Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bellagio, Italy, Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bellagio is a charming little village, and although it is perhaps the most well-known and touristy town on Lake Como, it is charming and quaint nonetheless. It was somewhat crowded, but not overly so, and there was a combination of Europeans and Americans there. I actually loved it and thought it was an excellent base for our stay on Lake Como. The streets (mostly not open to cars and not much more than alleyways with steps) are narrow and filled with quaint shops and restaurants.

Views of Bellagio, Italy

Not a lot of room for driving a car through the streets

Local wildlife on the streets of Bellagio, Italy

More wildlife on the pier

I’m sure there is plenty to do and see around Lake Como, but at this point in the trip, the kids were most interested in going swimming. So that’s what we did. It turns out that swimming at Lake Como is not all that popular, and with good reason. The Lido, the beach closest to Bellagio was closed for renovation, so we drove to the other public beach near San Giovanni. Beach is a loose term here, because it was really just pebbles and pretty small. But the kids had a good time swimming in the cool water, finding various types of rocks, skipping stones, etc.

Looking for the free beach access

Sign to the free beach

Mac swimming in Lake Como. Notice how clear the water is.

Beer on the beach.

Rocky public beach near San Giovanni in Lake Como, Italy

Maddie's collection of rocks from the beach

On our way back to the apartment after swimming, we took a wrong turn but it turned out to be a good thing because it sent us up some roads high above Bellagio and gave us some spectacular views. Afterward we had a late lunch by the lake, then we went back to our apartment (it was a small studio) and set the kids up with a movie so we could go do laundry. I have to say it is so convenient that Maddie is now old enough to babysit McIntyre. I wasn’t entirely comfortable leaving them in the apartment by themselves in a foreign country, but we were just a couple of blocks away and checked on them several times. Doing laundry was expensive but reasonably simple and we met a nice older couple from Chapel Hill in the laundromat. This also gave us a little time to dosome souvenir shopping.

View from the hills above Bellagio, Italy

After completing the laundry we went for a walk on the promenade at sunset. This has some lovely plants including an unusual type of tree that I really liked (still don’t know what kind it was) and some gorgeous views of Bellagio, Lake Como and the surrounding mountains. It truly is a beautiful area, even if George Clooney forgot to invite us to stay in his villa.

View of the promenade

View from pier

View from promenade across the lake

Tracy loves this tree, but what is it called?

Maddie and Mac on the promenade

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