02.05.2014 - 02.05.2014 15 °C
The day dawned a bit wetter & wilder than anticipated (another thunderstorm woke me in the middle of the night) but it was not enough to thwart our plans for a trip around Lake Como to Bellagio. After a big hotel breakfast to fuel our day, we umbrellaed our way down to the embarcadero to board the ferry for our 2 hour cruise (shades of Gilligan's Island: 'The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed...')! Actually it was a very pleasant journey, stopping at several unbelievably picturesque towns along the lake, with the imposing Italian/Swiss Alps looming large above them all.
The many expensive Italianate (what else?) mansions dotting the shore confirmed that there's a lot of serious money in this part of the world.
We had a jolly time onboard, with a group of Italian students being amazed that Australians spoke Inglese. Many mentions of 'Kangaroo'. By the time we approached Bellagio, the weather was starting to clear so after disembarking we grabbed some lunch at the chic Princess Restaurant, adorned with photos of Audrey Hepburn a la Breakfast at Tiffany's (suspect the proprietors were of the 'cheerful' persuasion!).
We then engaged in a post-prandial meander up and down the winding alleyways of this beautiful town.
Naturally this involved shopping, and with all the charming little shops dotting the landscape, the ladies were spoilt for choice. Lucia was on the lookout for a small leather wallet and here's a photo of B teaching her the ropes of negotiation with the (aptly named) negozianti (shopkeepers).
She landed her prize as did Olivia who bought a pair of sparkly 'Italian flag' earrings to go with her recently pierced ears. Not to be outdone, B spied a nice handbag (no. 3) which made it back onto the boat to Como. As for me, I settled for a gelato ( I will leave my shopping to Florence and Rome I think).
We had planned to take the fast boat (hydrofoil) back but as the skies continued to clear into a lovely late afternoon we decided to take the leisurely route again as you really cannot rush the gorgeous vistas of Lake Como.
Back in town we grabbed some pizza at a little ristorante and some more yummy gelati on the walk back to the hotel. Tomorrow we head off to Milan for a brief stopover before venturing east to Verona. Andiamo!