Adventures In Italy – Day 3

<<On a side note – it is truly taking me FOREVER to upload and edit photos, so I am going to do a recap post with highlight photos and when I get back in the states and am using a more powerful machine, I will do larger photo posts>>

Oh the sweet feeling of sleep. We crashed about 8:30 last night … barely hanging on until then and we both took a sleeping pill to try to power through the night and then be over any sort of jet lag. Jeremy woke up at 3am … wide awake. He took a bunch of melatonin and crashed again. I woke up at 6:30 and watched the sun rise over the lake while Jeremy continued to snooze away. It was finally calm out, so I headed to the balcony and took some photos of the moon still over the hills and the sun rising. It was quiet and absolutely gorgeous.

Once we got going, we took the shuttle into town and headed to a café to get a small breakfast and latte. We ended up at Barre Café Rossi where we had a delicious cappuccino and latte macchiato and a chocolate croissant and lemon tarte. We ran into another couple who is staying at the same hotel as us and learned the just got engaged this morning! We sadly did not get their names, but they were from Northern Ireland and had the. best. accents.

From there we tried to find a business that offered cooking classes for an afternoon. On our way there, we were given a recommendation for a different location that does the same thing (this time from a couple from Massachusetts). So we emailed the other place, trying to figure out how to get reservations to do something fun like that. The cooking class business within Bellagio was still closed, so we were unable to get information on them. We then decided to get a ferry ticket to Verenna to walk the town for the afternoon there.

We had a little time to kill until the ferry came, so we started walking around in the less touristy places on the small Bellagio streets. We both were ready for another cappuccino, so we headed into Art in Flower, where we met Sergio. He was a camera buff for the old school film cameras and slides. His English was pretty broken, the locals were in there and we LOVED it. He was such a lively man and sat and chatted with us for some time. And of course I made him pose!

And here are some photos of our wanderings around Bellagio.

The ferry ride to Verenna was beautiful and made us realized that tomorrow we will take a ferry tour of the lake. You get such a different perspective from the water and it was so fun.

We knew there was a castle in Verenna that we wanted to walk to and tour around. It was up the hill, a decent hike and the book we had said it can be slightly steep. So off we set, finding the correct path up. Oh my gosh – if it was rainy or wet, there is NO way you could walk this thing! It was rock cobblestone, super steep and no handholds of any kind. About 25 minutes later we finally arrived at Castello Di Vezio. The best part of this place … you arrive, you buy tickets at a small café with a full bar. After exerting that much effort to get up that hill, we decided a glass of prosecco was in order to cool down. It was beautiful out and it was so relaxing to just be.

Castello Di Vezio was really neat. We started with Artu, the Eurasian eagle owl. He was huge – it is difficult to do his size justice, I would guess he is about a foot and a half tall. It was so strange to see and owl this size.

We headed into the castle grounds at this point. There was a unique art exhibit here  where “ghosts” were placed all over the castle grounds. This is “white plaster sculptures that are made every year during the summer. This is all thanks to tourist who volunteer to pose after being covered in guaze and plaster, where they have to stay still for about an hour. The resulting sculptures are then peeled off them and put on display throughout the Castle grounds until the winter snowfall destroys them.” Enjoy all the random photos of them. but they were a really cool part of the experience.

We walked up to the tower, a small, steep and narrow staircase that went up and up with a suit of armor posed at the bottom. The views at the top were incredible – we had a full view of Lake Como in all directions.

The vegetation in this region is very unique. On the northern side you see chestnut, hazel, pine, and larch trees. On the lake side, you get a milder climate vegetation. We got to see some olive groves growing here.

We climbed down into the basement of the castle where you see an “…outpost of the Cadorna line of defence (1914-1918), which would have been used to defend against a potential invasion attempt by the Germans coming from the Menaggio basin.” It was crazy to see the small window below where guns would be placed to defend the territory. Such rich history.

After touring the castle, Jeremy decided it was a good idea to grab a beer for the hike down. My knees and I disagreed and we slowly headed down the crazy steep rock path.

We were hungry after all the hiking and stopped at Nilus Bar for a late lunch. It had amazing views of the lake. From there we continued to walk around where we found the duomo where a stunning young lady was getting married. The bells of the church tower rang and rang and rang – it was wonderful to listen to. We continued to meander until we hit the waterfront and we realized there was a ferry heading to Bellagio that just pulled up.

Some views from the ferry back to Bellagio.

Once back in Bellagio, we had a little time to kill, so we headed to Lorenzo’s wine shop to grab a bottle of wine for the night. We decided since we were staying in such a lovely place, we would head in for the evening and enjoy the views versus going out. And this time I was able to get Lorenzo’s photo.

Since we still had more time to kill, we though it would be fun to grab a drink somewhere and found B Food and Wine, where their tables extended into this cute little alley way and the jazz music set the mood. It was a happy place for me – the setting was perfect and we enjoyed some time off our feet.

We caught the shuttle back to the hotel, watched the sun set from our terrace, checked in on our kids and the family and called it a night. We are so looking forward to tomorrow!