Romantic Italy: Lake Como (Part 2)

Villa Carlotta

Tremezzo is a town on the western shore of Lake Como, north to Lenno and south to Menaggio. Villa Carlotta is the jewel of town. It features a delightful garden with a large collection of plants and flowers, most impressive garden of all the villas we visited. The villa house itself (built late 17th century) is also open to the public, home to a wonderful collection of furniture and art works.

Lake view from the ferry boat (Somewhere between Menaggio and Tremezzo)

Lake view from the ferry boat (Somewhere between Menaggio and Tremezzo)

Villa Carlotta’s front façade

Villa Carlotta’s front façade

A special guest/resident at the garden: a small, red-brown Squirrel

A special guest/resident at the garden: a small, red-brown Squirrel

Wonderful garden

Wonderful garden

This bee was completely absorbed by the flowers

This bee was completely absorbed by the flowers

Beautiful Rhododendrons in various colors

Beautiful Rhododendrons in various colors

Garden in front of the house (Looking down from the terrace of the villa house)

Garden in front of the house (Looking down from the terrace of the villa house)

Lake view from Villa Carlotta (Jutting into the lake on the right is Bellagio peninsula)

Lake view from Villa Carlotta (Jutting into the lake on the right is Bellagio peninsula)

Villa del Balbianello

Villa del Balbianello occupies an advantageous spot, the promontory of Lavedo peninsula in the town of Lenno (Tremezzo’s neighbor on the west). Originally a monastery from the 1780’s, it has been transformed into an attractive villa with ravishing views of the lake. And it has been featured in many movies including Casino Royale as the most recent one.

From Villa Carlotta, we took a ferry boat for Lenno. The walk from Lenno ferry station to Villa del Balbianello was about 30 minutes. The first half of the walk goes through the town via a paved path by the lake. The 2nd half is an unpaved road through a wooded area over the hill. It was longer than I had expected but the nice views around made it easier. Coming back, we took a water taxi from the villa; it dropped us off where the paved path ends at the foothill and cut the walk back to the ferry down to half.

Town on the hillside between Tremezzo and Lenno

Town on the hillside between Tremezzo and Lenno

Villa del Balbianello from the water taxi

Villa del Balbianello from the water taxi

Houses of Balbianello

Houses of Balbianello

Romanesque decors adds a dreamy flair to the view

Romanesque decors adds a dreamy flair to the view

What a wonderful terrace!

What a wonderful terrace!

Town across the lake

Town across the lake

Bellagio

Bellagio, situated on Bellagio peninsular in the center of the lake, is a larger town and obviously attracts a bigger crowd than the other towns we’ve been so far, Varenna, Tremezzo and Lenno. Fancy shops and restaurants lined the main drag of the town. We got there late in the afternoon; many places were closed. We strolled around, bought small souvenirs and had pastries for refreshment.

Approaching Bellagio on ferry boat

Approaching Bellagio on ferry boat

Bellagio’s main drag by the lake

Bellagio’s main drag by the lake

A town climbing up the stone steps

A town climbing up the stone steps

Waterfront restaurants on the main drag

Waterfront restaurants on the main drag

Sun setting on the lake while we were waiting for the ferry boat to go back to Varenna

Sun setting on the lake while we were waiting for the ferry boat to go back to Varenna

Delicious pizza for dinner on our second night at Lake Como (From a restaurant in the town center of Varenna)

Delicious pizza for dinner on our second night at Lake Como (From a restaurant in the town center of Varenna)

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