Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Bella Bella Bellagio
Most of you know how crazy I am about my home state of California, especially the Central Coast and Big Sur. Well, I think I have found a place on earth to match the natural beauty of Big Sur....here in the Lake District of northern Italy. Bellagio is a tiny little town that sits out on a point in the middle of Lake Como, in the Italian Alps. The lush green and forested mountains come spilling down into the lake, joining its tranquil blue watery surface. Along with Bellagio (its notoriety increased as soon as George Cloony bought a villa here), there are other towns dotting the hillsides along the lake, with red-tiled roofs and facades painted in warm shades of ochre and salmon. And, at night, the lights of the towns twinkle across the lake, with the sounds of the water lapping gently at my feet and the moon shining down on this little piece of Goddess' sweet earth.
The townspeople are friendly, similar to Vernazza, yet while Vernazza was a beach town, Bellagio is a bit more upscale, but not stuffy in the least. Flavio (surname not essential and left undiscovered) is the man who owns and runs the apartment I've rented and he has been helpful in every way, giving us his recommendations on restaurants and such. I have the pleasure of sharing this part of Italy with my oldest daughter, Kellee and her two sons, Taylor and Gavin (8 and 4). Enough room for all of us. We found THE yummiest place for our morning cappacinos and afternoon gelatos. Speaking of gelato, there are more gelato shops per square kilometer here than there are Starbucks in the States. Yeah, believe it. And the flavors! Oh my, fresh peach, melon, lemon, strawberry, and my favorite, caffe. Been walking up a storm, but this gelato is going to do me in. And, I have learned that ordering a quarter liter of house wine is cheaper than either water or a soft drink....so, guess what I've been drinking? Yep.
Right now I'm sitting in a groovy wine bar slash Internet cafe just outside our apartment door, playing what kind of music?? American jazz. Taylor is playing a game called Runescape on the other computer, keeping him quite occupied. Planning on going to the lake beach later today and tomorrow we will be taking a long ferry ride to explore the rest of the lake. If I could organize a writer's conference here, I would do it in a heartbeat. Anybody out there who has any inclination for seeking out the world's most beautiful and tranquil spots must come to Lake Como. I'm thinking that organizing a writer's retreat or workshop in Bellagio would be a most spendid idea. Hmmmm....wheels a turning, wheels a turning.