Arriving in Como in early February of 2018, I stopped at an information desk to see which bus I needed to take to the tiny town of Bellagio, where I had just booked two weeks at an Airbnb. When I said I was staying in Bellagio for so long, the man at the informational center hesitated… and then with a little chuckle he said “You know no one is there, right? It’s winter. Everything is closed. Are you sure that’s where you want to go?” I smiled and said I was sure.
There were a lot of lessons I learn from Italian culture during my trip. Not saying Italy or Europe is perfect – it’s easy to over-romanticize that part of the world. But there was one concept that stuck in my mind the whole time I was there and looking back, I am going to call it: “More Better.”
It’s so easy to get caught up in the opposite of More Better, which is “More More.”
More More is always in a hurry, because it thinks that the best is yet to come. But More Better doesn’t really rush, because it knows that the best is right now.
More More feels the need to look good. More Better wants to feel good. More Better uses things to create beautiful sensory experiences.
More Better. Spicy hand-pressed olive oil from the neighbor’s grove. The four gentlemen that must have been in their 70’s bantering leisurely over a round of 10 am Aperol Spritzes. Stopping in for some salami and also half an hour of chit-chat at the butcher.
Lake Como is usually packed with tourists, but smack in the middle of the off-season, I often found myself feeling like I had the lake to myself. If you have a warm coat to pack and are up for a quiet adventure, take advantage of winter for traveling. It will be a lesson in slowing down, mastering the art of observation, and finding ways – tiny and large, humble and grand – to live more better.