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Favorite thing: This is the famous Santa Maria Maddalena church in Ossuccio, the one whose bell tower is so beautiful and destinguishable, and usually it is represented on the pictures when Ossuccio is photographed. The church is small, but surrounded by the mini old-town and in the alley is the music practice hall?!?! I was very surprised that the rock band was practicing once when I was there...
Written Feb 21, 2005
Favorite thing: On the lake Como you'll sometimes find very old, authentic boats, that are still sometimes used in small villages where the time has stopped.Disappear somewhere where tourists wouldn't usually go and you'll discover the real charm of the lake.
Written Dec 5, 2004
Favorite thing: Ossuccio is a very cute place near Isola Comacina, typical lakeside town, but very charming. There is this old medieval church, and a nice walk by the lake, which are the highlights of this little town.
Written Dec 5, 2004
Favorite thing: Climb up a bit higher above the lake, it's practically possible at any place, but I'd suggest the side with high mountains - around Lecco and Varenna. On the way, just by the road you'll find many wonderful viewpoints, where you can admire the beauty of the lake from high above!
Written Dec 4, 2004
Favorite thing: In the nights of the full moon, go at the Como's side of the lake at dusk, and enjoy the beautiful view of Bellagio on the moonlight, the glitter on the water and the serenity of the beautiful surroundings.
Written Dec 4, 2004
Favorite thing: This I took at Tremezzo, in front of Villa Carlotta, in a late November afternoon. There was nobody around, as it's the dead season, and as usual, they are performing works, but it was no less beautiful than in other seasons, and the sunset was so serene... There are many spots along the lake where you can enjoy a romantic sunset.
Updated Dec 4, 2004
Fondest memory: On vacation the unexpected is what I relish. I am not much of a car enthusiast, at least, not these days. But, in 1967 driving was much more than mere transportation. On a pleasant June afternoon I fell in love with ... a white Morgan sports car. In the blink of an eye the decision was made. I would return after dinner with checkbook in hand and she would be mine.
Home now. Full of excitement and anticipation. Pickup the mail and rush inside. "What's this fat manila envelope?" What's this !@*#! "Greetings", from Uncle Sam? I was drafted into the military. :-(((
That would be the closest I'd ever be to the dream car of my youth until Carol and I turned a corner in Menaggio. Carol seemed puzzled by my sudden lack of interest architecture and my uncharacteristic automobile fascination, but I was stunned. There she was just as remembered her, leather hood strap and all. I guess 37 years later the spark is still there.
Updated Nov 3, 2004
Fondest memory: It was our third day on Lake Como but it was our first ferry boat ride. Varenna is on the opposite side of the lake from where we were staying in Ossuccio. Taking the ferry was the simplest and most direct way to get there. More importantly, it was definitely the "best way" for us to arrive there for a first view. The ride from Lenno made several stops along the way including Villa Carlotta and Bellagio. Every stop was beautifully unique but Varenna...this was special.
Here the colorful homes were built right to water's edge. There was a steep rock face where nothing could be built and seemed to divide the village. Cleverly a promenade had been built cantilevered over the water. The walkway leads past shops and a few cafes with "you-never-have-to-leave-your-chair" photo opps. Boats were most often merely pulled up on shore and tied off.
Varenna is home to two very elaborate villas and gardens - Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero. Both are definitely worth a visit. But in my mind, the real allure was exploring the walks and back lanes of the tiny town. I read somewhere that, "If Bellagio is the pearl of Lake Como then Varenna is the diamond". This seemed surely true.
Updated Oct 19, 2004
Fondest memory: Gravedona is almost at the northern end of Lake Como. If you have a car the drive up is really beautiful and worth the time. Otherwise I would recommend taking the ferry and walking around. We had been driving for most of the day and had seen a lot of churches and wonderful small towns. Gravedona was larger than most and it seemed worth a little more time.
Carol is an artist and is always keenly aware of light and shadow. It was mid afternoon when we arrived in Gravedona and everything seemed in crisp contrast from the autumn sun. We parked on a shady side lane where gardeners were pruning the trees of a large villa. There was the unmistakable scent of gardenias in the air that seemed to be coming from a tree with tiny white flowers.
We worked our way up the cobbled walkways and found vividly painted buildings of yellow, terra-cotta and coral interspersed with structures completely of stone. As we walked we saw a sign that read "Panorama". We turned the corner and saw a spectacular view of the the town's lakeside with the water sparkling in the afternoon sun.
Updated Oct 18, 2004
Fondest memory: There is only one island on Lake Como and our "villa" was directly across from it. Every morning the same three fisherman would appear in the narrow straight between us in Ossuccio and Isola Comacina. They never seemed to catch much but as I have long suspected, most fishing has more to do with "going fishing" than with the "fish"!
The ferry boat from Argegno dropped us off at a much less sophisticated dock than we had seen previously. There was no ticket booth and only a single dock employee. There also was no town. Just a snack bar fashioned out of a huge reclaimed wine barrel and some rustic tables and stools made out of tree limbs. We had read that there was a well known risitorante somewhere but it was not immediately evident. In any event, this was definitely not a high volume stop.
The ferry boats made infrequent stops on the island so we knew we would be there for several hours...interesting or not, so Carol decided to bring her sketch book and look a worthy scene to capture. That effort was not very difficult. What an enchanting, peaceful place.
We followed a somewhat defined path to the site of the abandoned Church of San Giovanni which was built on the ruins of a Roman structure. Carol settled in to capture the moment and I set out feed my archeological cravings. We spent about four hours on the island relaxing and enjoying each other's company. This is a vacation after all.
Updated Oct 18, 2004