Northern Italy 2022, (September 3-14)
The sun did rise, at its own pace! Being nestled down on the water with such steep mountains around us the sunrise colors would start across the lake. Reminded me of being in Monument Valley Utah during a sunset, I set up my tripod facing west, I noticed other photographers facing the monuments to the east....that is where the show was! Our unobstructed lake views included Laglio to the south, Brienno due west and Argogno to the north. The owner supplied coffee/tea and we enjoyed this while watching the light work its way down the mountain until it hit the distant shore.
We discussed our options for the day, we decided to brave the roads and see what all the hype is about with Bellagio. Villa Lombardi is managed by the Albergo Aurora one town away in Lezzeno, they asked that we stop in for some minor paperwork. The manager said we could use their services during our stay, awesome! I don't know what the rooms look like but it's a pretty cool spot with nice amenities including boat rental.
Bellagio was a short 15 minute drive from Lezzeno. We didn't panic park and slowly drove through town, it was about 9:00. We realized the first parking area was the most convenient so we made a scenic loop around and found ample parking. The parking kios was a little confusing? with the help of a nice woman we had our 3 hour ticket displayed on our dash board. Bellagio is beautiful!
We arrived hungry and quickly found a comfortable table under a canopy of trees near the ferry dock. Over breakfast we were unsure of what we wanted to accomplish? maybe grab a ferry to visit Menaggio and Verenna? Lots of people in line, how about just walk the town for now!
It's off season, but there were more people here than we had seen all week, a lot of English being spoken loudly here... like "HARRY, HARRY WE'RE OVER HERE!!" Simmer down lady he knows where you are. People were lined up at the 2 ferry docks and plenty of people taking selfies everywhere, so were we! The shops are very nice here, prices from reasonable to outrageous. The ladies were enjoying the shops, there's something for everyone and even I bought a new shirt! Gifts were also bought for loved ones back home. The ladies bought some small watercolors from a local artist with scenes from Lake Como, cool. We found a nice enoteca with nice owners and good prices, ok one more bottle!
We walked the whole town, quite nice. We found an upscale convenience shop with an assortment of everything you can think of, we bought packaged porcini risotto and truffle chips just to have on hand. From the small town center at the top we walked down the backside away from the crowds to the water's edge. If you haven't been here the lake is shaped like an upside down Y and Bellagio is on the center point with amazing views of the mountains. There is a nice restaurant with a great view on the point, but the parking pass was soon to expire so we decided to head back to Albergo Aurora for lunch.
We highly recommend the outdoor restaurant! The service, views and food were outstanding. I had the best silky smooth lasagna, favorite pasta of the trip. After lunch we walked down to the rental stand and secured a boat for the next morning. "There's lots of wine at the villa"!
Safely in our parking space we moseyed down to Villa Lombardi. We put a bottle of chilled Langhe Chardonnay in my dry bag with towels and headed down the steps to Piazza Vecchia, lovely spot. Oops, forgot wine glasses....no worries we have no manners! Our apologies to the young couple from England for not being able to pass the bottle ha!
I did go back up for glasses and to make a light snack. On my way out of the kitchen I see my wife brought up the woman from England, she was very nice and said they were on a short 4 day holiday and was happy that we had a restroom! She was curious about the villa so my wife gave her a quick tour, but not without leaving with some ripe Guarene peaches! The couple sadly declined the wine offer because they were on a scooter, smart move! Back to swimming and jumping!
With only one convenient place to eat I walked up to Tres Rose to guarantee a reservation. Our daughter is a mosquito magnet and had a couple welts on her so I stopped at the farmacia to get spray for later, I never saw a mosquito? I like that farmacia's are around every corner in Italy. When I returned I found the ladies sunbathing on the main tier, a bottle of Nebbiolo was breathing for me!
After a delightful afternoon of chillax'in in the sun we decided to walk to what Nesso is best known for, Orrido Di Nesso. Even with the ongoing draught the gorge is constantly supplying water via a beautiful waterfall. We arrive on the road at the top of the gorge and began our descent down the steep and irregular cobble stone walkway. Lots of steps! It's amazing to think about the local life having to navigate these stairs daily, I mean you get to your villa and say oops I forgot the eggs in the car!. We were surrounded by tall ancient buildings as we zigzagged all the way to the bottom. We were shocked that we were the only people around. We found our way to the Roman built Civera Bridge, amazing arched bridge that is popular to jump from. We figured the lake level is down several feet and well....we have a pier to jump off! We noticed an airbnb sign right next to the bridge, very cool, but consider those steps first!! The sun was dropping and we headed back to the villa via a lower trail. At first we didn't know if it would come to a dead end, but after a short hike we exited the trail not far from the villa, very cool.
We got cleaned up for another late dinner around 8:30. At home we eat around 6pm, but later seems right over there. The temperature swing is pretty substantial on the lake, nights around 60 degrees, long sleeves required! Tres Rose provided good food, service and views again, another highly recommend. Around 10pm we maintained a slow pace to the villa. We were exhausted, but what an amazing day! Went to bed fairly early with thoughts of what we'd experience tomorrow from a boat! Ciao