Other Grandeur Travelers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lake Como's La Dolce Vita

October, 2011. The dilemma in deciding where the next destination will be is a critical point for any traveler. Each destination essentially sets the mood and pace for the succeeding trips. Places have their pros and cons but more often than not, it all boils down to a) Time and b) Money. In  our case, the former was considerably pressing.

It was a toss-up between Venice and Lake Como. I had been to Venice once but I wanted to take my  dear sister there to give her a taste of the real Venetian experience. The Venetian hotels in Macau, Las Vegas, and Mckinley most certainly don't count.

Coming from Milan, however, Venice did not present itself as a practical choice. I was hankering for a new place to visit in Italy that did not require too much travel time. The allure of visiting a new place  had a heavier weight. Having one day to spare for this trip, Lake Como's 

(Originally, the plan was to visit Venice after Paris but we got a bad case of poisoning in the City of Love. It was not the most pleasant thing in the world to experience. Venice was immediately out of the question. We found ourselves in Switzerland after that. Full Story Later).

I was pleased that our eco-friendly hotel, Starhotels ECHO, was right across from Stazione Centrale.  Our hotel's location made it convenient for us to book our train tickets from Milan to Como S.G. I've made a mental note since then that accommodations should always be near the bus or train station whenever I travel.

Lake Como, which is included in the most beautiful lakes in the world list, is a mere 30-minute train ride from Italy's fashion capital. It does not get better than that. As soon as you leave the train station, you can reach Lake Como in less than 15 minutes, depending on how fast you walk. Follow the signs.

You'll see a good number of luxurious villas along the way. The way the vines covers the walls of these houses adds a bit of charm and sophistication. I'll have a house like this someday. I say, dream big. 

Here's a panoramic shot of Lake Como. This beautiful lake is nestled between hills and mountains in the Northern Italy known as Lake District.

There are actually five Principal towns here: Bellagio, Como, Varenna, Lecco, and Menaggio. It was unfortunate that we were only able to see Como since we missed the "earlier" train. We had a few hours left to go around. That meant we did not have time to take a boat and see the other towns. Nonetheless, I felt quite relieved. Sometimes, not doing anything when traveling is luxury in itself. It is nice to sit on a bench and enjoy the beautiful scenery like this.

The Duomo di Como dominates the landscape of this town.

Famous for its luxurious villas with sweeping views of the lake, Lake Como has been popular place as the backdrop of some Hollywood movies. (Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, James Bond, etc). Who wouldn't want to shoot their films here, anyway?

Luxury accommodations in Lake Como. Not bad.

I am sure most of you have heard that George Cloooney has a villa called Oleandra (since 2002) in Bellagio where he brings most of his famous friends.

Needless to say, most affluent people retire here in Lake Como and live the ultimate "La Dolce Vita". The Italians effortlessly live and breathe it.

We first headed to Piazza San Fedele before going to the Lake. It was not surprising too see luxury brands and goods sold in the small town. After all, most people who shop here regularly here must live in one of those beautiful villas.

This Gothic-Renaissance cathedral is a best example of transitional architecture style.

Piazza San Fedele may not be as grand as the plazas in Rome or Venice but the lake completely makes up for it.

There was something beyond the tourist attractions and lake though. I noticed that most locals had this vibe that made me want to relax too. 

Reading a paper had never seemed this blissful.

The atmosphere of Como compelled me stop for a moment and think about how fortunate I was to be traveling this much. What a privilege! 

How cute is this?

Living the Italian way means having the best wine and food on a normal day.

Or soaking up the sun with your loved one.

La Dolce Vita means having time for your grand kids.

Even dogs live the sweet life.

and it also means you get to be the best parent that you can be.

Lake Como gave me a glimpse  of myself when I retire. At the end of the day, "La Dolce Vita" simply speaks of having a balanced life without all the unnecessary distractions. You don't need millions of dollars to get a hold of it. It does not mean you need to have a luxurious villa overlooking Lake Como. La Dolce Vita demands some sort of contentment from us. As long as you have a clear mind and healthy body, the sweet life is not hard to attain. The ingredients are right around the corner. No need for too much sugar.

This is how I am living my life now. I am always grateful for that.

Other Things to See and Do in Lake Como.

1) Check out the Volta Temple, a monument built in honor of Alessandro Volta (Ah, that's why it's called voltage), an Italian physicist who invented THE Battery.

2) Take the Funicolare for more majestic views of Lake Como.

3) Visit the other towns. Bellagio is known to be one of the most beautiful towns in the world.

4) We saw some familiar objects: LOVE padlocks. 

I included that in my love locks post (Go read this post. Click here). If you go with someone special, you can come here and seal your love.



Anonymous said...

wow! breathtaking view - pia

Anonymous said...

.indeed..time money effort ;D ..been there last year for 4 months..u should've gone up there via the funiculare to mt. brunate for more breathtaking view of Lake Como.. (:

deobaraanmd said...

We really should have but we my sister was not up for it anymore. We'll go there next time.

Gladys | ByahengBarok.com said...

love your photos, as usual. how i wish i could there, too :)

deobaraanmd said...

thanks gladys! A must visit place when you go to milan.

Claire @lakwatsera de primera said...

Awesome scenery, those luxurious villas prolly cost millions of dollars

deobaraanmd said...

hi claire! they probably do. I wouldnt mind retiring in one villa like that. haha :)