Before taking our villa on Lake Como, Steve and I spent three days in Milan enjoying Fashion Week. The city was a buzz with excitement. There were fashion shows in public places throughout the city by young, unknown designers showing their collections. Shows were every hour and hundreds of people would congregate around the stages. At the Galleria, the stage was in the center of a huge atrium, underneath the glass canopy. In between shows it was such a treat to window shop and see all the gorgeous clothes. Armani, Prada, Escarda, Etro, etc. were all there!

In October, on our annual Italy trip, we revisited beautiful Lake Como. With our traveling group of friends, we rented a villa on the lake in the town of Cadenabbia, very close to Tremezzo. Looking at the cars at the bottom of the photograph, you can see how BIG our house, Villa Lilo, actually is. The Villa has amazing gardens that seemed to wind and turn in every direction. How wonderful to wake up every morning and see this beautiful lake and snow capped mountains in the distance.

This morning we visited a several hundred year old restored country Swiss cottage, owned by a "very rich" family. This ornamental chalet-like thatched building is located in the Kilcommon Demesne, a walled park of some 800 acres at the heart of the Butler of Cahir estate. The Heritage Council had done such a beautiful job with the restoration. ‘The Cottage’, as it was originally known, was built c.1810 to the design of John Nash, Royal Architect, for Richard Butler, Baron of Cahir (from 1816 1st Earl of Glengall). Its interior contains a graceful spiral staircase and some elegantly decorated rooms. The wallpaper in the Salon manufactured by the Dufour factory is one of the first commercially produced Parisian wallpapers. Situated on an elevated site with access by stone steps. Actually this cottage was used strickily for entertaining 6 to 8 guest and the "very rich" family that owned the cottage never slept there a single night. Servants were brought in when the family entertained  and gardeners were kept on staff year round looking after the grounds. Hunting, fishing and lawn games filled this "special invitation" day.