Helen in Europe travel blog

Bellaggio - I think!

Looking out from the castle of Vezio at Varenna

bye bye Bellagio

sunset between Bellagio and Varenna; it was a long day

Today was a huge day with ferry rides aplenty amongst some of the most gorgeous lakes and postcard views in the world. On my travel wishlist was always Varenna - I'll admit this was from all those enticing tourist websites. We got to do this along with the very touristy but delightful Bellagio and also Cadenabbia. Each of these were linked by ferry. At Cadenabbia we walked along to Tremezzina to the highly recommended Villa Carlotta which included a a rather large garden in addition to the Villa itself which was replete with Neoclassical sculptures and a rather strange exhibition by contemporary artist Giovanni Frangi; I can't quite believe he was chosen for the Venice Biennale in 2004! Of course we giggled at the wonderfully mis-translated labels asking 'How do yuo stand in relation to it' and 'Why are not canvas hanging from the wall?' Praise goes to Joe who drove up the narrow hairpin bends towards our first visit: Vezio Castle, in Varenna. The views were like nothing we'd seen before, really pristine. Like many of these European castles, origins are unclear with Vezio probably being of Roman origin as there are Roman families with this name too. It is written that the castle would have been used by the people of Varenna to seek refuge against attacks from Como which were a usual occurrence in the middle ages. It is also an area used for training falcons and we did see one up in the air creating an amazing silhouette with the sky. After heaps of ferry rides, 12.2 kms of walking, 19,358 steps and 43 floors (thanks, Iphone app Health), we arrived home around 9pm, just in time to go out to dinner. Yes, that's the average time many Italians eat out; in fact most restaurants don't even open until 7.30pm! Sarah and Joe have no trouble at all with this, but it's something I'll need to get used to! Once again, we went to a great restaurant but struggled with the Italian language. We'll have to work on those terms!

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