Retirees go Abroad – Lake Como Italy
Where are the Rich and Famous?
Tuesday and our second day in Italy. Roberto is touring around Lake Como and going to Belliago by ferry. George Clooney is supposed to have residence somewhere near here which might be of interest to some people so it did not upset my day that he remained reclusive. Having arranged with our Italian mate to meet at Bellagio, I plugged in “Ferry Belliago” into the GPS (which we call “Tommy” as it is a TomTom) and we set sail. Now I was not expecting that Tommy would take me literally so when Tommy announced “after 800 metres turn left and take the ferry” I was astounded. But sure enough there it was a car ferry to Bellagio.
We parked and for 10 euros each return we boarded as walk-ons arriving at Belliago 15 minutes before the bus tour/boat tour. Belliago is located on the western shore of Lake Como and a tourist trap with expensive shops set in an old village of many stairs (it is all very hilly). Strolling through the village was interesting once we got away from the shops. One of the interesting buildings was the local church which had an amazing interior. The exterior is not so exciting. But I got an interesting photo of the back of the church which I have included below.
Roberto and Sue turned up with the rest of their tour about 20 minutes after us and we then started exploring the remaining areas of Bellagio. Kerry and Sue found an oversized cork screw outside one of the many “caves” at Bellagio.
Lunch was partaken in the back streets as the lake front is overdone. After lunch I found the oldest building in Bellagio behind the church – the only remaining part of the 12th century watch tower. There were some exquisite gardens, beautiful vistas, and ancient vestiges of an elegant past. Time went quickly and like Cinderella, Roberto and Sue rushed back to their “coach” to join their tour.
We returned to the other side of the lake and drove back toward Como. On the way we stopped at another village. Argegno is on the lake and has a stream running through it. Colourful and quaint we felt compelled to walk through before taking a milkshake at the Hotel Argegno. Some photos follow.
Roberto (being first generation Australian from Italian heritage) had expressed the view that there was nothing worth looking at in Como. We thought we would check it out for ourselves. So when we drove into a central Como car park alongside the remnants of an old walled city then to find in the basement of the car park Roman foundation for the original Roman village founded in or around 1 BC (it was moved from the hills to the site of these foundations on the order of Julius Caesar) we had to disagree. There is evidence of an earlier Bronze Age village present also. I have included some photos of the remaining towers, the foundations and a massive cathedral constructed in 1397 on the centre square. There is also examples of 16 th century residences still in use today. As well it is situated on the lake with very accessible public parks and gardens close to the city centre. We found at least two other churches in the old city precinct and just outside the city is a funicular. So I have no idea what city Roberto visited to find nothing of interest.