Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Visiting Lake Como in Northern Italy

After hearing about Lake Como in northern Italy from others, Kay and I final made a short 2 day visit. It's truly as beautiful as everyone had been saying, a mountain lake of serenity for us after all the business of Milan. What a contrast! Kay and I are staying at a local hotel next to the ferry dock, the Hotel Olivedo in Varenna, one of many countless small lakeshore villages around Lake Como interconnected by a network of ferries or private boat taxis. Our timing was not the best with a significant weather front expected to move through in few days. With little time to waste, we managed to complete a walk about of Varenna, including a short strenuous up hill hike to Castello di Vezio for great views, and to ferry to Bellagio the following day, for a full day of wandering before the continual rains finally arrived accompanied by wind, periods of heavy downpours and thunder. Overnight, visitors changed from light summer garments to rain gear, heavy parkas and hoodies. Good day for Kay and I to get some needed rest and down time.

Lakeshore villages, like Varenna, Bellagio and Menaggio, feature numerous shops and eateries along narrow stone streets and corridors emanating in antiquity that cater to the tourist. The topography of these village settings are hilly which means there are many uneven stone steps to maneuver, testing your stamina and balance. I must say that we have enjoyed most of our meals within these locations, though we paid a higher price. In fact, our meals to date have been good to great more often than not. Below are various pictures from Varenna and Bellagio.

Varenna above and below.

Beware the many stone steps in these villages.

Maria delle Grazie above and below.

Hiking to the Castello di Vezio

Views from above the hillside

Square Giorgio

Varenna streets

Ferry to Bellagio

View of Bellagio from ferry

Evening light on our hotel.

Evening in Varenna.

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