After our short walk, it was time to head out to lunch. The troops were getting hungry (at least I was definitely ready for a proper Italian lunch in the mountains), so we all followed Alessandro up the mountain. Instead of going up towards Bugiallo, we went in the opposite direction towards Montemezzo. Now Montemezzo is not that much bigger than Bugiallo. Montemezzo has a pupulation of a bout 240 (more or less).We were on our way up the mountain, and none of knew how high up we were driving. There were two cars full of family following Alessandro in the first car. Every curve it seemed was getting higher and higher. We passed some beautiful houses and after about 5 minutes driving up, I thought we must be arriving shortly. We passed one place halfway up the mountain. I was so thankful when I saw the restaurant sign, but this was not our stop. Alessandro kept pushing up the mountain. He even pulled over on one tricky curve to let a group of motorcyclists pass us.
We all struggled to get as close to the side of the mountain to let them zoom on their way further up the mountain. This is Lombardia ski country and I was trying to imagine how people do these roads with snow and ice. The roads do not have the safest barriers and you have to beep as you approach a curve to let anyone coming down the mountain know you are going up the mountain. Let’s just say it was 20 minutes of a scenic and totally frightening drive to an absolutely beautiful place.
When we arrived outside of their property, there was a puppy awaiting us. It was hard to tell she was a puppy. Peppa is a Pyrenean mountain dog. Peppe was very excited to see a friend and walked with Luna (my sister-in-law’s puppy)and us to the entrance of the Rifugio.
As soon as we sat down, the waitress asked us for our drink orders and let us know she would bring out the first plates. It was a menu completa and we were having every thing that came with the prices.
The first plate was this incredible plate of salumeria. It was all cured by them in their caverna outside. The bread was nice and fresh and I could have eaten just that for lunch.
Next arrived this local lake fish that was grilled nicely and served over crispy vegetables. Around this time, I did hear the table next to us asking for something vegetarian. So it seems they have no problem accommodating vegetarians.
Up next were these sage fritters. The sage leaves were as big as my hands and they grow down below in their garden. Even the kids ate them and enjoyed them.
And here is Peppa. This sweet puppy was the hit of the Rifugio. Everyone wanted to take her home. She was so calm and so lovable. I never met a Great Pyrenees before. If I ever move to the mountains one day in Italy, I will have to remember to find a dog like Peppa.
And if you ever make it to the mountains above Lake Como, you must be brave and take a chance on the long and winding roads with hairpin turns that lead you to a piece of paradise way above Lake Como. Rifugio Alpino Dalco is definitely worth a visit. They even have apartments to rent. So if you’re exhausted after the long drive and the meal, stay for a day or two and explore the mountain a little bit and take in the breathtaking view of Lago di Como.
Rifugio Alpino Dalco
Via Dalco, 23, 22010 Montemezzo CO, Italy
Telephone: +39 0344 84572