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martedì 22 luglio 2014

Quel ramo del lago di Como (Bellagio for you)

"Quel ramo del lago di Como, che volge a mezzogiorno, tra due catene non interrotte di monti, tutto a seni e a golfi, a seconda dello sporgere e del rientrare di quelli, vien, quasi a un tratto, a ristringersi, e a prender corso e figura di fiume, tra un promontorio a destra, e un’ampia costiera dall’altra parte... this is the opening of one of the great classics of Italian literature "I Promessi Sposi" (The betrothed) by Alessandro Manzoni and it's the description of what in late years has become a trendy and exclusive destination in the North of Italy. Probably all of you out there are aware of the fact that a considerable part of this success is due to the fact that Hollywood star George Clooney bought a house in this area and came to live here for some time. Since then this place has become of the most visited areas in Italy, where Hollywood actors and jet set personalities come to spend some vacation or even to get married (last Emily Blunt and John Krasinski). I went there many times during the years but it had been a long time since I last went so I decided to go again this year to the most renowned and probably lovely place on the lake i.e. Bellagio. Most of you are aware that the beauty of this place has attracted many people and also inspired one of the newest (it's been there for a few years actually) hotels in Las Vegas called in fact Bellagio. It's a small town on the banks of the lake like many others but it has a definite fascination and a very romatic atmosphere that makes it almost unique. I mostly prefer the seaside and am not a fan of lakes, however I find lake Como a very romantic spot and I would definitely suggest it for a trip or a nice weekend. Mind you the best time when to go is spring or fall. Winter can be a little depressing although with its own fascination. Summer can become hell especially in the weekends. I went in early March and the weather was nice enough to make it really enjoyable. Obviously being a very refined destination there are many beautiful hotels and secluded places but also smaller pretty ones in the middle of the town which are also quite affordable. I stayed in Hotel Bellagio, very pretty with rooms tastefully decorated and a very nice view on the lake. As far as restaurants are concerned I went to a trattoria a little hidden on one of the many steps which connect the lakeside to the upper part of the town of which unfortunately I don't remember the name. I always choose trattorias because I prefer homelike food and egenuine ingredients although sometimes many high levels restaurants in Italy also call themselves trattoria. However in this particular one the food was good but not exceptional, although the atmosphere was very home like and there were quite a few locals dining there. The specialties in that area are mostly lake fish, but also cheeses and various types of meats. Not much luck for vegetarians who can always get by somehow though (if I managed to survive in Namibia I can get by everywhere in the world). What else? Not too much really. These places are made for walking around , sit with your partner by the lake and enjoy the sunset, and do some more of that romantic stuff. If you want to change you can also take a little ferry with or without your car and go to Varenna on the other side which is also very pretty although not as nice as Bellagio. Well then I advised you: when you are feeling romantic and you're in this part of the world do enjoy a day or two in Lake Como. You won't regret it, as also confirmed Alessandro Manzoni at the end of its masterpiece when Renzo and Lucia the engaged to be married couple, finally after years of troubles and difficulties get married in their little village on the side of the lake and things start to get better for them. Work gets better, children come and they live happily everafter although learning that troubles come no matter what and only faith in God makes them better and renders them useful in order to learn to have a better life. And so I also will conclude: "Questa conclusione, benché trovata da povera gente, c'è parsa così giusta, che abbiam pensato di metterla qui, come il sugo di tutta la storia. La quale, se non v'è dispiaciuta affatto, vogliatene bene a chi l'ha scritta, e anche un pochino a chi l'ha raccomodata. Ma se in vece fossimo riusciti ad annoiarvi, credete che non s'è fatto apposta.". Basically if you enjoyed the story, try to like a little who's written it and also who adapted it. If instead you got bored because of it, please know that it was not at all the intention. Ciao for now folks!