Dear virtual Co-travellers,
as you did get already quite a good impression about the beautiful Varenna, we want to take you now to the second part of our journey to the Lake Como vacation with the visit of Como and Bellagio.
Lake Como vacation
The city Como, located at the very bottom left side of Lake Como is with its 85,ooo citizen the main city in the province Como.
It overwhelms with its very characteristic panorama – a mix of the huge Alps mountains and the lake.
The economy of Como itself is driven by tourism and industry.
Characteristic for the city are many old and medieval buildings like the city wall, the cathedral, the Basilica di Sant’Abbondio as well as many other ancient buildings and estates. The Sant’Abbondio for example has been started to built in the year 1022 A.D.
The history of Como
Hard to imagine, but the first documentations are going back to the time of one thousand years B.C. with the colonization of the surrounding hills! Around 500 B.C. the Celts invaded and the first loss happened as well as roman-gallic conflicts at around 200 B.C.
Finally in the grip of Roman Empire “Comum” got in the year 59 B.C. by settling more than 5,000 colonists to this place as a command from Julius Caesar.
During the following centuries it came to invasions by Germans, followed by acts of war with Milan in the 12th century.
In the 16th century Como was under Spanish Command, followed by Austrian rulers. Finally in the year 1848 together with Milan, Como played an essential role in the relief from Austrian occupants.
Things to see in Como
Cathedral of Como
The famous landmark of the city is the Cathedral, which was built during the Gothic times (1396 A.D.), but has been finished during Renaissance (end of 15th century)
Quite obvious is the German influence in the architecture, which was in general quite dominant during this time in many parts of northern Italy and is still visible today.
Because of its sheer size and presence the cathedral is pretty much noticeable compared to the typical diminutive and classy Italian style of the rest of the Old Town.
Another highlight of Como is the huge Villa Olmo in its classicist style. It was built in the 1790-ies and together with the park it offers a breathtaking beautiful scenery.
An interesting story how the Villa got its name: “Olmo“, which in Italian means elm is related to the hundred years old tree that stood there on this ground before.
The Yacht harbour
Probably it is not necessary to mention the meaning of this picturesque harbour of Como.
An impressive backdrop… this place is on the one hand visited very frequently but on the other side it spreads some kind of serenity and calmness. But look for yourself…
Off to Bellagio via picturesque villages
The whole coast line of the Lake Como is one single Italian beauty.
Passing places like Moltrasio, Argegno, Lenno, Calozzo, Dongo and many others we were continuing our way cheerful and happy. One really great thing about such a tour with your (rental-)car is, that you can hit the mountains anytime and within some minutes you enjoy a breathtaking view over the whole lake. Some impressions here from our trip around the lake…
Bellagio at Lake Como
Probably most of you have heard of the famous Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, but this one has its prominent inspiration by this wonderful small city at Lake Como.
But the true Bellagio, also known as the “Pearl of the lake” is really something special.
Already during the times of ancient Rome Bellagio was an important strategic point. This continued to happen even until the times of Spanish reign in the 19th century.
Bellagio is located directly at the peak of the peninsula, where the Lake Como is divided into its two long arms.
That is why you reach Bellagio the best by taking a ferry. From the west they are leaving from Menaggio and Cadenabbia, from the east you leave from Varenna.
The unique location and its special romantic beauty were tempting also famous people like John F. Kennedy, Charlie Chaplin and former German chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
Bellagio is not only offering finest Italian culinary specialties and many shopping possibilities.
It also leaves no wishes open regarding hiking, biking, sailing, motorboat and much more. Your active sport vacation can start here.
Way back via St. Moritz
Another highlight which we want to share with you here are our impressions from the way back to St. Gallen in the north of Switzerland.
Taking the Engadin pass we stopped in St. Moritz and went along the Lake Silser and Lake Silvaplana by discovering more dreamlike landscapes that just leave you feeling amazed.
Well and with finishing this last summer trip at Lake Como, autumn finally took over the control and was putting everything in wonderful golden, red and brown colours…
In our opinion, the Lake Como with all its beautiful villages belongs to Italys most beautiful places.
The tempting picturesque landscape, the typical Italian bubbly serenity, the understanding of life quality and enjoying – Dolce Vita – you can feel it here intensively.
One of the places, that you should have visited in Europe…
See you soon – then probably again on track in the United States of America
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Thank you sincerely, Birdie & Hendrik.