Friday, 11 May 2012

Como, Città Murata

The first time I visited Como I was about five years old and I was on a school trip with my kindergarten classmates and, of course, our teachers.

Little I remember of our train trip from Milan and the places we visited once there, and I would probably have forgotten all about it, was it not for an old snapshot, showing a bunch of kids on a tiny stretch of pebbled beach, a grey sky reflecting itself in the lake behind them, and a timid smile on my face.

At that time, never would I've guessed I would spend many happy moments with my husband and daughter here, on lake Como.

About 5 years ago, Riccardo and I moved from the crowdy and frantic Milan to a quiet (almost too quiet!) small town in Brianza, about 20 kilometers from Como.

Over the past years we have made a habit of visiting 'La città murata' - the Walled City - the most ancient part of the city, so called as it is still surrounded by its old Roman walls and towers.

Our roundabouts usually start from the merry-go-round in the public gardens next to the Lungolago Trento. Though Maddalena would never leave the spot, I love getting lost in the narrow cobbled streets that stretch between the elegant Piazza Volta and the impressive architecture of the Duomo.

I love to cath every tiny teeny detail.

A marble decoration of an old palace in Via Cinque Giornate,or the coloured glass vases in an antique shop as I walk along Via Diaz. 

Inevitably, though, I stop in front of 'Pane e Tulipani' at the crossroads between Via Bonanomi and Via Lambertenghi: a cafè, a restaurant and a florist at the same time.

The first time I had a look through the shop windows I knew this was my kind of place.

I was completely fascinated by the shabby-chic interior design, and plunged into the intimate and calm atmosphere of this 'cafè-fleur'. 

As in a reverie I had a glimpse at the wide selection of teas and sweets, cakes and cookies, and ordered a strawberry tart.

Since then, I have regularly come back to this place. I pay a visit any time I am in Como. Be it for a coffee, a sweet snack, or an evening 'aperitivo'.

I also love to have lunch here with Riccardo and Maddalena, though this is not a vegetarian restaurant.

If you wish to go green and have a 'meatless meal' here are a couple of dishes you could choose: vellutata di piselli (green peas cream soup) or bruschetta con mozzarella di bufala ('bufala' mozzarella cheese bruschetta) among the starters; asparagi con uova al burro e scaglie di parmigiano (bleached asparagus with  fried eggs and parmesan cheese) as a high-protein dish; insalata di cavolo viola e pere (purple cabbage & pears salad)  or insalata cotto e crudo (mesclun mix salads, beans, and pecorino cheese)if you'd rather go for a light salad.

The quality of the food is high and the presentation of each dish is mouth-watering!

I also love the fact that the menu always changes according to  the season, so please don't expect to order ' bleached asparagus, eggs and parmesan' if you visit this restaurant in January.

You can't leave this place without having a glimpse at the florist' shop. Every detail is really nice, here.

I would probably buy everything you see on these shelves, handmade baskets being among the items I like to collect...

But, luckily, every time I step in this place my daughter Maddalena pulls my coat and reminds me it's time to go back to the merry-go-round for a last ride...

We lazily walk out of this 'cafè-fleurs' whishing to be back soon for another family supper, or coffee break in the city.

I really treasure these moments. I hope you and your family may spend some good time together, and share happy memories in the future, like the ones I lived on our trips to Como.


Maria Lujan said...

You took me there. Was it for my last Christmas spent in Italy? There was snow around Como lake and it was very cold. It so unusual. Maddalena was very young and facinated by the ducks in the lake, Mother, or was it yourself, took a beautiful picture of us. Then we went to café fleur for hot chocolates and pastries.
It is a lovely memory, I don't think Maddalena remembers, does she?

Roberta said...

You are right, Maria. It is exactly this place!We went to this café two times when you were in Italy for Christmas... Lovely memories for me too!

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