Bellisimo Bellagio

Our delight in yesterday crept up and caught us by surprise.

We weren’t expecting much from the day: a long freeway trek from Villa Campestri to Brunate, a hilltop town overlooking Lake Como.

But it became one of our favourite experiences of the trip.

First we stopped for cappuccinos in the UNESCO listed town square of Modena. DD was keen to check it out because he’d been there a few times on business and never seen the historic part of town.

We were charmed by Modena. It once had canals like Venice, with porticoed buildings along the edges. The canals are long gone, but the gorgeous porticos remain, filled with stylish boutiques and bustling cafés.

Magical.

Then we powered on to Como. I started clapping with delight as we approached, but my enthusiasm evaporated when I saw the down-at-heel part of town we passed through. So we decided to drive along the edge of the lake in search of a little beauty. And found lots of it!

First we caught a local ferry for a sticky beak, then we hopped on a car ferry across the lake to Bellagio so DD could do some washing.

Bellagio at sunset was totally gorgeous. Belissimo!

As good fortune would have it, the laundromat was in a narrow, cobblestoned street opposite a fabulous wine bar. So we settled down at an outdoor table to nibble on charcuterie and sip our first ever rose Prosecco, which was sooooooo delicious.

When the laundry was done we meandered back to the car via the local gelateria for some superb coffee gelato, then set off on the lakeside road to Brunate, as the lights of Lake Como twinkled and fireworks sparked in the distance.

Brunate is perched waaaaaaaaay up high above Como. Our art nouveau hotel, the Bellavista, looks out over the whole lake.

The place was jumping when we arrived, a jazz band was playing in the courtyard and the restaurant was filled with happy patrons.

Our room is gorgeous, with French doors onto the amazing view.

We lay in bed listening to the band as the delicious aromas of the restaurant drifted up to our room.

Later we drank limoncello on the garden terrace while the band played on and Como twinkled far below.

A very special way to end the day.

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