I took two days off and we scarpered south for a few days near Lake Como. It was intensely cold there but the skies were blue and the sun was promisingly warm. In Domaso we discovered a wonderful osteria that serves lightly pickled and salted fish from the lake. On the Saturday evening at our agritourismo all of the guests were called away from the dinner table to march through the snow and ice to rescue the car of two guests who had taken a wrong turning and driven into an ice trap. The agritourismo itself lies at the top of a vertiginously steep ramp. I suppose it’s OK if you’ve got a 4 x 4 but it is otherwise a terrifying experience. You have to take a long run-up, in first gear, and then hang on like grim death, front wheels spinning. The first time I drove up it, last November, I had no idea where I was going (it was dark and raining to boot) and all that managed to get me to the top was the petrifying idea that I might have to reverse down again for a second attempt. Thereafter, using the weak excuse that the car would be lighter, I left the driving to my better half and walked up with the kids and the bags. This time we had the excuse that there was ice half way up the ramp and left the car at the bottom. But another late arrival on the Saturday night didn’t know that and got stuck half way up. The assembled guests had to push the car and finally they made it, careering away up the hillside once the tires got a grip once again. Molto sportivo. Anyway, this agritourismo is run by an artist, Mariella, who is also a brilliant cook (all home made ingredients) and I recommend the spot – but beware of that ramp. Of course, ice and snow in the mountains in winter is normal. What was not so normal was the snow and ice that fell on Palermo last week – but that’s another story.