Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 10 - Bellagio and Varenna

Officially the riding part of the NI Trip finished yesterday and Bo and Joy rode their bikes this morning back to Milan and will be staying in Venice for a couple of nights. Steve, Paula and I decided to stay in the Bellagio area for one more night so today was put aside to just visit local sights and enjoy good food.
Forecast for the day was raining but as it turned out apart from some drizzling towards the late afternoon there was no rain. When we wok up it was quite fogged up and I looked like we wold need to make it a stay indoors day but after breakfast it started to lift slightly so we called Steve and we decided to take the ferry to Varenna and just walk the town and specially see the Villas.
Varenna is a very beautiful little town, a bit bigger than Bellagio and walking through its streets is very picturesque.
We walked along a wonderful promenade, called 'La Passerella' which cantilevers over the water, past a wonderful ice cream shop, friendly ducks and lazy fish drifting in the sparkling water.

For those feeling energetic, the hike to the Castello di Vezio which stands proudly on the verdant hills above Varenna, is an option that we did not take as we were not sure how long it would take and got information that ranged from 20 minutes to 90 minutes.

One of the most memorable moments in our trip was spent inside Villa Caprisi which was built at the turn of the century. Although today it is an hotel, the Villa also has beautiful gardens which cascade down terraces to the waters edge and along the many secret paths, wisteria covered walls and scented jasmine can be admired. Villa Cipressi is a very popular wedding destination for romantic couples. One of my favorite moments was sitting down in a bench surrounded by the beautiful gardens and listen to Paula soothing voice as she read to us the history of the Villa and how the gardens were started and what to see in the gardens. We took some stunning pictures of our stop but to be honest they do not do justice to the whole experience. Highly recommended stop.
Close to the church and in the main square we found a drinking fountain from which Steve and I drank from. As we were there a number of locals would drive up, stop car, get out and have a drink from the fountain. I joked with a young man that looked mid twenties that I was quite impressed that a 200 year old looked so good and hoped that by drinking from that fountain when I was 200 I would also look that young. Do not know if he understood all that I meant to say with my broken Italian, mixed up with Spanish and Portuguese but he smiled. Actually it has been quite easy for us to be understood by the Italians and vice versa. Paula also downloaded a very handy app that when things get sticky we can always refer to. Not very needed but useful to see how certain words are spelled.
We stopped for lunch in a small cafe that was supposed to be number one place to eat as per Trip Advisory. I just love the way we now can at a touch of a button very easily see the best places to eat, where to stay and what to do. It surely makes our lives much simpler and for one I welcome this help when preparing for this trip. I still prefer the "gut-feel" or as Bo calls it "something that calls to me" way to choose restaurants and use this method most of the times but now and then I "cheat" a little.
The view from caffe was priceless.
Steve has been a great travel companion which is always open to a new adventure and has the right attitude for travel. Because of this he is having a blast and here are some pics of us in beautiful Varenna.
As we were buying a small painting to remind us of our day, the owner mentioned that the Moto Guzzi museum was open until 5pm and was just 20 minutes by taxi. We made a spur of the moment decision, called up a taxi and did the ride by the lake to Mandello del Lario the town that since 1921 has been home to Moto Guzzi. Unfortunately the museum is only open from 3 to 4 pm so by the time we got there it was already closed. We still managed to call our taxi which did a u-turn to pick us up and take us back to Varenna. When we got there it was drizzling so we decided to go back to hotels in Bellagio.
Paula still went out for some more pics of flowers and promenade in Bellagio. Steve and I went to each other's hotels and rested. After all there was a big evening meal to deal with.
We have thoroughly enjoyed the Lake Como area and if I had to choose the best place to live from all the places we have visited it, this would be it. It's many towns, villages, villas, gardens, mountains, lake are too beautiful to really explain in words or even pictures. A must location to do and who knows may be even live.
Click HERE for all the pictures for Day 10


1 comment:

  1. Day 10 in Bellagio and Veranna was a great day of relaxation, sightseeing, having some lunch and with with my 2 wonderful friends waterfront. After a busy 9 previous days it was all topped off with a few hour break then a nice dinner some hugs then Armando and Paula are off to there next adventure.
    It was a fantastic trip and great memories to share with dear friends !!