looking forward to a little more freedom this trip.

Bolognese in Bellagio!
Bolognese in Bellagio!

After settling into my lovely hotel, my room with a view to the garden, I had my first of what was sure to be many meals of pasta and vino. The pasta was soooo good and of course the wine. I don’t recall ever having a bad glass of wine in Italy. Is that even possible? Maybe if they import something.

Old and New Favorites 

Afterward, I wandered around, getting my bearings again. I found my first “old man bar” which was a spot I’d missed on my first trip. I love a good old man bar and this one was absolutely wonderful. The locals were popping in and out, mainlining espresso. Some sat for a chat at the tables in front. 

I seemed to be somewhat of an anomaly in this largely touristy town. The two old men working the counter happily spoke Italian with me and insisted on bringing my beer to my table. I loved these two guys! They were having the best time working in that caffè together!  It made me want to ask if they needed any help. I would take a job and stay in Bellagio!

Later, I simply had to end the evening at the place I capped off all of my evenings on my last trip to Bellagio. The bar at Hotel Florence was at the end of the main drag by the water. No one really sits at the bar, instead, filling up the tables outside. I used to sit at the bar and the bartender and waiters would help me practice my Italian. I was just starting Italian school then and eager to learn. Tonight, I was so tired as the jetlag was kicking in. I just enjoyed some vino and thought of the years that had passed since my first trip to Bellagio back in 2010. So much had changed not to mention that pesky little pandemic.

Ciao for now!


Lisa Tisdale

Lisa Tisdale has traveled all over the world, writing about her experiences and making local contacts. She recently completed a three-month trip through Italy, exploring her favorite country’s food, wine, and sites, and making new friends!

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