The hotel has the coolest minibar ever. I want to sit beside it and drink until I can hear the Rat Pack’s laughter.
The tiny, leafy terrace looks out over the lake. Across from us is another small island, Isola Madre. The world has yet to fully wake up. Everything feels morning fresh.
We are alone on the sunny breakfast patio of a small hotel on a 400 metre long island populated by fishermen.
Diego, the hotel’s supremely knowledgeable jack of all trades, has laid out a breakfast to match the beauty of the surroundings.
Blood red Sicilian orange juice, croissants, muesli, fresh bread, ham and cheeses, melon, papaya and pineapple… plus a steaming jug of wonderful, life-giving Italian coffee.
It is perfect. The view is perfect. The island is perfect.
And it feels like we have it all to ourselves.
This is what sighs were created for.
Our hotel is immaculate. The grounds stretch almost all the way to the main road at the entrance to the village. They’re manicured and obviously well looked after. The hotel itself is spick and span. And yet right in front of our window is a ramshackle old house whose top floor is completely open to the elements.
I can see right inside. The wooden floor looks dusty and rickety. The roof doesn’t look as though it could deter the lightest of showers. And strung across the glassless windows is a line of washing, drying in the warm breeze. The items of clothing and bedding on it are seriously unstylish. Some look like rags, it hardly seems worth the effort to dry them.
It’s an odd looking house. Maybe more so because our hotel and grounds completely surround it and there’s a jarring contrast between the two buildings.
Who lives there I wonder? A stubborn old farmer who refused to sell out as the hotel expanded?
It’s curious and shoddy. A blip in the Matrix. There’s an air of defiance about it.
I like it.