Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 678: Italia - Umbria, Lago di Garda, Lago di Como & Visits with Friends in Empoli and Coccaglio
By girasoli from Hawaii, Spring 2005
Page 19 of 24: Tuesday - LONG Walk in Bellagio
I woke up to clear blue skies and decided it would be a wonderful day to do the advertised "two hour" walk around the suburbs of Bellagio. Before starting the walk, I went out to get an espresso and brioche for breakfast. I also stopped in the little alimentari (grocery shop) which sold wonderful cheeses, basic supplies like pasta, cookies, milk, yogurt, water, etc. and bought some delicious pecorino cheese and some coconut yogurt. I then headed out for my walk.
I started by heading towards Pescallo, a beautiful little fishing village that I visited last year. To get there, you climb about 50 steps and then walk down about 100 more steps. The views were amazing! I sat there for about an hour taking in the beauty and eating my yogurt and cheese. After my stop, I continued on to Via Volta. Because the supermercato was on this street and it appeared to be the midway point on the walk, I decided to split the walk in half, stop at the store to buy some groceries and head back to my apartment to put the groceries in the refrigerator and then continue the walk. The road was pretty dangerous to walk on part of the way to Via Volta with a very narrow shoulder and cars speeding by.
After shopping for food, I checked out the map and decided to take the little side streets to get back to my apartment. BAD IDEA! I ended up walking up and down hills, steps, down narrow paths ended up being at least 30 extra minutes to get back to the main road which was probably five minutes in length to get to my apartment. The plus was that I saw sights most do not get to see. Unfortuntately, because I was carrying a big bottle of water and two bags of groceries and was concentrating on finding my way back to the main road, I did not take any pictures. At the time, I thought that perhaps I would return to some of the interesting spots I explored while lost but never did.
Once I finally got back to my apartment, I put my groceries away, ate some yogurt, fruit, and cheese for lunch, and then headed back out to continue the walk. I decided to start from the town of Bellagio and head towards Loppia and San Giovanni instead of retracing my steps back to Via Volta. I again ended up on a dangerous road that did not excite me too much for part of the way (the road is part of the walk). I made it to Loppia and saw the little restaurant that I had read about. Unfortunately, I did not think through my walk in advance and because I already ate lunch I missed out on eating at this restaurant. It would have been a perfect place to stop for lunch but I was not about to take this walk again at night on the dangerous road and the only other way there was through the Villa Melzi grounds which would be closed or by taxi. Besides the restaurant, there was not much more to see in Loppia.
I continued on towards San Giovanni. Again, the walking tour took me back for a short time on a dangerous stretch of road. I saw a beautiful church and a very interesting orange building (a Mausoleum) and then finally reached San Giovanni. Again, I wondered why this was a part of a walk around the suburbs? The church was very beautiful but the town was sparse and there was nothing really to see or do except to go to the free beach nearby.
I headed back towards Bellagio and decided to walk through the Villa Melzi grounds instead of walking back on the road which was an option on the walk. The Villa has entrances both at the edge of Loppia and also at the edge of Bellagio. The Villa itself was closed but the grounds were beautiful. There were many different types of plants including banana plants and taro leaves and even a grass hut! I started my two hour walk at 10:30 am and finished it at 4:30 pm. Granted, I stopped for an hour to admire the beauty in Pescallo and stopped for about 15 minutes at a grocery store, and took a little side tour when lost, but I still would not advertise the walk as a "two hour" walk unless you did it more of as a "run".
Since today was my day to walk around Bellagio, I decided to see ALL of Bellagio and so I continued on past the town to the point called Punto Spartivento which means the point at which the northern wind divides Como and Lecco. From the point, there is a wonderful view of Varenna and also the little town of Fiumelatte (the river of milk) where there is a river which is the shortest in Italy. Because of the heat and the extremely low water levels this summer, the river was dry or if there was a river, it was only a small stream. What was seen instead from this point was a mark on the side of the mountain where the river was supposed to be.
At this point my little toes were pretty sore and I decided to head back to my apartment for a shower and also to watch my favorite telefilm show. For dinner, I decided to go back to the same restaurant (Antico Pozzo) for dinner to have a pizza since they looked pretty delicious the night before, another mistake! The pizza was horrible! The absolute worse I have ever had in Italy and probably even in the US! I didn't even eat a quarter of it. I ordered a pizza with bufala mozarella and fresh tomatoes. The dough was light yellow in color and hardly cooked. On top was some mozzarella cheese again that was hardly cooked and on top of that was I think 3 cherry tomatoes in all cut up. It was a very disappointing dinner.
I decided to stop to get a gelato on my way back to my room and ate some food that I had bought at the grocery store along with my gelato for dinner. Although my dinner was not very memorable, I enjoyed exploring Bellagio and the suburbs nearby.
photo - view in Pescallo
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