The Search for Clooney
I was never a HUGE George Clooney fan.. Maybe its because I can’t recall too many of his movies. Maybe he’s a bit too old for me lol (I guessed that he was in his 60’s, but he’s only 56…maybe there’s a chance there. He’s still older than my dad by about a decade though…EWW). And apparently, he recently got married or something?? Whatevs. Last night I watched one of his romantic comedies, ‘Up In The Air,’ and I couldn’t deny that he did have a certain charm about him.
So, when my new friend invited me on one of her trips last minute, I couldn’t say no to visiting Lake Como and some of it’s charming lakeside towns.
A lot of movies have been shot here, and there’s no question as to why. Como is beautiful, serene, and luxurious. Lakesides are dotted with magnificent villas and aesthetic gardens. To name a few – Oceans 12, Star Wars Episode II, and Casino Royale all have scenes at Lake Como.
We were only there for two days, but in those two days, we had some amazing gelato, wine, pasta, wine, pizza, wine, seafood… Did I mention wine? It was such a nice two days, and I got to scope out the area so that Randy and I can go back and spend more time there together.
It was definitely a more romantic location, meaning lots of couples and lots of PDA all over the place. But hey, if I were there with Randy, I’d probably be doing the same thing, right? 😛
We stayed in a town called Lecco, at the bottom right of the lake. If you’ve never seen a map of Lake Como, it resembles an upside down Y-shape. Lecco itself was a beautiful town with a nice city center, lots of shopping, delicious food and beautiful lakeside views. However, our main goal for the weekend was hitting the three most popular villages in the center of Lake Como: Varenna, Bellagio, and Menaggio. I had also wanted to scout out George Clooney’s villa, but it was on the complete opposite side of the lake, so I guess I’ll have to save that for the next time I’m there.
On Saturday, we flew into Milan Bergamo airport from Nuremberg. From Milan, we had to take a bus and train to get to Lecco. It was pretty simple to figure out and everybody was very helpful in explaining to us which way to go. BUT the Italian train system is NOT like the German one. Don’t expect any of your trains to be on time. Except for that one time that it actually was on time, and we missed it.. (of course).
Our first order of business was getting some bomb ass gelato. Then, we hopped back on the train to get to Varenna, and ultimately, Bellagio. ‘THE REAL’ Bellagio, people haha. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock my whole life. I didn’t realize that there was a “Bellagio” in Vegas. I’ve never been there, but I’m about 120% sure that the Bellagio in Italy is better. We walked around, took some beautiful pictures (which obviously don’t do it justice), and had a late dinner. Once we were ready to head back to Lecco, we realized that the trains stopped running at around 10PM…And that we wouldn’t make it to the train station in time to catch the last train. We were essentially slightly intoxicated and stranded in Bellagio, with no uber. #firstworldproblems
The solution? Go to the next place to get another glass of vino, obviously. The waiter somehow found us a shared taxi, with a couple that had ALSO missed the last train. I’m still dumbfounded by the coincidence, because a taxi would have cost us €70 if we hadn’t been able to split with this couple.
On Sunday, we first visited a small village just past Varenna called Bellano, where we visited a beautiful gorge called ‘Orrido di Bellano.’ This natural gorge was formed by glacial melt waters through a process of erosion that lasted 15 million years. Pretty crazy. I would definitely recommend this spot, if you’re already in Varenna.
Afterwards, we had a pizza lunch in Menaggio. We were only there for several hours, but interestingly, Menaggio didn’t impress me as much as I thought it would, for being listed high on the “Top 15 Towns to Visit on Lake Como” list.
The final item on our itinerary before heading back to Lecco for dinner (so that we don’t miss the train again) was to visit Villa Monastero and its gardens in Varenna. It was totally wedding worthy. I’d have my wedding there any day haha. It was unfortunate that we didn’t have more time to visit different villas, but Villa Melzi d’Eril in Bellagio is also on my list for next time!
We went all out on an Italian seafood dinner that night at a place called Mamaioa Bistrot. If you just click on the link to look at the pictures, you will understand. And maybe start craving seafood. Because that’s what just happened to me as I linked it to this post. It was a little pricey, but totally worth it. Their menu was only in Italian, so we had to get major help from the waitress.
As we headed back to the airport Monday morning, I felt that two days (more like 1.5 days) wasn’t nearly enough time in such a charming and peaceful place. Lake Como is in northern Italy, and is a part of the Lake district. Another very famous lake in this district is Lake Garda. I’d love to drive here next time and explore several different lakes. (It’s only about a 7 hour drive from where we live…NOT BAD!)
I’m going to end here before this post becomes insanely long. There aren’t enough pictures I can share.. but if you want to see Lake Como’s true beauty, I guess you’ll just have to experience it for yourself!