! We decided to detour (the wrong direction) to Venice for lunch so spent the afternoon there. I hadn't been to Venice since 1995 so it was fantastic to see it again. It mean't a long drive to Lake Como but hey, it is not everyday you get to visit Venice!
Lake Como is very different to Lake Garda and Bellagio is considered the jewel in the crown of the lake villages. Lots of open space, lemon and lime trees, oleanders and not too many people. The weather is perfect though we've yet to go for a swim. We are really relaxed and reckon this is the perfect holiday. Lots of massive villas built here in the 1800s and their gardens are beautiful. Ferry rides to other towns are great and people are so friendly. I had no idea about the shopping though and we need to force ourselves to see things other than the shops!! Gelato replaces the cakes in Vienna! We even bought a CD of Italian music so must look a sight driving along singing!
We had a baptism of fire into Italy. The B and B we had planned to stay at for one night in Bergamo got a better offer and palmed us off to their crazy friend. She picked us up at the airport and took us to her place - we had no idea where we were going! Her cousin drove us at top speed down the hill to his cousin's restaurant for pizza - so at 11 pm we found ourselves in a strange place with very strange people but eating very good food! The old town of Bergamo was really impressive and after a wander there we headed to Lake Garda. The road up the side of the lake was narrow and winding and driving a rental on the wrong side of the road was somewhat stressful! Lots of tunnels, lots of crazy drivers. The scenery is stunning - massive mountains, gorgeous old villagesand huge lake. Our hotel was right on the lake with a five minute walk to town. Again a shopper's paradise and I hate to think how much money I am spending. We caught a ferry to Malcesine across the lake and spent 8 hours shopping!