Friday, August 31, 2012

Lake Como

            My sister and I had two wonderful, sun-filled days in Cinque Terre before heading up to the lake region of Italy. There are so many small towns located along the different lakes, but due to our time constraints we knew we had to pick just one. After doing some research we decided to stay in a small town called Griante on Lake Como. Griante is directly across the lake from the town of Bellagio, which is one of the most popular spots on the lake. Staying in Griante instead of Bellagio saved us money and also provided us with a more dramatic view, looking east instead of west. We arrived in the town of Como, which is located at the bottom of the lake, and then took an hour-long bus ride on a winding road up the west coast of the lake until we reached Griante. The sky was cloudy with a chance of rain but it did not take away from the beauty of the lake. Seeing a deep blue lake surrounded by huge mountains was a sight I had never seen before. 
View of Bellagio from our hotel window
            After a good night sleep at the Hotel Riviera my sister and I were ready to get outside and explore. Though we were both still sore from our long hike in Cinque Terre, we knew we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to hike in the mountains along the lake. From our hotel you could see white church far in the distance up the mountain, so we made that our goal. We knew there had to be a way to get there so we asked our hotel concierge for directions. The church was easier to find than we thought. It took us about an hour and a half to reach, which felt like a walk in the park compared to our hike a few days prior. When we reached the top we looked out at the most amazing view of the entire trip. Blue sky, blue water, and green mountains as far as the eye could see. My sister and I have always been a little adventurous when it comes to outdoor activities so we decided to leave the trail and climb down a side of the mountain that was much less traveled. Looking back this may have been a little dangerous, but we didn’t mind. Everything was so peaceful and so breathtaking. We could have spent all day just sitting there in the grass. After climbing back down the mountain we changed into our swimsuits and walked to the shore of the lake to lie on the rocky beach. It was a great way to spend the afternoon after an active morning.

A view I will never forget

            Since we had explored all of Griante, my sister and I decided to take the ferry across the lake to Bellagio for dinner on our last night. The ferry cost 9 euro round trip and took about ten minutes to reach Bellagio. We had researched some restaurants and easily found one at the top of our list. It was located right at the tip of Bellagio with outdoor seating overlooking the lake and mountains. The menu was a little more expensive than other restaurants we had been to but it was well worth it. We shared a traditional pasta dish as an appetizer and fresh fish from the lake as our entrée. Of course, we splurged on dessert as well. When the sun had set and our plates were clear we headed back to our side of the lake to get some rest before our next adventure.
Fresh Bronzino from the lake

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