Beautiful Bellagio

Hi Readers,

It has been a long time. I have fallen into a blogging slump and I’m trying to get myself out of it.

Meanwhile, I have shifted to reading and doing book reviews. Check out my bookstagram page here:

Back to travel related matters. Last month, I did an epic trip to the South of France, and tacked on Italy at the last minute.

From Nice-Riquier, France, the train costed me €34. It was a price I couldn’t bypass. There were a few stops and one train change, in Italy, however, the entire trip was close to 7 hours.

I arrived in Milan Centrale about 8:00 pm and took a taxi to the hotel. The wait for the taxi was long.

I planned to spend three days in Milan, which I did. I was underwhelmed with Milan even though Milan is supposed to be the magnet for fashionistas, lovers of art and architecture, none of which is my forté.

I visited il Duomo Cathedrale. It was a grey, wet and rainy day. Whilst it was not overly crowded, the sellers of the corn to feed the pigeons were relentless. I didn’t go inside the Cathedrale.

After asking someone to take a few photos to record that I was actually there, I walked over to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II , which is sometimes nicknamed “il salotto di Milano” (Milan’s drawing room), is an elegant nineteenth-century shopping arcade. It was abuzz with activities and quite pleasant to walk through. I’m not a luxury shopper so window shopping was all I could have done.

Next up, was wine tasting, which I found on Airbnb Experiences. That was hosted by restaurant owner, Jacobo, at Ottocene restaurant. I was the only one in attendance. I tasted three wines. It was a very intimate interactive session.

That night when I returned to the hotel, I was still feeling a bit unfulfilled so I again checked Airbnb Experiences and found a reasonably priced day trip to Como and Bellagio. I booked without hesitation.

The next morning I met the tour group at Piazza Quattro Novembre.

During the bus ride out from Milan, informative commentary was given on the historical landmarks and the spectacular landscape along the way.

Here’s the Airbnb description:

“Como is one of the most picturesque cities of Italy, the ideal destination for tourists who want to spend an unforgettable day in contact with nature, culture, art and local traditions. Its villas and gardens celebrate its fairy tale atmosphere.”

Upon arriving in Como we started a walking tour with the guide, who then left us to explore more on our own, after visiting the Gothic Cathedral. Although the Gothic features are predominant, the cathedral also hosts many Romanesque, Renaissance, and Baroque elements

At noon, we boarded a ferry boat to admire the city of Como from a different perspective and experience a magnificent lake cruise up to Bellagio, the aptly named ‘Pearl of the Lake’.

We kept on our audio during the ferry ride to Bellagio, so we would have heard the guide give descriptions of the magnificent villas along the lake, whose owners include, George Clooney and Richard Branson.

Bellagio is close to Switzerland so we were able to see the Alps in the distance.

After about 2 hours we disembarked in Bellagio, where were again allowed to explore this idyllic city on our own.

“Bellagio is a village on a promontory jutting out into Lake Como, in Italy. It’s known for its cobbled lanes, elegant buildings and Villa Serbelloni Park, an 18th-century terraced garden with lake views. Nearby are the Tower of the Arts, a venue for exhibitions and performances, and the Romanesque San Giacomo Church. Close to rocky Loppia Beach, the Museum of Navigational Instruments displays sundials and compasses.” ― Google

The temperature was perfect, even though it was cold on the ferry ride over from Lake Como.

The vbyz was just chill; sunny and bright; flowers everywhere; pretty storefronts; wine bars and restaurants – not ostentatious at all; the buildings – not overly ornate but still full of charm and character; not overly crowded; nice for strolling; mountain peaks at every angle. I could go go on on as why this place captured my heart ♥️ for the very short time I was there. In a way I felt I was transported back in time. One day is not enough.

We regrouped to take the bus uphill to reach the Sanctuary of Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of cyclists. We could have still seen the snow capped pre-Alps.

Inside the church, we admired keepsakes, iconic jerseys and bicycles of the most loved cyclists in the world including Coppi, Bartali, Merckx, Motta, Pantani!

From here it was downhill back to Milan.

Have you ever been to Como and Bellagio. If so how was your experience. If not, is it on your bucket list?

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