Ponte Tresa

Community Highlights Family Travel Ponte Tresa

We woke up ready for our Italian adventure and jumped on the first of our 4 trains. The longest of which was 2 hours and super nice and super fast. It went through the Gothard tunnel which is the longest railway tunnel in the world and the train got up to 200km/h, which we barely noticed sitting in the air con, streaming video through the trains wifi. We finally made it to Lugano which is still in Switzerland, then had to catch a smaller train to Ponte tresa which kept stopping and being delayed. We were a bit late arriving in Ponte tresa because of this and so Erin was messaging the accommodation owner to try and arrange access to our apartment which was tricky as they only spoke Italian so thank goodness for Google translate! Once at the Ponte tresa station we had to walk across the Swiss border into Italy and around the waters edge to Ponte Tresa Lavena. We walked past an ice cream store called Johnny's which looked amazing but we really needed to meet the lady so had to keep walking. Emily was being particularly difficult while we were hurrying to our accommodation despite getting to sit in the pram and get pushed. Erins patience finally wore out and she cracked it at Emily before immediately feeling guilty. Kev reassured her it had the desired effect as its so rare Erin loses her patience. Once in our apartment we dumped all our luggage then headed back out to an ice cream store. The closest store was shut and the second closest store was shut because it was a public holiday. We ended up walking back to Johnny's right new the border which was a really hot walk but the ice cream was amazing!

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One of many delicious Johnny ice creams

Afterwards the girls jumped into the lake and had a swim and kev went to the closest shops (which was open thank goodness for basic bread milk etc.). Kev met us for a swim then we all headed back to near our apartment where only a few houses down was a playground with big water play fountains and the lake you could swim in. Kev and the girls played in the water fountain and at the playground while Erin got dinner ready. The plan was to make a simple pasta dish but the apartment was old. Erin tried to turn on the electric stove top to boil the pot but just could not get it going. Eventually she realized the power had tripped out so went to the mains and switched it back on, then finally got the pasta going. Once it was all ready, just as she was about to walk out the door she wanted to double check that she had switched the stove top off properly, still haunted by the memory of Engelberg and leaving the stove top on. Just a quick tap of her hand on each stove top should do it. Moments later and severe burns to almost all of her right palm Erin was regretting the double check. About 45 mins later after running copious amounts of cold tap water on it but it still being agonizing she ran downstairs and down the road, told kev what had happened and then hurried home. It's probably the quickest the girls have ever got moving from an activity they were thoroughly enjoying as everyone raced home to check on mum. That night we all had a big sleep, except Erin who was awake most of the night with her hand still feeling like it was on fire.

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Emily and Ella deciding which boat to take out for the day

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Girls at the playground

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Emily living her best life in the water play

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The view from our balcony

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Our family and Lago di como behind

Kev was up early to find a good coffee in the neighbourhood. He had researched on google translate how to ask for a double shot latte and thought he had it sussed, esspresso dopio cafe latte. Unfortunately the barista misunderstood and got Kev 2 separate coffees so he sat down and drank them both. The next day Kev repeated the same order and used hand signals of 2 hands coming together to indicate 1 coffee. Success! The double shot latte was mastered, Kev reckoned it was gonna take Italy by storm. Rather than all the guys standing at the bar having multiple espressos they can just have 1 stronger coffee. After Kevs coffee outing we ate breakfast on our amazing balcony overlooking the lake then headed out for ice cream for morning tea. Erin had another incident where she stepped down from the Cafe holding two ice cream and her ankle rolled, at least she saved the ice cream! We hadn't gone to Johnny's today and it wasn't quite as good. We then headed back to the waterway together this time before heading back to the apartment for the girls to dress up and apply glitter eyeshadow for a fancy restaurant lunch out. The couple nearby were looking a lot at Ella eating a huge bowl of spaghetti bolognese. The afternoon consisted of a little rest, more water play, lots of watching the local church bell gong, Ella trying out the boudeƩ for the first time before finishing the day with another swim in the lake and jetty jump offs which Emily was thrilled with. It was a really active, hot, fun day so we topped it off with dinner in the bath for the girls as we had promised then they could stay up a bit late and could get a special Italian treat at a Cafe. They chose a little donut Cornette thing and one had custard and the other Nutella. After a big active day everyone was ready for a big rest.

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Walking at the boardwalk Ponte Tresa, Lavena

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Enjoying the view over lago di Como

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Italian girls!

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Italian tummies

The next morning we went on a little excursion to Melide to visit swiss miniature. We were lucky to get there as we jumped on a train to Milan initially but realized before it left the station. We weren't the only ones to do it either, hopefully most people realized. Once at swiss miniature we looked at all the little mini swiss cultural areas. They had the mini matterhorn, mini mount titlis, mini wengen and interlarken so a lot of the places we had been and also a lot of the places that Kevin and I had visited on past trips to Switzerland too.

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Swiss mini

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Erin and Ella at swiss mini

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Swiss mini

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Swiss mini

The girls enjoyed it too but it became quite hot so we walked about 100m down the street after to the lake where you could pay to go swimming at a nice swimming spot with a pool and a kids sandpit and water slide. They also had blow up floating obstacle course which Kevin and Emily paid to go on. They wore life vests and jumped around. There were a few kev wipe outs spotted from Erin and Ella sitting at the shore line. It was a really lovely afternoon swimming and playing. We caught the train home and had Johnny's again on our walk back. We were fast becoming Johnny addicts! We had another quick jetty jump and swim session then all had showers and baths and another later dinner as a special treat. We went back to the restaurant from lunch the previous day and the waiter came to the table with a large tray of various dessert options. Emily and Ella chose one to share (a chocolate cake) and the waiter took the tray away and dished it up with special cream and chocolate sauce to decorate. They loved it but it was becoming quite obvious Ella was overtired and she was going a bit crazy (or munchy- like a munchkin as we coined it). She was wandering around and trying to walk with a lot of purpose towards the boats docked in the lake so we hot tailed it back to bed.

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Kev and his calzone

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Another Johnnys

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Emily happy in italy

The next morning it was time to leave beautiful Ponte Tresa Lavena. We're all sad to leave but also quite ready to get back home to Perth. We packed up and had a little play at the playground. Erin grabbed a coffee from one of the little coffee shops. All the coffee shops have great music playing from pretty much first thing in the morning. We passed by Johnny's and each had one last ice cream, using up our last euros as well. We then crossed the border back to Switzerland and found the first of our 4 trains but now heading in the opposite direction. While we waited for our fast IC ("pointy nose") train at Lugano we all polished off the last of the spaghetti and pizza we had bought. By the time we made it to graenichen both girls were starving, despite having constant food and snacks and everyone was exhausted. Emily and Ella made some beautiful pictures then we all went to bed.

Italy had been amazing and it made me think what we all seem to like doing and bond over. Our love of good food (probably specifically Italian -pasta, pizza, ice cream and bakery treats and coffee) as well as nice sunny weather and water based play. I was really glad returning to Ponte tresa despite initially being not sure when Kevin suggested it. I actually think it met all 4 of our needs probably the best out of all the places we had visited. I also think part of what made it so special was apart from the visit to Melide for swiss mianture, we didn't have to leave Ponte tresa which I think is really nice to just enjoy the area.

Now we just had the last couple of days in Graenichen to say goodbye to Maja and thank her for allowing us to come and go from her house and emotionally try and ready ourselves for returning to normal life after holiday life for the past 5 weeks.

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Kev, happy in Italy with his two little ladies

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Beautiful Ponte tresa Lavena

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Saying goodbye to our Italian apartment

This featured blog entry was written by KevinandErin from the blog 2023 Europe trip.
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By KevinandErin

Posted Sat, Dec 09, 2023 | Italy | Comments