Transport Surprises

My dad and Paul were visiting, so we took a boat ride up the lake to Bellagio. Along the way we ran into a brief storm, and a vehicle of a type we don’t normally see in Lake Como. Then, in Bellagio, I was very surprised to see this vehicle coming off the car ferry. It turned out to be the annual mail coach tour from Lindau (Bavaria) to Como.

La Bottega del Maiale: A Salumeria in Lecco

This one’s for Carol & Steve, who went shopping in Boston and vlogged it.

La Bottega del Maiale (“The Hog Shop”) is a small gourmet food shop in the heart of downtown Lecco (Piazza XX Settembre) specializing, obviously, in pork products, but they also have a great selection of cheeses, wines, sott’oli (preserves in oil), sottaceti (preserves in vinegar), and many other wonderful things.

I didn’t try to subtitle the Italian conversation going on between me and the shop ladies. The manager gave me permission to film, but the younger woman at the cash register initially said, “Oh, no, no, no – don’t film me – I’ll hide under here [the cash counter].” I said, “That’s fine, I don’t film anybody who doesn’t want to be filmed.” Then I mentioned that my daughter is filming all her friends, and they’re all excited to be on the Internet. “Oh, yes, yes, yes, in that case it’s fine!” she said.

Towards the end you can hear me say:”I think they’re going to hate me for this” – referring to viewers from outside of Italy who will probably be salivating by the end of the video (as long as they’re not vegetarian).

There Goes the Neighborhood

You may have heard that George Clooney owns a villa on Lake Como. He’s over on the Como/Menaggio side, about as far from Lecco as you can get and still be on the same lake, so we are not exactly rubbing elbows with him. But it seems that his fancy friends have now taken a fancy to “our” lake.

George has bought the two villas flanking his own, partly for privacy, partly to have room for all his guests. Brad Pitt and various other luminaries were up here a few months ago filming “Oceans Twelve,” and local rumor has it that Mr. Pitt fell in love with the place and is seeking a home somewhere in the Varenna area – a good deal closer to us.

Richard Gere is also supposedly looking for a villa somewhere on the lake. Well, none of these is among my favorite actors, but they’re not bad additions to the scenery hereabouts, so I guess I won’t complain. Especially if Brad Pitt goes boating in bathing briefs…

The Lake Como Car Ferry

In the evening, we took the car ferry back from Cadenabbia (on the west bank of the lake) to Varenna, on our own side. This saved us the drive north around the tip of the lake and all the way down the eastern shore.

map: Gestione Navigazione Laghi

The Ferry Arrives

The ferry came across from Bellagio, and unloaded two Smart cars.

54 secs, 2.6 MB

Loading and Departing

42 secs, 2.1 MB

Our car had to be loaded backward, because we would be getting off at Varenna (the second stop) instead of Bellagio (the first). This is why I avoid driving in Italy as much as possible – it often requires maneuvers that I just can’t manage!

Bormio: An Ancient Hot-Spring Spa in the Italian Alps

We took a family mini-vacation to Bormio again. This time we stayed at the hotel of the Bagni Vecchi (old baths), whose price includes unlimited admission to the spa, and breakfast and dinner.

above: View from the window of the hotel restaurant

Tourist information for Bormio

Our previous trip carved wooden building struts

carved wooden Ceiling decoration of a pharmacy built in 1555

^ Ceiling decoration of a pharmacy built in 1555

Bormio is a typically beautiful Alpine town, with ancient stone houses, their gray exteriors enlivened by bright flowers

^ Bormio is a typically beautiful Alpine town, with ancient stone houses, their gray exteriors enlivened by bright flowers

Tourist information for Bormio

Our previous trip