Thursday Photo Friday #9

October 23, 2008

in Architecture, Cheap Activities, Europe, Italy, Photos, Travel, Web Tips

Spring 2007 I took a daytrip from Bergamo, Italy, (where I was staying) to Lake Como. It was one of those convoluted trips requiring multiple forms of transportation — bus, train, ferry and cable car — to make it even possible. You can’t complain too much, however, when all your connections go off exactly as planned.

I spent most of that rainy day enjoying the beautiful scenery (more dramatic for the low-hanging clouds) and walking around the various gardens open for public viewing in the small cities around the lake. It was so that I happened to call in Varenna. Navigating winding pathways and tiny roads without sidewalks on my way to the villas I planned to visit, I happened upon this dilapidated staircase, which seems to capture nearly every romantic notion Americans cherish about Italy. Having said that, don’t you want to visit too?

Varenna struck me as a lovely place to enjoy a relaxed honeymoon. In the same instant, thinking I had discovered a real gem — charming, yet off the radar, as much as any city in such a visited area can be — I entered the first villa whose garden I’d come to see, and discovered a Rick Steves tour group staying there! So much for that theory . . .

Late spring — when the azaleas, rhododendrons and roses are already in bloom — is the best time to visit the gardens in this area. Bellagio is the city with the two largest gardens: Villa Serbelloni (visit by guided tour only; no tours when raining) and Villa Melzi d’Eril.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heatheronhertravels 10.23.08 at 9:32 pm

It sounds wonderfully romantic – I love those places where a door or stair could lead you to somewhere wonderful.

2 Linda (minnemom) 10.24.08 at 3:36 pm


3 Mara 10.24.08 at 9:25 pm

I love pictures of little nooks and crannies and statues. But stairways have to be my favorite – such a sense of possibility and mystery.

4 Dominique 10.24.08 at 9:29 pm

I’m with Mara on loving the photos of mysterious little places and structures (I’ve got a real thing for bridges and doors)….and I’ve always Italy is beautiful. This photo really makes me want to go there and do a little exploring off the beaten path.

Thanks for sharing.

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