Gallery: Santa Maria del Tiglio, Gravedona

While visiting friends on the other side of Lake Como, we stopped by the lakeside town of Gravedona and visited the cemetery and  the medieval church of St. Maria del Tiglio (St. Mary of the Linden Tree).

As you can see, family vaults are kept over generations and centuries, and are well maintained. This is possible in a culture where families simply don’t move around much. When families have moved away from their roots, people will sometimes travel on November 1st (Ognissanti – All Saints’) to spruce up their family graves elsewhere in Italy. Religious organizations hang around the cemeteries that day to sell pre-printed tags that you can hang on your family vault to show you’ve been there (in case your dead ancestors didn’t notice?), and florists – who tend to cluster around cemeteries – do a booming business as well.

Lecco to Bellagio by Boat: A Beautiful Day on Lake Como

The ferry runs from Lecco (on Lake Como’s southeastern tip) only from spring to fall. The slow boat to Bellagio (one and a half hours) is the best way to see this branch of the lake. With its steep, craggy mountainsides plunging down into the water, it’s reminiscent of a Norwegian fjord.

mountainside from boat on Lake Como, Lecco

The boat hops back and forth across the lake, stopping first at Mandello.

Mandello boat dock, Lake Como

Along the way you see gorgeous lakeside villas (no, not George Clooney’s!):

villa on Lake Como, Italy

Enjoy the fresh air, sparkling water…

view from boat, Lake Como, Italy

…and warm sunshine…

boat ride on Lake Como, Italy

…arriving in good time for lunch in Bellagio.