lake como :: bellagio

Our second full day in Lake Como was our one year wedding anniversary. After high five-ing each other with "one down, decades to go!", we set out to explore the town they call the Pearl of Lake Como, Bellagio.

That morning (like many mornings around the lake), there was torrential rain, fog, wind - it was quite dramatic. Nevertheless we boarded the ferry from Dervio, and as the rain weakened I braved the deck and took some photos of our surroundings. The mist and grey actually made for quite a magical and mystical view!

As we approached Bellagio, the weather was slowly but surely improving and the sun battled its way through the clouds. Just as well, since it's kind of hard to juggle an umbrella and a camera at the same time (blogger problems).

It was fascinating to feel the difference in charm and atmosphere between the various towns. Bellagio is definitely the most touristy, and also the most glamorous and beautiful (in a well-groomed kind of way). Everything looked like a painter's dream - the streets, the shop fronts, the buildings and cafés. It is supposedly the best place to shop compared to the other towns, but we weren't too interested in that - who needs retail therapy with the views and food and gelato of Italy?! If I was somewhere like Milan or Rome though, it might be a different story....

Back to Bellagio. We wandered around the pretty streets, saw some beautiful artwork in a little gallery/shop, debated whether to buy a 7 euro jar of amazing looking pesto (we didn't, but I bet it's worth it), checked out the different gelaterias we'd be hitting up later, and worked up an appetite for lunch.

We had a special place in mind - Ristorante Bilacus, a family run restaurant that was in all the guide books and websites we'd browsed.

They have a gorgeous little terrace/garden area where we were seated, the staff were very friendly and it was just such a cosy, lovely place to enjoy our anniversary lunch.

The food was fantastic - the mixed starter was fresh and superb quality, my spaghetti vongole is a dish I still dream about. I normally much prefer vongole in white wine sauce, but this one was an exception and I could probably eat it everyday. E loved his dish too, and then we had a Tiramisu for dessert, complete with a one little candle for one year of marriage!

By the end of our leisurely lunch, the sun was out in full force, lighting up the whole town and leaving us to soak it all up and walk off a little of our meal.

And apparently we did enough walking to make room for gelato.  This little gelateria, Gelateria del Borgo, was one of the best we tried (and we tried quite a few). 

We took ours to the ferry dock and people watched while waiting for our ride to Varenna.

We made it back home to Dervio after a short stop in Varenna, and had another relaxing evening with a walk in the dusky light, recharging for the next day's adventures.