Now when it rains, it can be dreary, Not on Lake Como. I can’t imagine a more beautiful setting than the impressive mountains and lakes of Como in Italy. Magic at its best. We found ourselves in rapture of the natural beauty set against the foothills of the Alps. The lake is shaped like an upside down Y. You gaze into the ancient villages, villas, attractive homes and gardens along the way to Bellagio. Everything you read about the northern lakes of Italy is true – serene, magnificent, inspiring and beautiful. Perhaps even a glimpse into George Clooney’s mansion.
It’s a good 2 hour ride to visit some of the towns and unfortunately time ran out for us to see Varenna. Starting up on deck in sunshine, we ended up downstairs with dripping leaks from the roof when the thunder and rain hit. Cosy, coffee and strangers aboard.
Lake Como is a place I would return to because it’s enchanting and wondrous. Apart from the scenic vistas, we enjoyed a terrific pizza with salad at The Ox bar and grill, lured in by a handsome waiter who offered us champagne on arrival and finished with a free limoncello and melon cream. YUM!!
Now I really thought I had seen beauty, but arriving in Venice, well, my senses were overloaded. Charm, mystery and intense beauty lies in the mirror images of the gondolas and boats that stream pass on the waters. Have you visited Venice? Have you been lost even with a map? This sparkling and timeless landscape captivated Bill and me. Venice and its lagoon are UNESCO World Heritage listed and the whole city is an extraordinary architectural masterpiece. Romance is in the air.
We decided to walk to St Mark’s Square from the bus station. 45 minutes but if you stroll leisurely and look at shop windows like I do, then add another hour onto this journey. All the way there was magic and mystery. Dead ends. Narrow streets with washing flapping in the breeze. Black and white striped men with their proud boats. A maritime vista, but so different to peaceful lake Como.
There are vaporettos, water taxis, ferry boats, commercial boats, private vessels, speed boats. There are families pushing prams, children chasing pigeons, guides signalling their tourists, lovers hand in hand, groups of friends, travellers from all over the globe. Alas, we didn’t meet anyone from Queensland – yes to Midura, New York, California, UK, Dublin, Melbourne and a couple of waiters who catch a bus every day to work in a restaurant for 10 hour shifts 6 days a week.
The Doges palace – well, I haven’t the time to tell you about this beautiful treasure and its art work and history. Serenaded St Mark’s Square makes your heart beat faster. So many people going in all directions. Bill found a quiet place on a step to read and fall asleep. I rummaged around looking at Murano glass and masks, handbags and stationery. After a long, full day, my legs were aching and I knew that we had to say goodbye to Venice, the Grand Canal, the basilica, the bridges, the Campos and Piazzas.
Ditch the map, buy a beer ( Riegele) and catch that overcrowded bus back to our beautiful Airbnb room.
Here are some precious memories, mostly in colour. Farewell to beautiful Venezia, the most unique city in the world.