Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lake Como, the playground of the wealthy

A glimpse of our room and our view from the balcony.

As the sun rose this morning.  It was 8 am but it took a while to rise above the mountain.

Where the Cinque Terre was established by the peasant farmers trying to eke out an existence over the centuries in extraordinarily beautiful surroundings, Lake Como seems to have developed as a playground for the wealthy in beautiful surroundings.  
The houses and villas with spectacular gardens seems to be the norm.  Even today, much of it the area must be for the more affluent.  
Apparently George Clooney owns one of the residences in Bellagio.
We hopped on the ferry this morning that departed from across the road and headed first to Bellagio.
The view back toward our hotel.  It is the smaller one with the blue crane behind it.

Bellagio is a very grand town with some beautiful hotels and shops.

It still has some narrow street with steps! Perhaps not quite as narrow as some streets we have seen.

We strolled through some gardens, just to give Russell some gardening inspiration.

Next it was onto a wander through one of the Villas (the garden only of Villa Melzi.  It is still privately owned so not through the Villa itself.  The gardens are like a Botanical gardens.  Plenty of gardeners are employed here.

The Villa are built in quite a plain fashion deliberately not to detract from the natural beauty of the lake area.

As we left Bellagio, we commented that this place below might be George's.

Next stop was Mennagio, just a short ferry ride across the water.  Some more spectacular residences.

From there, it was back on the ferry to Varenna.  Some of the ferries are just for passengers, others for vehicles as well, even buses, although it was a tight fit for this one.

Varenna is similar but different.  Mountain ranges in the background and mass development on the water.

Also more steps!

Some typical runabouts.

Back across the water, to Cadenabbia.  Below is Villa Carlotta, which we will visit tomorrow.  It is the number 1 visited place in Lake Como.

A neighbouring hotel in Cadenabbia.  Notice the hedge work in the foreground.  

Good night from Lake Como.

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