The Hunt for a Market and Stranded in Varenna!

We had an earlyish breakfast and set off for Tremazina to find the market. We walked a fair way, and it was fairly humid but all we found was a cheese stall, a honey seller and a few vegetables for sale in the local park. Not what we had seen when we were on our way to Como the other day. We explored a bit more but decided to cut our losses and took the water bus from Tremezzo to Varenna. We had a lovely journey with a refreshing breeze blowing in our hair. Varenna itself is relatively small but far fewer tourists than Bellagio and only a few shops. We had a beer and bits and later an ice cream but decided that we had seen Varenna and to head back to the hotel. Imagine our horror when we found that we had missed the last boat of the morning and we would have to wait until 3.15, at this moment it was 12.30!  If we had felt like lunch it would have been fine but having had a big breakfast and the ice creams etc. we couldn’t squeeze anymore in. I might add, we weren’t the only people to find ourselves stuck and I almost think that they have a deliberate plan to make you eat in their restaurants! Anyway, it wasn’t so bad, we sat in the shade and roundabout 2 ish we decamped to a local cafe for toasted sandwiches and before we knew it, the boat came in. A quick dive in the swimming pool and all was soon forgotten.

   
    
    
 

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Villa Carlotta and a Relaxing Afternoon

Luckily the Villa is just next door to the Hotel and the gardens run along the back of it so we had little excuse to not visit it. It was fairly early in the morning when we arrived but even so it was starting to get warm and there were a fair few steps! The garden has sections devoted to ferns, rhododendrons, camellias, hydrangea and hundreds of different types of tree. There was some formal flower planting but that was just for the visitors mainly I think. We also went into the villa which had wonderful painted ceilings and loads of sculpture including one Canovas. We had a drink and lunch in the cafe, very reasonable prices and a very good bruschetta. After we had exhausted the pleasures of the villa we made our way back for a swim and sun bathe, in the shade!

   
    
    
    
 

Como

Today we caught an early bus from just outside the hotel for an hour long trip to Como. We got off at the end of the line and it wasn’t much more than a few hundred yards to the funicular, which  was Verity’s main reason for wanting to go to Como. We were very lucky as one was just about to depart so there was no time to have any doubts or be scared. Verity managed to get a seat at the very front and videoed the ascent, I was quite happy looking upwards. At the top there were various walks and places you could go to but we just walked up the village high street a little way and Verity did a circular tour of the village. After a small beer to refresh us, it was by now reaching 32 degrees, we set off for the journey down which seemed very tame after coming up! 

   
    
  

 
Next we made our way through the town to the Duomo, and jolly splendid it was too. We were all starting to flag though so we stopped for a glass of wine, did some window shopping and then decided to make our way back and catch the 3.20 bus. It was very crowded on board, and more and more people got on but the driver didn’t seem to have a limit!

Ballagio

Lovely breakfast of croissants, coffee and Prosecco! Having been set up for the day we set off for the ferry port and caught the car ferry, a 15 minute ride, across the lake to Bellagio. It was a lovely bright sunny day, after last nights storms. We caught a tourist train for a tour around the town, which wasn’t bad, in that we saw bits of the town we wouldn’t have seen otherwise but the tractor pulling the train was far too big to go down the interesting streets.

When we got back to the port we explored on foot, stopping for a beer at various points. We found a little restaurant, not too touristy or expensive and I had a pizza. We caught the boat back to the hotel and I tried out the swimming pool as it was still very warm. In fact I am sitting outside now, at 10 o’clock and it is still warm. Off to Como tomorrow!