With an unexpected and painful 40 Euro detour into Switzerland (thanks again Google maps for vague directions), we made it to Menaggio to see if we could secure keys to our vacation rental in Nobiallo for the week. Note to travel navigator, Italy does not give you several signs for exits like we are used to in the U.S. They have one and you exit THEN. Do not take your eyes off the road and signs when nearing a possible turnoff or you might end up in a different country than planned.
We should have gotten a clue when going through a checkpoint type area with armed guards, however, they never asked for passports. They just asked if we had the required sticker and after Wally told them our destination of Menaggio, they told him to pay the 40 euros. They did not tell him we were not going the right way and were on the Swiss border.
That clue came when I suspected we were lost and that checkpoint was a bit official (I did not see any Swiss flags however). We pulled off at the next exit that had a service station and the big clue came when Wally went to the ATM for some cash and it gave him Swiss francs. Their wi-fi did NOT pick up for us so I could not update our directions or figure out where we had gone wrong.
I am still thankful that the girl at the checkout was nice, patient, could speak English, AND gave us good directions to backtrack and find our Italian destination, as five or six people lined up behind us. Whew, and also thankful that Italy didn’t charge us an extra 40 euro in stupid tax to backtrack over the border. We should have gone ahead and explored a bit and gotten in some sights in Switzerland… At least they could have stamped our passports so we had something to show for our stress!
Back on track, we made it to Menaggio. Since we had changed our travel plans at the last minute and headed to Lake Como several days earlier than planned, we were a bit in limbo on accommodations. And since we had to have wi-fi to check our email, we had to find a restaurant with wi-fi to see if we had a roof over our heads for the night. The restaurant at the Hotel du Lac had wifi, so we ordered some food and drinks and got in contact with our vacation rental group, Holiday Property Solutions. http://www.holidaypropertysolutions.com/
They had emailed and their office was just a few blocks back up the street, so we walked up and got our apartment keys and directions to it. When you leave, you can drop your keys in the mail chute next to their office if they are closed.
Time to relax and have some wine and enjoy the view…