A stormy evening in Como
25 August 2012
“Let’s go up in the Funicular and have dinner in the hills!” I suggest to my new hubby, dizzy with delight that the sky is clear. It’s our final night of honeymoon, and we’re determined to make the most of the sunny evening that has graced Como. Since arriving at the lake a few days earlier, the weather has been questionable to say the least. Every afternoon like clockwork, the clouds have rolled in thick and fast, and rain has fallen in sheets until the Square resembles a swimming pool.
Not tonight though. It’s 7pm and there’s not a cloud in sight, merely a spectacular sun sinking into the hills.
We don our glad rags and set off for the sky, in search of the perfect sunset. As we step off the train we’re met with stunning views of the lake glistening in the early evening sunshine. We wander cobbled lanes as long as my wedges will allow and settle on a Trattoria boasting a lovely panorama of Como. Spotting a suspicious looking cloud heading in from the south, we choose a table tucked under the canopy. Just in case.
Five minutes later and we are smug and dry as huge raindrops and giant hailstones splatter the now empty outside tables. The ashtrays are already overflowing with water and the sun is hidden behind a palette of swirling white and grey. It’s not long before we’re the only fools outside – or inside for that matter – nursing red wines like they’re hot mugs of tea. A dazzling flicker and ear-splitting crash tells us there’s not going to be a sunset this evening; not one we can see anyway.
Antonio, the owner, pops his head round the door, slightly bemused that he still has customers. We order a couple of homemade pasta dishes, and more red wine, determined not to let the storm beat us even though the hills are so thick with haze we can only see a few feet in front of us. The thunder is both frightening and fascinating, and the electric atmosphere is amazing (but thank goodness for lightning conductors).
It is not until we have shivered our way through dessert and another glass of red that the storm begins to subside. Eventually the rain concedes, the thunder rumbles away and the lake slowly reappears.
“Look!” I exclaim pointing at the horizon. “It’s the sunset!” And there in the distance is the faintest smudge of orange amid the dense grey clouds. It’s visible all of 30 seconds and then it disappears again, but we saw it!
We pay up and start walking back to the Funicular. It’s only just gone 9 o’clock, but we’ve barely left our seats before the restaurant shutters slam and the staff skid away in their cars. Very soon we’re back down to earth (both literally and figuratively). It might not have been the final night of honeymoon we were anticipating, but it’s one we’ll never forget.