Monday, April 20, 2009

Como, Italy for Easter Weekend 2009

Duomo, Como, Italy

So some of you got a sneak peak already of some of the shots of Como, Italy from Easter weekend as I posted too soon on my way out the door today to see the Sechseläuten, so instead of posting later this week - without further ado - Como, Italy! Tomorrow afternoon- Sechseläuten Review (with video!).

Como, Italy is about an hour south from Bellinzona, in Italy obviously and no longer in Switzerland, like Bellinzona. We took the train directly, and boy was it busy! This train was operated by Cisalpino railways instead of the Swiss railways, and you sure could tell. It was impossible to get our bags overhead and there were a million people screaming and pushing. Give me Swiss trains any day. So it was a God send to arrive in Como and just chill out.

Strolling on the promenade - Val, this purple tree made me think of you! ;)

We stayed on the waterfront at the Hotel Metropole Suisse, which I booked for what I now know in hindsight was a sweet deal on Orbitz ($150 US per night - great hotel, reception can be gruff buy they have excellent advice!).
We really enjoyed just walking around Como and taking in the sights. On the first night we pretty much just stuck to the promenade, having a delicious antipasto plate right on the water (I also tried to be a local and tried a Campari bitter - never again...), and dinner at an EXCELLENT times one million restaurant recommended by the reception at the hotel called Ristorante Sociale. Go there. It is inexpensive, delicious trattoria style food. I wanted to eat there the next night, too, but Jace refused. :(

The next day it was all about exploring Como and Lago di Como, Lake Como - but you have to start the day off right, so we found a cute little pasticceria (bakery) and ordered breakfast. I suppose our Italian was not too bad, or whatever it was that we said, because we did get what we ordered - one cream croissant, one cream donut, a cappuccino and a hot chocolate... the only problem was that we got that and then some - that's right, an extra cappuccina and an extra chocolate croissant.

Not being one to let things go to waste, I took care of the confusion... and ate and drank them all. (Ahh, so that's where you love handles came from...hello there little ones... I love you, too. ;)

The Pasticceria was right across from a great little church, too. Lovely spot. I recommend it. Just buy your breakfast out the counter and don't do table service, unless you are looking for a few extra kilos!

We then proceeded to walk EVERYWHERE in Como - to the lake, around the lake, around the streets, to the city walls, to the markets... you name it. It is a very walkable city.

We walked down this area...

then we walked around to the west side of the city on the promenade...

... all the way to the museum in Villa Olmo which had a great exhibit on at the moment but we skipped it to walk some more and go on a boat ride in the afternoon. I mean, who can resist this lake?!

Align Center
Again, we asked reception for some tips and the guy said that Bellagio was simply the best so we took a fast speed (not the slow boat) there and arrived within the hour. It was awesome... as was Bellagio. I had THE BEST GELATO OF MY LIFE at the gelato stand in the yellow building below. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Stop and eat this gelato. YUM!

It is on the main promenade, you cannot miss it, opposite all the ferries. Then of course, it is time for a walk... especially if you had three scoops! (Shame on meeee!)

The view from the walk along the lake in Bellagio was heaven. All the tulips were in bloom.

After we covered the water, we walked up the stone staircases and down the stone staircases, exploring the tiny town of Bellagio. There are hundreds of tiny shops and restaurants. I would have liked to spend longer just lazing about here.

In the end though, you can see everything in an afternoon as we did. We were there from 2 pm - 7 pm and we spent most of that time drinking beers under the wisteria with a great view of the lake at the Hotel Florence bar.
That evening we went out for dinner and had Florentine steaks... I think we are addicted from our anniversary trip to Florence (did not blog about that, so you did not miss it if you are wondering... sorry!). The next morning, Monday, we just lazed about (perhaps still lulled by the steaks?), and as Jace said 'took a long walk down a short pier...' or something like that... meaning we stolled down this:

At the end of the pier, there are a few locks of love, reminiscent of the Milvio Bridge of Love in Rome. So if you go, take a lock, write your names on it, and solidify you love on the bridge man.

...just don't forget to take in the view!

We left after a pizza lunch - we are obsessed with pizza - and let's face it - when you are in Italy, you will be eating Italian whether you like it or not! Then we left on the train around 15:00, arriving back just before 19:00... Make sure you make time for Ticino when you are in Switzerland. I think you will agree that it is a magical and relaxing place!
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Expat Traveler said...

I must say, Lake Como looks so amazing as usual. I do hope to visit one day... sigh... :)

Habebi said...

As people say around here puuuurrrdy.

Susan May said...

I love Bellagio, and have stayed in Varenna several times - it is so beautiful. Great photos, as always.

The Antiques Diva™ said...

I love love love Bellagio... in fact, a great time to go to Como is in the fall when the leaves are changing colors and it's a little damp and there are no tourists on the roads!
Do tell me you bought atleast 1 silk scarf while you were there!?!?! If not, you have to go back to complete the como experience!

Jessica said...

Como... in the fall... silk scarf... I will have to go back indeed! :)

Tanya said...

Makes me want to go there right now. Lovely pics. Sorry I missed the zuriblogger get together - hope it was fun.


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