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 21 of 24: Villa del Balbianello and Tremezzo
Villa del Balbianello
I woke up to clear blue skies and a wonderful day. My tour to Villa del Balbianello was to depart at 10:30. I stopped at this beautiful bar down by the water that I had stopped at the day before. The lady behind the bar remembered me. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of the bar. I ordered my espresso macchiato and had a crema brioche. I told her that this was the best coffee I had had in all of Italy on this trip (which was true). She was so happy and two older men who appeared to be regulars sitting at a little table nearby congratulated her.
Once everyone in the group for the tour was at the dock (a young couple from Toronto, an older couple from San Francisco, six people from England and me) we followed the tour guide, a woman from England wearing a black and white striped shirt (which she had worn the three days I had seen her in Bellagio), to the little dock, and then boarded the little boat.
The boat had an open roof and very clean glass windows for good views. There were many wonderful opportunities to take pictures from the boat. The views were spectacular on the way over. We passed by Cadenabbia, Tremezzo, Lenno, and then arrived at the villa. She told us some history and interesting tidbits about various buildings as we traveled to the villa.
Another woman was there to meet us to take us on a private tour inside the villa. She told us about the four owners (I believe it was four) and then we walked through many intereting rooms. Unfortunately pictures were not allowed inside the villa. After the tour, we had 30 minutes to tour the gardens on our own and then met the boat for the ride back. On the way back, we went by San Giovanni, Loppia, and the Villa Melzi (the places I had walked to on Tuesday).
When we arrived back in Bellagio, I stopped to get a couple of stamps at the Poste Italiane. I decided to have a pizza for lunch at this little restaurant right by the water. While waiting for my pizza, I turned my camera back on to have a look at all of the pictures I just took. When I turned my camera on, the first thing I saw was a message saying corrupted data! I pushed the little arrow to see the next picture and the only picture on the camera was an old picture of Katia, Guido, and I at Lucca's restaurant. I was so upset thinking that I had just lost all of the pictures of my visit to the villa! I ate my pizza quickly which was quite delicious and then waited 15 minutes for the bill. Usually it would not bother me to wait, but I was anxious to see if there was some way to retrieve my data.
After the bill finally came, I hurried back to my apartment to try to see what would happen when I tried to copy the card onto a CD with the CD burner I took with me. It appeared that the data was all there when copying the pictures. After the CD was complete, I put the card back into my camera and all the pictures appeared except for the last one. When at the Villa, I remembered taking out the card before the camera completely turned off and I also remembered a funny noise. So, lesson learned! I was so thankful that all but one of my pictures were still there!
Because the day was so beautiful, I decided to take a boat somewhere close by for the afteroon. Because I have never visited Tremezzo and Cadenabbia, I decided to go there. I took the ferry to Tremezzo. There was not much to visit as far as shops go but the walk was beautiful. There is a great park in Tremezzo right on the water and a beautiful church.
When I reached what appeared to be the end of the town, I turned around, retraced my steps and then headed towards Cadenabbia. I passed the famous Villa Carlotta but decided to pass on visiting the grounds/villa. When I arrived in Cadenabbia, the ferry was scheduled to arrive in about 10 minutes. I bought a ticket and then walked a little farther into Cadenabbia realizing there really was not much to see other than some big hotels on the water.
I caught the ferry back to Bellagio and then headed back to Pescallo to take a few more pictures. I was hoping to get a nice picture to blow up and hang on my wall as the view there was so beautiful. In the little town of Pescallo, I met a wonderful little family (grandparents, mother, two little children) hanging out right outside of their house. We talked for a while. The grandmother asked where I was staying and then told me to wait a minute. She ran inside and came back outside a few minutes later with a brochure of another hotel that had just been renovated that was run by friends of hers.
That night, I ate at Ristorante Bilacus. I had a wonderful table with a nice view and ordered a very delicious ravioli dish. Because I had a gelato a couple of hours earlier, unfortunately I was too full to eat more than a pasta dish. There was a trail of ants marching along the railing by my table as I ate. One somehow ended up on my arm and bit me. Another lady was freaking out as the ants arrived near her table. I saw the six people from England that were on the tour to the villa with me eating at two nearby tables and earlier in the afternoon after returning from Tremezzo/Cadenabbia, I ran into the other two couples on the tour. Small world! Wonderful dinner at Ristorante Bilacus!
photo - Villa del Balbianello
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