Lake Como has been on my radar for a long time, thanks to George Clooney.
I remember looking at pictures of it in US Weekly and thinking "I wish we could all go somewhere like that!". And now that we live here, we can. Talk about a dream. I honestly thought I'd never be able to come to Italy. But I've been obsessed with it my entire life.
First of all, let me tell you that it was not easy to find somewhere to stay. I spent hours and hours researching and looking. Because we have so many people in our family, we have to get two hotel rooms which is EXPENSIVE.
So I started looking at houses and apartments on flipkey, homeaway, etc. And it was near impossible to find somewhere that did not have a minimum of three nights.
Lake Como is ringed with town after town after town (the most famous-and chi chi- being Bellagio, where countless movies have been filmed and where JFK honeymooned) that you access by ferry.
After J got off of work we started the three hour drive to Tremezzo. Construction, traffic, and other Italian shenanigans turned the three hour drive into a five hour drive.
Let me tell you something about driving in Italy. It is not for the faint of heart. There are motorcyles and bikes EVERYWHERE. No streets are labeled. And as for the streets themselves? They are SUPER narrow. GPS is crucial here. And even that fails you sometimes- as it did Friday night when the main road around Lake Como was completely closed. With no warning.
After some high blood pressure, driving the wrong way on a rotary, and a few arguments…we figured it out. And as we were rounding a bend (and at our wit's end), we drove by Villa d'Este and saw this over the lake.
We made it to our home around 11 pm. We were a little grumpy that the first night had become a throwaway, but we all needed to get some rest.
Saturday morning our annoyance evaporated the moment I opened up the doors in our bedroom and saw this.
Our little home had the prettiest doorways and views.
the view out the kitchen window (this photo is priceless):
We headed down to the water and had coffee and breakfast. You pay for the view, but it's okay. It was worth it.
When it was time to catch the ferry we went down the road to Cadennabia to wait. Talk about a beautiful view.
We opted to take the car ferry as opposed to the passenger ferry. It ran more often and we could by a family pass for the entire day (as many rides and towns as we wanted).
We knew we wanted to go to Bellagio first.
Restaurant wise everything is amazing so we just find what we can find.
We wandered the streets for a bit, finding a market (we purchased a wooden kitchen spoon and mortar/pestle) and watching the street performers.
I heard the most English that I've heard in 2 months. I spoke to two nice ladies from Ohio. But we were the only American FAMILY there. Como isn't exactly an affordable trip from the US. So needless to say, it's a couples destination for the most part.
My favorite part of Bellagio was the stairs. They are everywhere. Between shops and homes all up and down the water.
And yes. Five year olds can even have time outs on these beautiful steps.
You wonder how Italians can eat so much pasta and gelato and drink so much wine? It's called stairs. There are a million to climb to get anywhere. Also? You walk everywhere here.
And walk we did.
All the way to Villa Melzi. Which was possibly the most beautiful place I've ever seen in my 36 years.
I can't imagine how much work goes into maintaining the gardens. They were immaculate.
We headed to a waterfront lunch.
Another interesting thing is that the girls have all learned how to delicately-ish? drink their water out of wine glasses here. There are no kids cups.No plastic or paper.
And water is all you order here (well besides wine,obviously). You can choose from acqua frizzante (bubbles) or naturale (still).
The next part is a bit of a blur. Let's just say that we got a tad confused about which ferry to get on. WHY IS ITALY SO CONFUSING.
We rode around and around and went from town to town to town and none of them were our town. I thought Mr. Navigation was going to lose it.
But we figured it out. And we got home and everyone took a nap.
We had a late Italian dinner and I have to tell you that it was the best pizza we've had since we've been here. And that is saying A LOT. If you ever end up in Tremezzo you must eat at Pizzeria Balognett. Y'all. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
It is in a little house on the hillside.Surrounded by sheep. And the owners grow all their own food there. SO GOOD.
My only tip- get there earlier than we did. We weren't able to score an
outside table but they did have a table large enough inside.
It was a perfect way to end a wonderful trip!