Night Location: Bellagio, Italy
Song of the Day: Somebody to Love - Glee Cast
Mumisode of the Day: Amber and David were purchasing a quick coffee at the bar before the ferry arrived. Mum shouted out as they headed into the shop, "I need my ticket. What if the boat comes!"
The villa that we had booked on the lake - how romantic - was a disaster. It sits right on the water's edge and has a fantastic view. There are four bedrooms and a lovely lounge room. It also has polished stone floors and terrible beds. If we were here in summer, the stone floors would be great. It was not summer when we were here; in fact the Lake District was experiencing somewhat of a cold snap. The stone floors were unbearable on bare feet, Even the 'fire socks' (Kathmandu Alpine hiking socks) did not keep out the cold. There were no other floor coverings. Amber and Gemma resorted to using blankets on the floor wherever possible. The heating that we had opted to pay for, did very little to warm the arctic conditions.
The beds were also quite disastrous, except in the master bedroom. Mum and Dad not only had carpet in their bedroom; they also had a luxurious queen size bed with an antique wooden bed head and furniture, complete with chandelier, so they did not experience the true hardship of Bellagio. Amber and David appeared to have a nice room with a view over the lake and a double bed. However, the bed, while comfortable to the exhausted traveller, soon revealed a hard and uncomfortable side. Two single pre-WWII futon mattresses had been placed onto a slat bed and covered with a sheet. Amber, never one for getting up in the morning, asked David the time. When he replied that it was 7:50 she exclaimed "YES!" David was puzzled as to her enthusiasm for the morning and asked why. Amber responded,"I get to get out of this bed!" and leapt up onto the stone floor.
Gemma claims she was even more unfortunate. Her room faced the street. She had a single bed that seemed delightfully soft, however when she lay down it sloped rather dangerously to one side, so much so that she had to hold onto the side to keep from rolling off. To add insult to injury, every time a car went past outside, the windows would rattle and the wooden bed head would vibrate. There were no restful sleeps here. No one looked forward to returning to the house. If you are ever traveling to this area, let us know and we will inform you where not to stay.
Fortunately, the day itself was fantastic. We started in Bellagio, not far from where we were staying and it was just delightful. There are little cafes and shops along the shore line, then stone staircases lead up to arcades above. There is something very relaxing about this part of the world. There are no tour groups or coaches here; there does not appear to be anyone on a schedule. No train station. Just boats and casual holiday makers like us. We all would definitely like to come back here.
We purchased an all day central lake pass and headed off to the village of Lenno, home to the Villa Balbionella and excellent markets on Tuesdays. The villa is fairly famous as it has been used for the filming of Casino Royale and Star Wars, Episode II. It was spectacular. On Tuesdays you can also walk from the village through the villa grounds to the villa itself. It is a bit of a hike but we really enjoyed it, apart from climbing a steep pinch, turning a corner and seeing an even worse pinch ahead of us. Amber was not amused and was 'pooped.' The gardens are extremely manicured, some of the best that we have seen. David is not envious of the gardeners that is for sure. Amber made out with two of the stone soldiers (see photo).
Next came the village of Veranna, a little north of Bellagio, and a very traditional Italian fishing town. The walk from the wharf along the edge of the lake into Veranna is beautiful. It has been landscaped with gardens and chairs, and there are gelaterias and cafes and people everywhere. We found a wifi spot, had drinks and cakes and watched the sun setting over the lake.
Returning to Bellagio, there was a little more wandering and window shopping before stopping in the 'Far Out' restaurant for some bruschetta, zuppa di vedura, and courgette tegliatalle.