After a wonderful breakfast at the Hotel Berna, we headed north for Lake Como, the signature location in Italy’s Lakes Region. We arrived in the elegant and popular community of Bellagio at around noon and proceeded to wander the adorable lanes and alleyways of this fantastic place.
Bellagio is located at the intersection of the three arms of Lake Como; it therefore offers incredible vistas which include the formidable surrounding mountains.
The narrow alleys, rising steeply from the lake front, offer access to additional restaurants and interesting shops.
We especially enjoyed strolling on the lake front promenade which is decorated with beautiful flowers and sculptures that accentuate the scenery.
Bellagio is truly a special place and we now understand why casino owners in Las Vegas have chosen to immortalize this village. However, the real thing is much better than the copy.
Next we headed south to the tip of Lake Como to check out the region’s namesake, the city of Como. Lee and I had stopped here in 1997 but we entered the city in a seedy and unattractive section, so we decided to skip the place. Well, this time we were pleasantly surprised.
Como’s Duomo (Cathedral) is positively exquisite!
The facade is as impressive as any of Italy’s famous cathedrals. There are numerous statues and the stonework detail is truly amazing (they don’t make things like this anymore).
The interior, although fairly drab, cold and somber (typical of these large cathedrals), also offered some surprises. One of the side altars was particularly beautiful.
We stopped at a restaurant across from the Duomo (Caffe Duomo) and had a lovely early dinner which included an excellent 4-cheese pizza, lasagna, and a side salad (huge) along with the obligatory half liter of wine.
We were also treated to a real surprise while dining al fresco. Serendipitously, a parade passed in front of the Duomo (and right in front of us) which celebrates the Palio del Baradello. Participants are dressed in medieval costumes from the era of King Frederica Barbarosa.
I love it when we stumble on these local events!