Palm trees in the Alpine area?! Impossble! you'd say. Well, it is NOT! Bellagio is full of palm trees (as well as some other places along the lake), and not only palms, but olives as well! Olive oil from Como lake is very famous! Anyway, this Mediterranean flora gives the impression of being somewhere at the seaside, not in the Alps! :) And it certainly adds to the charm of the place.
The beach house
There are also the lucky ones who are not so chic and pompous, but they still have the beach house in Bellagio!!! There are also very small, normal houses, not only villas. Imagine the lucky fellow!
Varenna is another lovely colourful town on the Como lake, just opposite of Bellagio, on the Lecco's side of the lake. It is a very picturesque town, with various coloured buildings, lovely promenade, little coves and secret places to escape from the crowd, many lovely cafes and restaurants...
Above is the beautiful castle, Castello di Vezio, and nearby there is a famous Fiumelatte (Milk River), one of the shortest rivers in the world, just barely over 200m.
If you have the time, don't miss driving up under the mountain grigna, you can arrive by car till 1500m (Varenna is at cca. 200m), and the view along the way is BREATHTAKING! There are many viewpoints to stop and amdire the landscape.
Up there it's much colder, and in autumn, winter and spring, usually snowy, it starts snowing very early.
The Mystery Palace
Sorry to say that if our tour guide told us anything about this "villa" I don't recall it. I just remember thinking that it was a beautiful example of Italian architecture and the gardens and lakeside "gazebo" were so pleasing to the eye, I could imagine it as the setting for characters in a historical period novel! This magical-looking place was in the town of Varenna. I wonder what life is like here, I wonder who lives here, I wonder, I wonder..........!
Lake Como ferries
There are regular services from the lakeside promenade at Bellagio to other towns around Lake Como (it's one advantage of its central position on the Lake)... there's a choice of normal ferry, car ferry or hydrofoil. We rarely had to wait longer than half an hour for the next service (might be more if you're limited to the car ferry). One of the best ways to see the scenery, as well as get from one place to another.