Sunday, June 30, 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 lost its quaint charm. But it is still beautiful and clean with expansive lake views. Pottery shops, gourmet shops, souvenir shops! Bellagio is a shoppers' paradise.


A car skirts its way through this narrow alley, typical of the streets of Bellagio.


Behind this intricately fabricated gate are statuary that whispers in my ear, stay awhile. I like little surprises like this.


The Chiesa di San Giacomo dates back to the 11th century. The darkened interior is an ideal place for prayer and meditation. 


The solid walls and bell tower of San Giacomo betray its Romanesque style.


What a lovely restaurant! But it's empty. Perhaps it's a little far from the ristorantes and trattorias near the harbor where the tourists congregate?


A lakeside walk is in order. Villa Melzi is at the end of this tree lined park.


This must be the "perfect beauty" Longfellow wrote about.

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Images by Charie

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