“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” Guiseppe Verdi
So on my second day in Como, Italy, I decided I needed a break from the little ritzy lake town, and I hopped on a ferry in search of another ritzy lake town. I ended up in Bellagio, yes folks, the fancy Italian resort town that inspired the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. Lake Como is an upside down shape Y, with Como at the bottom left, while Bellagio is about halfway up at the intersection. At first I didn’t want to go, thinking it would be too touristy. I’d rather try to find some undiscovered little mountain village on the lake, get taken in by a local Italian family, get fed a big lunch and shown some incredible secret spots, you know, the usual, but the grumpy old man who was selling the ferry tickets was having none of it, pretending he didn’t understand my “Italian,” and insisting I go to Bellagio. “”Why don’t you want to go to Bellagio? It’s bello, beautiful. Sì, tourists, like you. Go to Bellagio. La Casa di George Clooney.” “Wait, did you just say George Clooney? Give me that ticket. Right now. Grazie.”
The ferry ride was unbelievable, so beautiful heading up the lake and seeing the sun sparkling off the distant mountain tops with brightly colored towns peeking through the mists. I had my nose shoved up against the front window the whole time taking tons of pictures like a complete tourist. Whatever. There were only a couple of other people on board, some locals, and a ton of Spaniards. Small freaking world. Not that small actually considering all of Spain was on holiday at the moment and Spaniards can definitely be attracted to glitzy glam destinations.
I hopped off the ferry in Bellagio, which didn’t look that glam to me, but it was definitely a beautiful little old town on the lake. There were very few people out because it was low season, but I did manage to sneak some purchases in at some of the local stores. I tucked in for lunch a tiny restaurant off one of the narrow winding staircases. Their menu was written on a chalkboard with no English translations. Yup, this place looked good. I even managed to order in flawless Italian (just kidding!) but I did manage to order the most incredible fish ravioli followed up with the best chocolate cake I have ever had in my whole life for desert. No pics of the cake though, sorry guys, I was way too hungry, and I didn’t want to pull out my massive camera in front of everyone. Though I did sneak a shot of the ravioli with my phone. Yum!
It was a beautiful day, and not very cold, so I sat out for a long time by the water with my face tilted up to the sun, just soaking it all in. Yeah, I could definitely live here. I caught the ferry back to Como as the sun was setting. Since I had exhausted myself taking so many pics on the journey there, I decided to just sit back and take it all in on the way back. However, about 5 minutes into the trip, Stefano, one of the crew members decided he wanted to make friends and practice his English. Why me?
However, Stefano turned out to be an awesome guide, pointing out lots of things to me on the lake, even lending me his Ray Bans for the trip so I could actually see what he was pointing at and not be completely blinded by the sun. However he won my favorite Italian person award by showing me George Clooney’s house on the lake. I tried to keep my cool especially while wearing these oversized sunglasses, but it was hard. I may have let out a squeal or two when we went by it. I asked Stefano if he had ever seen the man himself, and he replied cooly, “Oh yeah sure, all the time. He even sometimes takes the ferry with his friends (posse),” and pulled out pics on his iphone. Oh snap! Dream do come true!