A Grand Day

Trip Start Jul 17, 2012
Trip End Oct 16, 2012

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Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Sunday, September 2, 2012

It was a Grand Day. We saw the Grand Hotel Bellagio, Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Grand Hotel Caddanabia, Grand Hotel Mennagio, and the Grand Hotel Serbelloni. This was joined by my Grand Wife, Carol and her Grand Husband Charlie. Life was also Grand and the weather was Grand too. Enough of that!
We slept pretty darn well last night. Very quiet and with a slow day planned, we slept in until 0830. What luxury.
Breakfast was very good with all kinds of pastries, cakes, chocolate filled croissants, and the usual meats and cheeses, hard boiled eggs, and yogurts. There was also fresh kiwi fruit, oranges, and grapefruits already sliced up. Cappuccino, coffee, and juice to drink. It was really quite a spread. We tried a lot but I found nirvana with a light torte of some kind which definitely had some kind of liquor in it, possibly rum but more likely a frangelico of some kind. Layers of flavored cream. It was good enough for three slices. Mixing in other bites and tastes, as well as 5 nice slices of kiwi for Vitamin C and I was quite full when we left.
We did have to climb the now Italian stair stepper to Bellagio so that worked off half a slice right there. It is a beautiful day and we catch the 1045 ferry to cross the lake to Caddanabia. It is only about a 15 minute ride. From there we walk a mile or so to Villa Carlotta. It is a Villa on the lake that also has beautiful gardens to walk through. One of the former owners, a prince, liked botany and had a lot of trees and plants brought in from all over the world. It is pretty amazing how many microclimates can grow here. There is a desert garden with cacti and wooded areas with a stream built in that has ferns and large trees. Sequoia from USA and magnolia trees too. Huge palm trees fill in certain areas. A bamboo forest with Japanese type gardens. It is pretty much all here. They also have huge rhododendrons and azaleas which must be beautiful in the spring. We spent about two hours just strolling the gardens before we even went inside the Villa.
It is named after Carlotta who was given the villa as a wedding present by her parents(Princess Marianne of Nassau) when she married Prince Georg II of Saxe-Meiningen. Just have to wonder why our parents did not give us a Villa when we got married? It is not too late, we will still except a small villa in Italy!
We explored the inside of the Villa where we got to see two floors and their rooms. There was a statue by Canova, artwork and beautiful furnishings.
When we finished, we exited and started to walk towards Tremezzo, a small town about 20 minutes in the other direction from where we arrived.
We stopped at a bench on the lake front to have our sandwiches and a few cookies. It would have been nice except for the killer yellow jacket that fell in love with Carols shirt. Even after we got up, it followed her for about a block.
From Tremezzo, we decided to turn around and walk along the lake to Mennagio, about 3 miles away. It was a beautiful walk mostly on a paved path and we passed small beaches and mansions along the way.
Mennagio was where we had booked originally before deciding to stay in the small village of Pescallo just over the hill from Bellagio. Arriving in Mennagio, we strolled along their waterfront. It was Sunday and there were lots of people milling about, strolling, sitting, enjoying the day. It had a nice feel and we also walked up a few streets and hung out in one of the towns piazzas for a while.
Finally, we walked to the boat dock and caught a ferry back to Bellagio. She told me it was the next boat but when we tried to get on, no good, as it was the fast hydrofoil boat. It looks like it is on skis when it gets moving. Our boat came 5 minutes later. We stopped for a gelato in Bellagio before walking back to our hotel. Dinner was at a local restaurant up a long flight of steps from our place. The terrace had a nice lake view and the food was great, veal in a lemon sauce, and home made tortellini with prosciutto and cheese. After dinner, Carol needed to whine so we stayed and enjoyed the view and quiet conversation with another half liter of the house wine. Down the dark alley of cobblestone steps feeling fine from the wine and another wonderful day.
"Boy, those Italians. They have a different word for everything!"- adapted from Steve Martin

18.40E- RT ferry caddanabio-Mennagio-Bellagio
18E-Villa Carlotta
4.40E-2 gelatos medium
36E- 2 dinners and 2 mezzo litros of wine
87E-hotel Nuovo Miralgo

Miles Walked- 10.6 Miles
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