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Sabato 26 Feb
Once again Ferg has handed the reins to me so I can give a female’s perspective!

We had a very leisurely start this morning after a lovely dinner out at La Grotta last night with friends Tonya and Maggi from Switzerland. Down to the waterfront for coffee and sweet brioche, with breadrolls and jam – what we think is going to be a light breakfast is very filling! Our morning was spent wandering the streets of Bellagio taking photos and video for the Ferg’s “Bellagio Salita Extravaganza” which we are working on. We also managed to devote some time to shopping – so many beautiful leather bags and wallets (which I managed to score one of each). The silk scarves which are famous in this region are just divine – such wonderful colours and beautifully soft … too many choices!!

We had decided to have a “planning” day today, as we are heading off to Switzerland on Monday to do the Bernina Express railway, so after photos and shopping, we grabbed some much needed wine and beer and hauled ourselves back upstairs to do some groundwork for our St Moritz adventure and have an indulgent lunch of wine, crusty bread, cheese, meats and salmon frittata. Molto bene!

Ferg had decided he would like to go to the restaurant Salice Blu in lieu of his birthday dinner, so I made a phone call and after much useless gesticulating on my part (because they couldn’t see me!) and being passed through 3 different people I managed to make a reservation for that evening with the chef Luigi himself. They offer a free pick-up service as the restaurant is a little out of the township of Bellagio, and Luigi said he would collect us from our local Sports Bar in the Piazza outside our apartment at 7.30pm. We had a little siesta and met up with Tonya and Maggi at the Sports Bar at 7pm. We had a wonderful time there with our new friend Augusto who is one of 3 brothers that own and run the Sports Bar, with Augusto showing us pictures of himself and his family dating back to the early 1900s. He is a wonderfully warm and friendly man and his funny, friendly manner set the tone for the whole evening. He told us the restaurant we were going to was very good and that the chef was quite famous and one of the best in the region.

From Salice Blu Dinner
From Salice Blu Dinner

At approx 7:20pm the silver Mitsubishi I had been told to look out for pulled up at the Sports Bar, and lo and behold out jumped Luigi in all his chef’s whites – we hadn’t expected it would actually be the chef himself! We then proceeded to have a most entertaining drive from Bellagio to Salice Blu …

I mentioned that we had been told his restaurant was good and that he was a very good chef … to which he agreed and expanded on by telling us all the awards he had won in a most charming, funny and non-modest manner!! He talked at a million miles an hour with that gorgeous Italian accent that all non-European women fall in love with, and by the time we got to the restaurant he had won the hearts of us 3 females in the back seat!! On the other hand, Ferg in the front seat was having an altogether different experience of driving on the opposite side of the road and listening to Luigi cussing “Milano” drivers – very amusing for all!

The restaurant itself was beautiful and the translation of Salice Blu is “Blue Willow”.

From Salice Blu Dinner

The menus were enormous and very comprehensive.

From Salice Blu Dinner

Luigi came and talked us through the menu (again at a million miles an hour) and our meals were superb! All were beautifully presented and extremely tasty at reasonable prices.

From Salice Blu Dinner

Needless to say, we were all delighted with our meals and Ferg and I are hoping to return before we leave Bellagio. I won the game of “Guess the Age of the Chef” (he’s 28) and Ferg did his absolute best to match-make Maggi and Luigi on the return home … yes, Luigi left the kitchen in the hands of his Mama and Nonna to drive us back to Bellagio!! All in all it was a fabulous night and so much fun. It was a shame to have to say goodbye to Tonya, but we’re hoping to one day make it to Zurich to see her or hope that she will get to Brisbane on her next trip home to Australia.

From Salice Blu Dinner