Friday, May 22, 2020

Lake Como and Italy - we are ready for you!


Lake Como and Italy - we are ready for you!


At Lake Como Properties we are looking  forward to welcoming you back to Lake Como for your summer holidays!

From 3rd June 2020 the EU borders to Italy are open and there is no quarantine – so holidaymakers are now returning.


You can walk and cycle in the hills, walk along the scenic Greenway from Colonno all the way to Griante, swim in the Lake from the beaches or from lakeside Lido like the lovely new one in Argegno, hire bikes or for the less energetic an e-bike and motor boats.

You can sample the wines in the Enoteca, drink a frothy cappuccino with a brioche in the Pasticceria and of course dine out in our wonderful restaurants. Click here for a Free Guide to Suggested Restaurants on Lake Como.

Lake Como offers all of the things that you would expect from a Summer Holiday in the beautiful Italian Lakes.

Our local markets are re-opening with new regulations to keep you safe – including wider passageways and spacing between stalls, one-way traffic, clearly marked entrance and exit zones. The famous Como market (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) opens from 23rd May. The popular weekly market in Argegno (Monday) and many other lakeside villages are already open. Masks are obligatory, gloves are necessary if you want to touch anything.



Transport
Public transport services - buses, ferries and trains - are up and running with rules to keep you safe whilst travelling. Make sure to wear a face mask and follow the social distancing measures indicated in the stations and bus/ferry stops, as well as whilst on the transport itself.

Airports and railway stations are open - tourists connections are slowly returning to normal. See the Latest timetables to check the availability and up-to-date timetables for - Trains from Malpensa to Como - Ferries around the Lake - Buses around the lake


What is open
Museums and cultural places
Restaurants and Bars
Hotels
Open Air places (beachesparks, hiking trails)
Churches and religious places
Shops and open air markets
Beauticians and hairdressers
GymsSports Centres, and Swimming Pools 


The Italian Government has set out some rules in order to limit the spread of Covid-19 and to protect yourselves and to respect the locals and other tourists.

See a summary here. Sign up to the Gov.UK website for the latest advice on travelling to Italy.

Your Holiday Accommodation on Lake Como


Hotels
Lake Como Hotels are open for business and will be incorporating extra measures to ensure your safety.


Private Holiday Rental Accommodation
Check what measures the holiday home owners have implemented to ensure your safety during Covid-19

Villa Lilla - sleeps up to 12


At Lake Como Properties we have implemented additional measures to keep our guests safe during Covid-19 - see them here - Covid-19 Safety Measures

Friday, March 27, 2020

How to stay sane and healthy during 'Lockdown'


Here are a few tips to keep you busy and to help you stay sane and healthy during Lockdown


Get plenty of fresh air
Take advantage of the rules and make the most of your daily walk (while you can – it has been stopped in many other countries). Don’t forget your social distancing.

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Pick up the telephone- remember what we used to do before text messages and Whatsapp? We used to phone people – so let’s go back to that and make verbal contact - especially with older neighbours and relatives – a phone call can lighten someone’s day and it costs just minutes of your time,

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Do an online course– now is the ideal time do some online courses.  There are hundreds of free courses on the internet, for a host of different subjects. 

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Websites – work on your business or personal web site and update it or start a new oneTeach yourself the basic skills so that you are not reliant on a developer – try WordPress – it’s really quite intuitive and easy to use. You don’t need any programming skills to do this.

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Pursue other business ideas – how many times have you asked yourself – ‘is this what I want to be doing for the rest of my working life’? Now is the time to research other options. Think about what you would really like to be doing and how you can make that happen.


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Organise your PC – save yourself loads of space and delete old files and emails and file remaining items.

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Finances – carefully anaylse your business and household finances (spreadsheet and bank statement to the ready) and work out where you can make savings. Don’t forget to ask your bank about a ‘mortgage’ holiday.

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Try your hand at online trading – but not with real money. Set up a ‘Demo’ or dummy account.

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Learn to cook – follow Lockdown Kitchen online for daily recipes for these trying times.

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Or if you are already a good cook, try experimenting with different things, now that you are stuck inside and have the time. We are all guilty of producing the same old dishes. You can’t go to the restaurant, so bring the restaurant to you.

Start baking – for yourself or for your neighbours. A nice cake or muffin will cheer anyone up.

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Make your own bread - you should have all the ingredients already in your store cupboards, or you might need some yeast. If you want a nice trendy bread like a sourdough, you can use pineapple juice orange juice or apple cider as a starter ingredient. This also gives you a great pizza base.

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Learn to knit – it’s also very relaxing if you feel stressed. If you haven’t got any wool, unravel and old jumper. Use chop sticks if you haven’t got any knitting needles.

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Learn to sew – a useful skill to have in these times of upcycling and economic restraint.

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Learn to embroider – if you don’t have the right equipment – just use a piece of plain white cotton (an old shirt) and some ordinary cotton or divide a twine of wool into a single strand. 

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Get the sewing machine out of the cupboard and learn how to use it properly.

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Clean your jewellery
If you don’t have the special liquid or cloth – soak in steradent (obviously not your watch though), or 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda for two to three hours. Rinse them under cold water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

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Clean your silver cutlery
Bring one liter of water, one tablespoon of baking soda, and one piece of aluminum foil to a boil. Drop silverware in the pot for 10 seconds (longer if it's very tarnished), then remove using kitchen tongs. 

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Learn to tie knots

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Learn to dance- if you always wanted to jive or tango well now is the time. 

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Stop smoking or drinking
You might think it’s harder, But in times where there is no social interaction, which is often a trigger for smoking or drinking, you might find that it’s easier. Just find something else to keep you busy instead. Top tip – if you are trying to give up smoking – find something else to do with your hands - lots of ideas elsewhere in this document.

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Cocktail hour- if you don’t want to stop drinking and miss the social side of it, start a cocktail hour with video conferencing with a group of friends or just facetime your family.

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Write down your story, if you have kids, it will be interesting for them to read it. Interview your own parents over the phone or by FaceTime, and get their stories.

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Write that book that you have been promising to do forever – now is the time to start. ‘Everyone has a book in them’ – so the saying goes – try it. Then publish it yourself as an e-book. 

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Research your family history-  you can do it all online – try https://www.ancestry.com


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Research your local history– what do you actually know about the history of where you live or where you were born? 

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Marie Kondo your home or just simply tidy your cupboards, drawers and wardrobe. Bag up any old clothes ready for the charity shop or upcycle/re-purpose them into something new.

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Tidy and clean your fridge - remember to wash and sort the salad drawer every day to keep things fresh for longer. Stack food correctly for heath and hygiene https://www.bhg.com.au/how-to-stack-your-fridge-correctly

Organise your freezer and keep a list of what you have in the freezer, so its easy to find things https://www.thekitchn.com/the-best-way-to-organize-your-freezer-organizing-guides-from-the-kitchn-206467

The Lovely Fridge | There is nothing better than a fridge li… | Flickr

Tidy out the medicine cabinet. Throw away any open out-of-date medicines or any unlabelled ones. Bag-up any un-opened out-of-date ones to take to the chemist next time you go. 

First aid cabinet | Free SVG

Sort out your herbs and spices - throw away any expired ones.

Robertsons Herbs and Spices · Free Stock Photo

Tidy the attic and the cellar and bag up stuff to take to the charity shop later

Mount Pleasant Granary - Wednesday 6th. August, 2014 – A day with ...

Do all those clothing repairs that have been piling up – hemming, shortening, sewing buttons back on, putting in a new zip.

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Re-purpose old clothes into something new or cut up into scraps and make a patchwork quilt. 

100+ Free Patchwork & Adoption Images - Pixabay

Make shorts out of old jeans or a tote bag - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-Bxjw4O6zs

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Categorise your photos on your pc- here’s how. 


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Scan your hard copy photos – future-proof your photos by scanning them. Don’t forget to categorise and file, otherwise you won’t be able to find them easily.

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Gardening - okay so not all of you have a garden, but for those that do, now is the time to plant seeds, as you have plenty of time to look after them. Read the instructions carefully on the packet for best results. How about buying a tomato plant, planting your own potatoes and vegetables?

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If you don’t have a garden, you can still grow a baby tomato plant inside, or grow herbs in a window box or simply inside. You can buy pot herbs in most supermarkets.

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You may find that some garden centres are allowed to stay open, as they also sell pet food now. Also, to cheer yourself up maybe bring the outside inside, and treat yourself to a plant or a bunch of flowers next time you go shopping.

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Start pickling and preserving– what else are you going to do with all those wonderful vegetables that you have grown. It’s also a good way to store veggies for longer so that you don’t have to go out shopping so often. You can also save money by buying up the reduced-price items in the chiller section of the supermarket.

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Make your own jam or marmalade it's healthier than shop bought and really easy to do. Again you can buy up the ‘old’ produce in the supermarket. Makes a nice gift to leave on the doorstep of your neighbours and friends.

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Teach yourself calligraphy. You really don’t need anything special, if you have an ink pen, great - otherwise just use whatever you have, even a felt tip pen.

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Teach yourself to type- there’s plenty of online programs. A good free on is http://www.mavisbeaconfree.com This will make you so much more productive in the future. 

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Have a routine- set your alarm clock for the same time every day, ideally the same time that you would normally have got up to go to work, so that you when you go back to work it’s not going to be hard for you. Shower, get dressed, shave, do your hair and don’t lounge around in your pyjamas. Plan your day. If you start with exercise you will feel so much more energized for the whole day.

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Missing the gym – use household items to build your own:
Bags of flour or bottles of water as weights.
Use the kids – do sit ups with them on your back, or hold them above your head (don’t drop them!)
Instead of TRX bands, tie an old jacket around a post.
Use the washing line as a skipping rope.
There’s loads more ideas on the internet.

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Exercise classes- there’s plenty of free exercise classes on YouTube, anything from yoga to high impact workouts. I like these two:
30 minute No equipment cardio & HIT workout
and
Yoga with adriene– for simple no-nonsense yoga from beginners upwards

TIP: Don’t be tempted to cheat or get distracted – imagine you are at the gym and that you have paid for this class!

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Meditate – now is a great time to take it up. It’s a great stress buster and may give you useful tools to enable you to cope with stress when you return to the workplace. Try this free web site for a free 21-day trial - https://chopracentermeditation.com

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 Tackle all those DIY jobs that you’ve been promising to do. I don’t know about where you are, but where I am our local DIY store is still open, as it is used by the essential trades. Ideally, of course, don’t go out unless you have to. I’m sure there’s plenty of jobs around the house that you don’t actually need any special equipment for. 

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Upcycle or re-purpose old furniture– try chalk paint for an up-to-date look. If you haven’t got any, just use old water-based matt paint and dilute with water if it’s gone all thick and gooey. 

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Learn car maintenance.- you can hang out in the garage or do it on your driveway. Save money and do your own oil change or touch up those scratches and rust. 

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Clean the car – save on the car wash, it’s probably closed anyway. And if it isn’t think of those people before you who have the coin machine and the equipment

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Learn to draw or paint

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Download ‘words with friends’ and play scrabble remotely with your family or friends on your PC or phone.

Scrabble Letters - Free photo on Pixabay

Download a newspaper online and read it every day,  this will keep you-to-date and your brain active. Most newspapers offer a month’s free trial. So do one Newspaper at a time.

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Do the crossword and other puzzles – either in your regular newspaper or online – there are lots of free ones. It’s easy once you get started. Challenge yourself and learn how to do the cryptic ones as well. There is actually a method to it - https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/may/03/how-to-solve-cryptic-crossword

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Learn a new word every day– sign up for ‘Word of the Day’ 

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Download ‘Readly’ the app that gives you access to thousands of magazines. 
https://gb.readly.com- special offer get your first month for £4.99 and then £7.99 after that.
TIP:  You can have up to 5 profiles – so share the cost with family or friends

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Teach yourself a new language, there are lots of free apps, you don’t need to pay. So on your next holiday, when this is all over, you will be able to chat To the locals. Try ‘Duolingo’ - it’s free - https://www.duolingo.com

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Read all those books you’ve been promising to read for ages, and re-read the ones that you have on your bookshelves, you’ve probably forgotten what you read anyway (if you are anything like me)! 
OR
get new books for free during the Lockdown from https://archive.org/details/nationalemergencylibrary

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Catch up on the box sets that you never started or never finished. Subscribe to Netflix or Amazon. Share your subscription with a family member or friend.

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 Take up scrapbooking. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube.

adventure, beach, care, caucasian, coast, craft, diary, enjoyment ...

Try decoupage– using pretty napkins, old rolls of wallpaper, colourful magazines, etc. They are good for decoupage and also good for scrapbooking above.

 autumn-leaf-wooden-decoupage-tea-box-36101-d9ed | Raggedy Anne ...

Learn to play a musical instrument- Borrow one from the kids, a friend, or even order one from Amazon.

Musical Instruments Clipart Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

Learn to sing– just keep the doors and windows closed (unless you can already sing in tune).

Woman Singing Along Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

Plan your next holiday– a good way to keep yourself motivated is to plan for the future and what better than a holiday to look forward to.

 A passport, holiday brochure and sunglasses, pictured agai… | Flickr

Don’t get drawn into negativity – limit your use of online forums – take a deep breath and don’t respond. Be kind to people. We are all in this together.

 Breathe | Shawn Rossi | Flickr

Don’t forget to smile – it will lighten your day and that of others.

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Remember 
You don’t have to be busy all the time – make some time to just chill and make the most of your family – watch movies together, play games, go for walks, look through old photos, or just talk and catch up. When do we get chance to do that in our frenetic everyday lives?

Stick Figure Family Vector Clip Art | Free SVG


Thanks for reading

#StaySafeSanitise