If you don’t like eye candy, click delete now. This eye candy, however, is all about Lago di Como, Lake Como. Lake Como was first registered as a place by Julius Caeser in 59AD. Nothing remains from this period, and much of what you see of the old town (walls remain from the mid teen centuries) was built between mid 18C and about 1900. This is one of the cleanest old cities that we have visited and is much larger than I would have thought.
Lake Como is in Northern Italy, so north, that Switzerland is only about 10 miles away. It is about 40 miles north of Milan and 60 miles East of Torino. The lake is in the shape of an upside down letter Y, with the town of Como at the bottom of the left leg. The other famous town, Bellagio, lies just at the beginning, crook, of the right hand fork of the Y. The lake is one of the deepest in the region and reminds me of Tahoe in color. Como itself is known for silk (never saw why) and polenta (made from buckwheat not corn, so it really is more of a cream of wheat) which we did try and which was quite good. It is also known for Allessandro Volta, the guy who invented the modern battery and discovered natural gas as a power source. Otherwise, it is about the scenery and peaceful way of life around the lake (there were no jet skiis).
This pic looks north from the town shore. Here is a beautiful chick walking along one of the several concrete piers that jutt out into the water:
Volta is a big name here. They have constructed many monuments to this guy (born 1827) one of which is way cool. A pier stretches half way across the lake with a modern sculpture made up of 2 sin waves. Here is a pic of the thing:
And here is a pic of us taking a pic of ourselves in the reflective brushed metal:
Yes, that is a pic of our reflection, sort of like taking a pic of yourself in a mirror. Pretty clear isn’t it? And check out the detail of the mountain homes behind us; that shore line is about a 1/2 mile away!
Como’s biggest city monuments are the palace (Duomo), the opera house, the church and the funicular. Here are pics of the first two:
A church is a church, so I leave it out here. More on the funicular in a minute.
We stayed 2000 feet above Como, in a town called Brunate. It is 4 miles of tightly wound roads to get up there and it is pretty steep and scary to drive. Brunate was settled at the end of the 1800’s as a spot for the upper middle class to live and look down upon the lake. At the same time, they built a funicular, cable car of sorts, that runs straight up and down the mountainside delivering folks to and from Como in 7 minutes. There are also 3 hiking trails for the descent/ascent and of course we took all 3. Down is easy. Up takes about an hour and is really up. The funicular is 5Eruo50 for the round trip. Now some pics. Here are two from our apartment:
Here is looking up from Como, at Brunate:
The pic above is taken from across the lake looking up at Brunate. The line up the mtn is the funicular. The trails are hidden in there as well. Here are some pics looking down from the trails and just down from Brunate;
Here is a street in Brunate:
And a few more lake shots:
We ate gelato, walked the streets and the promenade, which stretches up the lake for about a mile on either side. We hiked quite a bit above Brunate and enjoyed the Lake views. I understand why artists paint here as much as they do, and why honeymooners and folks like to get married here. It is stunningly beautiful, and we are lucky to have been able to spend a few days of R and R.
Now, off to Milan. We see opera tonight at La Scala, so I better go get ready!