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Thursday, August 26, 2010

August In Stresa -- Berlusconi?!!




Google Earth gives us this view of Villa Correnti.


Yep... You and I are not the only ones who appreciate Lago Maggiore's charms in the summer. For a couple of years now Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's family has been vacationing at their villa in Lesa, just a few kilometers south of Stresa along the lake, on the way to Arona.

Guest writer Tony, who also vacations off and on at his own home in Lesa, had some fun playing paparazzo for us and sends along this eyewitness report and photos from the gate of the villa:

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Prime Minister in Residence in Lesa



Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been at his family villa in Lesa, south of Stresa, on and off during August. When he is in residence, the Italian flag flies from the mast on the lake at the edge of the property and a Coast Guard boat patrols offshore. The property, known as Villa Correnti, was previously owned by the Garavoglia family that created Campari, the Italian aperitif.

Traffic on via Sempion, SS33, the main road up the western side of Lago Maggiore is often slowed by the many polizia and press cars that crowd the highway that is quite narrow near the entrance to his villa. This has exacerbated an already bad situation created when part of the road between Meina and Lesa collapsed into the lake in late July after a car ran off the road into the lake. Americans observing traffic in this area have long predicted someone would drive off the road but few thought that the collapsed guardrail would take a big piece of the road with it.

Neighbors report that press cars have parked along via San Antonio near the PM’s villa which is “narrow enough as it is.” But “he puts his trash bags out in front of the villa gates on trash pickup day just like everyone else” another resident remarked, and “I think he separates the recyclables too.”

The Prime Minister has complained recently about the press taking photographs of people coming from and going to the white helicopter that lands on the north lawn of the property. But he makes his own news every time he journeys to Arona for a gelato and, “thank goodness, he only comes to politic or have gelato,” said one Arona resident, “Napoleon came and he blew up our only fortress, left Angera Castle standing across the lake, and now Angera has the big tourist draw.”


Thanks Tony! You'll let us know if there are any gelato sightings, si?






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