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Sunday 26 August 2007

CK Goes to Italy – Como (Lago di Como)

Como is a small town 50 km north of Milan with very little attraction. Why did I go to this town then? You may wonder. Well, this town is the gateway to the fairytale villages of Lago di Como (Lake Como), the beautiful lake region of northern Italy.

Since I was still staying in Milan on 27th of May, 2006, I took a train from Stazione Milano Centrale to go to Como. The slower train wandered through the tracks for about 40 minutes to arrive at the Como San Giovanni train station, and it was 9:05 a.m.

To get to the ferry dock about 800 m east of the train station up a slope, I walked through the streets with painted buildings, I mean buildings with paintings on the wall.

I was actually doing a little injustice to Como when I said that it has very little attraction. In fact the streets are lined with buildings of painted facades which are pleasing to the eyes.

There must be a lot of effort put into these artworks on the wall.

I took almost half and hour to walk through an 800-m distance, as there were so many paintings to see on the walls.

There is only one ferry operator on Lago di Como, the Navigazione Lago di Como. I bought a village-hopping ferry ticket and I was on my way to explore the fairytale villages.

Guess whose villa is this? It belongs to George Clooney. Yes, the Hollywood movie star! Those Americans on board kept on shouting: "Georgie! Georgie!", hoping that he would show up at the balcony, but apparently that never happened!

The body of water with the hills are always one of my favourite subjects. However, It was quite cloudy on that morning. Getting across these mountain ranges would have brought me to Switzerland.

My first stop was Bellagio. I went up the steps to explore this prominent village flooded by visitors everyday from April till September every year.

There is a church on top of the hill.

I boarded the ferry again half an hour later and took a glance of this beautiful village on the water.

Few minutes later, the ferry docked at another village called Menaggio. This village is awesomely beautiful!

It was past lunch time when I arrived at Menaggio, so I sat down at a cafe overlooking the lake to have my iced latte and a sandwich.

After a light lunch, I took a slow stroll along the waterfront of this fairytale-like village to explore further.

The sky has started to clear up in the afternoon when the clouds were gone.

The villagers planted a lot of flowers in their gardens and on the fences, including this burning red rose.

If there is water, there are boats.

If there is no boat, there is a always a jetty for the young and the young at heart to meddle with the water.

There were always beautiful flowers along the waterfront to sooth my breath.

I left Menaggio after hours of exploration. Along the way back, I spotted Villa Balbianello at which the Star Wars Episode I & II were shot. It was featured as Queen Amidala's Palace in the movies.

The very beautiful and fairytale-like villages were further and further away behind me.

I took a final glance of the villages and mountain ranges before I chit-chatted my time away with an Australian couple whom I caught their attention with the print on my T-shirt that reads: "Australia 16,776 km. It's a bloody long way."

If you would like to read my other posts on Italy, these are the links:

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