Lake Como, or Lago di Como in Italian, is shaped like an upside-down Y, and its beauty evokes nostalgia for things that never happened.
The first morning ferry out of the City of Como, which shares a name with the lake, to the picturesque township of Bellagio, where the two arms of the Y converge, was about to set sail. It sounded its horn, but I was still trying to convince the lady inside the booth to hand me a couple of andata e ritorno (round trip) tickets. Standing on the gangway, my wife was waving at to me to hurry up. I rushed towards her and we made it just as the ferry embarked.
We found a bench on the upper deck, sat down and started chatting. It was very early in the day, so there were not too many people on board. The morning breeze patted our faces. The air was still chilly, but the sun was already attempting to peek at the beautiful lake. An old couple sat in silence on a bench facing us. They appeared to be silent in Italian. Yes, sometimes you can tell the language in which people keep silent. Clearly, they were a married couple too.
As we approached Cernobbio, we both remembered how we visited Hotel Villa d’Este years ago, and how we admired its splendor. I told my wife that memories are the only Garden of Eden no one can expel us from. She loved what I said and I tried to remember where I’d read it. I could not.
The Italian couple remained silent, but then the wife shifted slightly away from her husband. She seemed upset and indeed, just a few minutes later, she got up, scowled at him, and went to sit alone on a bench at the other end of the deck. The elderly husband remained sitting across from us, looking gloomy. I remember thinking how intimate a couple must become over the years to manage a fight without saying a word!
Soon, the ferry anchored at Bellagio. We remained seated while the other passengers disembarked. After all, we were in Italy where rushing is a sin, and I committed it just an hour ago.
The deserted husband started walking slowly toward the gangway. His wife approached him and took his hand in hers before he even reached the railing. I remember thinking how intimate a couple must become over the years to be able to make up without saying a word!
When we got off the ferry and passed them by, we were privileged with the sight of two people smiling and their buon giorno wishes.
At the picturesque township of Bellagio, the two arms of Lake Como converge and become one.