Goal of the day … enjoy Varenna … a very picturesque fishing village almost directly across the Lake from Bellagio. There are many more boat departures from Bellagio than Lezzeno, so each time we want a boat we make the drive to Bellagio … there is a problem though … parking is a challenge and yesterday we parked where we should have paid … didn’t know … came back to find a parking ticket … took the ticket this morning to the post office to pay fine … $37.70 (education can be expensive !)
You’ll fall in love with Varenna … we guarantee it !!! … it’s a shame we cannot include pictures because we feel this is the prettiest, most romantic village we have seen on Lake Como. Walked the cobblestone passages throughout the village and up through the castle to main square & church … definitely ‘story-book’ … wonder why the village has not been a movie location ???
Appetite up, so a stop at an outdoor cafe sitting on a deck overlooking the Lake and watching a young Italian family (Mom, Pop, 2 daughters) playing along the lake edge and feeding ~20 wild ducks that stopped in for lunch … also, some small fishing boats tied up near by. The village beauty, the wine, the heavy lake fog, the kids playing, the chilly day, the still lake … get the picture … makes one not want to get up to head home ! … but, eventually, we did.
Time to pack for departure tomorrow morning … decided to keep it simple and go for dinner at the hotel restaurant … not the best decision as the meal did not meet our expectation.
Goal for today … take the hydrofoil boat from Bellagio to Como.
Don’t know how fast the big passenger ferry was going across the water but it was fun scooting along leaving a high and huge wake behind us.
Como seemed much larger than expected … around 85,000 residents … much different than the 50+ villages that surround the Lake.
Upon arrival we went in search of a restaurant recommended by a friend in Northern Virginia … name – Gesumin (tiny, off the beaten path) … we eventually found it (helped by Google map) and we can say the following …. Karen: best ravioli ever (and she loves Italian) … Mel: never had better lasagne (thanks Bruce) !!!
Tummies full, soaked with white wine, and big smiles … boarded a hop-on-hop-off bus to tour Como. Learned a couple unexpected things … first, the Swiss border is very close to the city limits of Como (didn’t realize we were that far North) … second, their famous physicist/chemist Alessandero Volta invented the electric storage battery early 1800s. … now you know where the term “voltage” originated.
The trip from Sirimione to Lezzeno (lake Como) is approximately a 70 mile drive.
The shape of Lake Como is like an inverted “Y” … a natural lake with depths of approximately 1,300 ft., … a picture postcard place … Fifty plus villages line the shoreline … Bellagio is near the point of the “Y” and recognized as the ‘jewel’ village of the Lake community. You probably are aware of the Lake’s most famous resident … George Clooney.
Our lodging is in the village of Lezzeno … a small vacation village near the middle of the Lake … the room is right on the Lake edge overlooking an area used for water boarding behind a powerboat.
After check-in, a 10 minute drive to Bellagio … didn’t see a casino but quickly understood why the hotel/casino in Las Vegas is named the same !!! One wants to stop at each of the very inviting sidewalk cafes to have a drink and absorb the place … then one feels the call of the shops that line the long, wide cobblestone stairs. Karen found the shop recommended by a friend from California … sellin silk and silk/cashmere scarves made locally. Silk is made several places around Lake Como … could have spent lots of money here she but bought only one!
The afternoon slipped by so quickly and we returned to our Lezzeno hotel for dinner at their water front restaurant. Here, we met an interesting/fun couple from Windsor, Canada … Pat & Cam (60s) … she was office manager of the local horse race track (trotters) … he is retired … 20 years as CFO for Windsor hospital … they are ‘Snow Birds’ … own a condo in Ft. Myers … lot’s to chat about!