Thursday, September 15, 2016

Visiting the other Bellagio

This weekend it was time to visit the other Bellagio.  You know…the one that’s not in Las Vegas; but the one that’s in Italy on Lake Como.

Instead of taking the train, I decided that I would drive this time.  Let me say that there are pros and cons to driving. 

The pros include being able to drive around the lake and staying in a little AirBnB outside of the tourist area.  The cons include having to drive on narrow roads that are very winding and not being able to find parking in the city.  

Actually, that is not true. You could find parking if you park like an Italian.  How they do it is they pull into an impossibly tight spot and then back up and gently push the car behind them to make room. The Canadian in me could not pull this off. Purposely backing into someone's car and pushing it, just did not work with me.  So instead, I had to park far away and walk into the heart of the village.

Sleeping in an old convent

Rather than staying in a hotel, I decided I wanted to live like a local so I rented a place via AirBnB called L’appartamento Gloria (see listing here .  It was located just up the hill from Bellagio (all of Bellagio is up a hill) and used to be a convent in the old days.

It was super cute and the little village it was in was ancient and all made out of stone.  There were few roads big enough for cars.  Instead, the village was made up of narrow pathways.

I admit there wasn’t much for eating out in the area – but that’s what you get when you want to live like a local, but there was a little bakery, grocery store, a pizza place and a fancy restaurant about five minutes away.  These worked for me as I was only there for three days. 

If you are looking for 5-star fare, then you would need to drive down the hill to Bellagio, where you would have lots of places to choose from.

Bellagio is as cute as the photos

The Bellagio in Vegas is famous for its dancing fountains and posh interiors.  You won’t find any dancing fountains in the Italian version.  But you won’t be disappointed.  The village isn’t big, but it’s jam-packed with cuteness. 

There are pastel-coloured buildings that line the lake, steep narrow staircases that take you up the hill into the shopping and restaurants, tiny cafes where you can relax while people watching and little bakeries, butcher shops and wine shops. 

It’s a maze of wonder.  And because of its close-knit quarters, evening strolls would be romantic – which could be why so many people honeymoon there.  The pace is slower than Rome and Milan.  And when the moon is out and you’re sipping coffee under the stars at a sidewalk cafĂ©, it’s easy to forget the rest of the world exists.

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