The beginning of our second week in Europe, found us crossing from Switzerland into Italy. We traveled by bus once again through the Swiss Alps into the Italian speaking region of Switzerland and then finally into northern Italy itself. It was an absolutely gorgeous drive. We got pretty lucky in the scenery department as we drove through each country. Makes me wish I could drive though scenery like that every day.
Once we got into Italy we has just a short drive until we reached Como. Now I will say that once we got into Como proper, the drive took a cringe-worthy turn. The streets in Como are incredibly narrow and were clearly NOT meant for huge touristy charter buses to drive through. I swear we cringed about 100 times as drove along the winding roads that make up this cute little town that George Clooney has decided to call home.
Eventually we made it to our destination, which was a dock where a boat was waiting to take us across the lake to Bellagio. Here was our view of the lake on the short trip from Como to Bellagio.
Once we got into Bellagio we headed straight for a private lunch. We got to sit outside and enjoy the lovely Italian heat (which actually wasn't terrible, there was a nice breeze coming off of the lake) and some absolutely gorgeous views of the lake.
After lunch we had about 2 hours to wander the town. We had the best time strolling through the stoned streets of the town. We wandered through various stores, including a store that sold the famous Bellagio silk scarfs. I bought one for my best friend, my mom and myself. Then we just explored the town and I snapped away like a true tourist and got some pretty great shots of the town itself.
Right before we had to be back at the boat dock we grabbed our first of MANY cones/cups of gelato. I had the hazelnut flavored for my first taste and it did not disappoint!
We then boarded our boat for what we found out was a private hour and half tour around the lake itself. It was probably one of then best parts of the whole trip. We had so much fun enjoying the scenery and snapping pictures of the group and each other. But I'll let the pictures do the talking.
We sailed by this famous villa, Villa del Balbianello, which had been featured in several Hollywood films including Casino Royale and Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. We sailed by it several times and even saw a wedding going on at the villa. It looked like the picture perfect wedding from afar and I'm sure up close it was just as pretty. The villa is located in Lenno, which is one of the little towns/provinces of Como.
I know at some point we passed the villa that George Clooney purchased and lives at for most of the year. Apparently he's learned quite a bit of Italian and the locals are no longer star struck by him because he's around so often. We couldn't pin point exactly which was his, but I'm still telling people I saw his villa. I 100% see why George loves it so much though. The area is just gorgeous and I was not ready to leave it when our tour was over.
After our delightful afternoon on the boat we were dropped off right at our hotel. We stayed at the Albergo Lenno in Lenno and I have to say, it was probably one of my favorite hotels of the trip. We had the biggest room ever (we each had our own queen sized bed) and our room was right next to the pool. We were given a real key rather than a plastic card too! The hotel staff was amazing, so friendly and accommodating.
This was our private boat!
Once we got to the hotel we threw on our swim suits and headed to the "beach" (I put that in quotations because it was a rocky beach, not a sandy beach, so it wasn't really a beach at all) and took a little big in the lake itself. It was cold but not too cold and there were a bunch of other people partaking in the same activity so we were in good company.
After our little jaunt into the lake we headed back to the hotel to change and then walked down the street from our hotel to have our first Italian meal that was absolutely delicious. And of course more gelato! :)
We had the best afternoon and night on Lake Como. I wish we could have spend another night (heck a whole week) in and around the cute little area of northern Italy but sadly we had to board our bus for the last time and head to the city of love!
Lake Como was my second favorite city of the trip (well third because London will always be my favorite) and I would not hate it one little bit if I went back one day. In fact it would make the perfect honeymoon location! Now I just need to find someone to go on a honeymoon with me! :)
Be sure to come back next week (on Tuesday. It's been a crazy week) because I'll be sharing all about our afternoon in fair Verona!