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Showing posts from June, 2013

Bellagio and Lake Como

"I ask myself
Is this a dream? Will it vanish into thin air? Is there a land of such supreme  And perfect beauty anywhere?" H. W. Longfellow



A short train ride from Milan's Cadorna Train Station to Como Borghi and you're in a totally different world. The temperature is cooler, the streets are quieter, pastel hued houses spill down the hillside to the water's edge and Lake Como is as refreshing to the eye as always. I hopped on a ferry to Bellagio which is 45 minutes away. The fare each way is 14.75 euros as of this writing. There were only two lakeside stops along the way and my head turned from side to side as we passed villages, one in which George Clooney lives. As we cruised farther into the lake which is 30 miles long, I held my breath when I saw the snow capped Alps in the distance.

Bellagio is a disappointingly commercial lakeside village. The stepped streets are filled with shops and restaurants. The result of its popularity with visitors is that it has lo…

Milan - Taking a Second Look

The Duomo of Milan boasts over 2000 statues of saints and one of Napoleon, ( I read this in my Eyewitness Top 10 Italian Lakes guide book) adorning its façade as well as innumerable reliefs. In a rush to enter the church, I had not spent any time until recently to discover the beautiful carvings and the stories they tell.

Sunday at the Piazza del Duomo is always a good day to see the children feed and chase the pigeons. On this particularly warm day, the crowd was out in full force and trying to get a gelato meant waiting in a very long line.

I took shelter in the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II where I found a flash mob dancing to the tune, YMCA, by the Village People. It was fun to watch them try to go through the trademark motions of the famous group of the 70s. It made me smile.

The iconic glass dome of the Galleria is quite famous as are the tony shops like Vuitton and Prada that rent space here. But there are other interesting things to check out such as the beautiful mosaic flo…

Highlights of My Italian Summer

The Duomo, Milan
In the next few weeks I'll be writing in detail about my trip to Italy this June. For the moment, I'd like to share some highlights of our visit to this country that calls you, like a siren, to come back for more.

It took more than four centuries to complete the construction of Milan's Duomo. Napoleon Bonaparte demanded it be ready for his coronation as King of Italy. This photo was taken on a Sunday, sunny day and family day.
A short train ride from Milan to Lake Como and a total change of pace. Far from the madding crowd, Lake Como is naturally beautiful and peaceful in late spring. It might be quite a different scene in summer. 
Bellagio, Lake Como
We made a pilgrimage to Padua in the Veneto region to pray at the tomb of St. Anthony. The feast of St. Anthony is on June 13 and we we were lucky to have participated in one of the masses during the 13-day long festivities.
Basilica del Santo, Padua
Venice is such a fragile peninsula that has survived thro…