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No need to worry, we didn’t quite get our culture on with a bit of Shakespeare. What we did do was a walk around the various suburbs (hamlets) of Bellagio. You can see from the map back on the home page that the township of Bellagio is on a promontory which extends into Lake Como creating in inverted Y. But surrounding the actual town where we are staying are numerous small ‘hamlets’. One of the guides in our apartment was dedicated to a walk around these and nominated a walking time of 2hrs. So for 2 unfit and over weight people this would have normally been one that was parked in the drawer while we merrily drank and ate our way through each day. But what the hell, we thought, 2 hrs isn’t really that much, plus we will take it easy and stroll and take pictures and video. Surely it can’t be that bad.

So by now you’re expecting us to tell you how we suffered as we trudged around the circuit with our hearts thumping and legs burning. Nope. We actually did it. We had lots of fun, took a tonne of pictures & video, and yes we were exhausted at the end but it was that nice feeling of exhaustion after having achieved something.

Back to the beginning then, where did we go. The pamphlet we had was very good with directions and descriptions of landmarks. We headed up the Via Garibaldi outside our apartment to the Bellagio Town Hall and the Church of San Giorgio (built in the XI Century). From here our instructions told us that there was a flight of stairs opposite the hall which would take us to the fishing village of Pescallo. And there they were

From The Walk

Up and over the stairs revealed the panoramic views across the Lecco branch of the Lake

From The Walk

and a mountain peak called Grigna (2,409 metres), and this was only the first 10 minutes. From here we made our way through the picturesque, and as usual, narrow streets of Pescallo

From The Walk
From The Walk

and up our first fairly steep roadway. This was lined with an array of villas and also a number of nurserys and private gardens that are an integral part of the local economy and produce outdoor plants for sale all over Italy and Europe. Finally we reach the top, by this time it was getting quite warm, it was a stinking 11C max today after all, and at the top there is a very old building and a large piece of ground cultivated with olive trees. We are now in the suburb of Oliverio.

From The Walk

We turn to the left at this juncture and head along the road to Lecco. Along the way is another Villa, but this one is huge, and the facts tell us that it was built in 1624 by order of a proto-physicist called Eudemio Camutio who called it Villa Camuzia. Then at the end of the 18th century Conte Pietro Venini completely refurbished it for his wife and called it Villa Giulia. By the look of it it’s due for another refurb!

From The Walk

This guy also bought heaps of land and built this stretch of grass called the “Vialone” which you can walk down to short cut the circuit. It’s basically a wide grassy avenue that bypasses some of the walk and cuts across the hill top. But feeling full of beans we chose the other way!

So on we went towards the suburb of Regatola where we took a right turn down one of the narrowest roads that pedestrians and vehicles could ever share.

From The Walk

Yep cars and people down there at the same time.

But we made it through and continued over the ridge of the promontory towards the next suburb called Guggiate. This one straddles the main road and they are not really suburbs as you think of them in Australia. Hence why we titled this blog ‘Hamlets’. They are a mixture of mid sized areas with a main Piazza to a very small group of apartment style houses. But in either case they are both intriguing and beautiful to see and walk through.

We walked through Guggiate down towards the turn around point of S.Giovanni. As we follow the cobbled streets we come across the Church of S. Giovanni which at one point was the main Church for the region, it was built around the 10th century.

From The Walk

Oh and it was here we decided to post some postcards at a wall mounted post box we found. We thought about it later and aren’t real sure it would be serviced. Too late now! (So if you don’t receive a post-card from us, you’ll know it was one of those posted in S.Giovanni! We will give you directions on how to find it when we return home!) After a brief rest outside the church we are off again on the return journey.

Up the main road we go back towards Bellagio. We take a side route through another beautiful little lake side suburb called Loppia.

From The Walk

It seems to be a fishing or boat building enclave. It has a steep rise back to the main road into Bellagio and at this stage I’m thinking we should hitch-hike back in. We take our jackets off at a bus stop and I’m also trying to read the time table, maybe we can catch the bus back. But Alison insists it’s ok so we continue on. And about 50 metres later we can see Bellagio. We are nearly there! It’s all down hill from here. So with tired feet but a sense of great achievement we make it back into town. It is 12.30 by this time so we have nailed the 2 hours and we are hungry so we stop at the Ristorante Carillon, which is near the ferry terminal, for lunch.

Alison had a salmon penne and I had some local lake perch which was cooked in butter and sage, both were awesome. We washed this down with a local bottle of Pinot Griggio then made our way home for a well deserved nap – all of which probably negated the good work the walk did us! But it’s another beautiful day in Bellagio so who cares!

PS. We forgot to mention that we finally went into the church. The one across from our apartment. No the roof didn’t fall in. It was quite spectacular to see and here is a short video on it for your enjoyment.