Lake Como

Color sketch of Varenna

Color sketch of Varenna

With one full day remaining in Italy, I decided to spend it on Lake Como, and I’m glad I did.  Varenna is just a one hour train ride (6.50 Euros)  from Milan, and a good town to start a visit to the central portion of Lake Como.

Varenna in the morning light

Varenna in the morning light

Lake Como, the third largest lake in Italy, is almost like three long lakes that come together in the center.  A cluster of small towns, including Varenna, Bellagio, Cadenabbia, and Menaggio, hug the shoreline at the center.  I arrived at 930 in the morning and enjoyed a cappucino and a dolce (chocolate filled croissant) before walking the lakeside path into the heart of the little town.  It is quite scenic and has a few restaurants and shops along the waterfront.  It is much less well-known than its neighbor Bellagio, but I think just as quaint.

Varenna from the ferry

Varenna from the ferry

Only the garden was open to tourists at Villa Monastero, but it was definitely worth the 5 Euro admission.  At this early hour, much of the garden was in shade, but I was assured I could come back later in the day with the same ticket.

Lakeside garden at Villa Monastero

Lakeside garden at Villa Monastero

View of Lake Como from the gardens at Villa Monastero

View of Lake Como from the gardens at Villa Monastero

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I hopped a ferry at 1130 to Bellagio, enjoying a front row seat for 15 minutes on the lake.  Bellagio is larger than Varenna, and it was much more crowded.  It seems to be best known for its expensive shops, which line the waterfront along with restaurants, pedestrian walkways, a few hotels, and a parking lot.

Bellagio waterfront

Bellagio waterfront

Alfa Romeo food truck in Bellagio

Alfa Romeo food truck in Bellagio

I found a wonderful spot for lunch up the hill on a side street and ordered the specialty of the area; lake perch with risotto and asparagus.  I also sampled a caprese salad, and of course some local wine.

Caprese salad

Caprese salad

Risotto with lake perch and asparagus

Risotto with lake perch and asparagus

Of course it is impossible to go to Bellagio without doing a little shopping, so I obliged.

Looking up one of Bellagio's streets

Looking up one of Bellagio’s streets

Leaving Bellagio on the ferry

Leaving Bellagio on the ferry

Another short ferry ride and I was  back in Varenna, which was much more peaceful.  I went back to the gardens at Villa Monastero for some afternoon sun.

The seawall

The seawall

Statue with a view

Statue with a view

Fountain at Villa Monastero

Fountain at Villa Monastero

Fountain detail

Fountain detail

One hour on the train and I was back in Milano.  It was a good day trip, but I would like to return and spend more time in the Lake District.

Nikon color sketch touch up to a garden photo

Nikon color sketch touch up to a garden photo

 

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3 Responses to Lake Como

  1. Teresa Favazza says:

    Bellissimo! What a beautiful little villaggio and Great pictures
    Nice Way to end The trip🇮🇹

  2. Joanie says:

    Your pictures are certainly beautiful. Sounds like another trip full of memories.

  3. Kathleen Carter says:

    I love traveling with u!!! Such beauty and a wonderful , sensitive eye!!!! Call when u get back!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

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