Italy 2018: Day 3

Off to Bellagio! I know what you’re thinking… “But Laura, isn’t Bellagio in Las Vegas?” Why yes it is, and the resort was inspired by the town of Bellagio on Lake Como in Italy. Bellagio is at the northern tip of the Bellagio Peninsula, which separates the two southern legs of Lake Como, and was the location for today’s adventure. Ferries ply the waters of Lake Como during the daylight hours, carrying passengers and cars to villages around the lake. Along with Bellagio and Menaggio, Varenna makes up the mid-lake triad and boats regularly travel between the three towns. I boarded the 9:23 boat, and a mesmerizing 15 minutes later I was walking the streets of Bellagio. I say mesmerizing because from the boat you can see every part of the lake with the majestic Italian Alps rising to the north.

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Bellagio is busier than Varenna and also larger. But it shares the same cobblestone stepped streets and alleys. I picked up a guide for a walk around the Bellagio suburbs and set off for Pescallo. I took a ton of photos of the streets of Bellagio along the way because they were mostly empty and I assumed they would fill up quickly with day trippers before I returned. Also, I can’t possibly take enough photos of these streets. Pescallo is a small fishing village reached by cresting the hill that separates it from Bellagio. Just as charming but much smaller, I was in awe of the tiny passageways with vine covered homes and mossy cobblestone walkways. I followed the guide through Oliverio, Regatola, and Guggiate before reaching San Giovanni.

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San Giovanni is another small fishing village perched on the shores of Lake Como. As I started my walk through town, I spotted a woman enjoying a Coke at a tiny table along the main alley. It was just what I wanted too. So I sat for about 20 minutes enjoying my Coke Zero and taking in the ambiance of the quiet alley. From there, it was a short walk to the main Piazza overlooking the boat harbor and lake. I picked a bench and just sat there for a few minutes. I could have stayed all day, but there was much more to see. Next up was the tiny village of Loppia with its colorful homes and the entrance to the gardens of Villa Melzi. The villa itself is not open to the public, but the gardens make for a pleasant (albeit overpriced) stroll along the lake heading back to Bellagio.

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San Giovanni

Once in Bellagio, my stomach was growling. I had planned on pizza today, but just after I reached town, I saw Cava Turacciolo up a small alley. I had read about this place many times, and soon pizza was out the window and replaced by fresh pasta and wine. The little restaurant is actually a wine cave, with hundreds of bottles of wine lining the stone walls. Amazing. I settled in for a glass of Prosecco and ravioli filled with cheese and herbs. I gave my tired feet a rest while I lingered over the meal.

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Cava Turacciolo, Bellagio

Next up was a walk to Punta Spartivento, at the very tip of Bellagio. From there you can see the northern end of Lake Como, with the Alps to the north and Varenna to the east. My last stop in Bellagio was at Gelateria del Borgo. This time I mixed stracciatella with French vanilla. Gelato is growing on me, but I still prefer American ice cream.

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Lake Como from Bellagio

Then it was back to the hotel for some downtime before… aperitivo! This is fast becoming my favorite Italian tradition. Tonight it was beautiful, sunny, and 70 degrees, and I sat on the patio overlooking the lake next to a couple from St. Louis and chatted for almost an hour. Have I mentioned how much I love it here? After dinner I took a leisurely stroll along the lakeside path to the north end of town and back and am now settled in to watch the sunset and call it a night.

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Lakeside path, Varenna