Notes from Bellagio

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Saturday 14/5:

The photo above is taken from the roof terrace of our hotel. Fantastic views from up there and we’ve had it to ourselves for most of the afternoon. The photo below is taken from street level looking up. You can see a fine figure of a man waving from the 1st floor balcony. C’est Moi and I’m standing outside our room.

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This is a fantastic hotel, Lee-Anne put us onto it. We had no plans to come to Bellagio at all, but when we sat down with her to plan the trip she said we HAD to come here and she knew just the right place to stay. And she was right, it’s fantastic.

Here’s the website for you to look at. They even have a webcam so you can look up and down the lake and see what’s going on. If you let us know when you are going to look at it, we’ll stand in front of the camera and wave!

http://www.albergometropole.it/

Having said all of that, it is also a bit surreal. We feel like we’ve stepped into the middle of a Noel Coward play. An Italian hotel that is almost English; staff that all speak English; and fading English guests (not us!) that wander around with cigarette holders and long tapered cigarettes with a glass of gin & tonic or Pimm’s in the other hand.

Even the younger women frock up for breakfast!

There were a few more tourists around the place today than I thought was appropriate, but what can you do? The town is gorgeous. Narrow and steep alleyways climb up the hill behind the hotel, all beautifully cobble stoned with small shops lining them. Just look at this:

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Of course most of the shops are all ‘tourist’ shops and outrageously expensive, but the difference between here & Paris is that in Paris it was Tourist Tat – awful stuff. Here it is very good quality leather, silk, merino, carvings and so on.

Today was a total ‘veg out’ day. Breakfast at 9.30ish, left the hotel at about 10.45 for a wander around the streets then back for a picnic lunch on the terrace roof.

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After a bit of a ‘Nanna’ nap for the 2 of us, I even raised enough energy mid afternoon to descend to the ground floor and procure 1/2 litre of the house white and return to the roof where C eagerly awaited my return.

We are dining at the restaurant again tonight, such good gluten free food should not be sneezed at. Last night I tried the veal. It wasn’t bad, but not quite as good as the genuine Italian food you get at Da Angelo in Battery Point.

I’ll see what they can do with duck tonight.

By the time dinner had come around we had been entertained with a great thunder storm and rain. The temperature had dropped about 15 degrees.

Note to overseas travellers, check the menu VERY carefully. I ordered what I thought was breast of roast duck with apples somewhere (I assumed some sort of apple sauce) along with a side of grilled veggies. I was really looking forward to a hot meal.

The veggies arrived as ordered and as expected. The duck however was somewhat different. It was like thinly shaved priscuitto and was lying on a bed of sliced apples – and it was cold! Aarrgghh!

Note to self: check the menu VERY carefully tomorrow night! Additionally, if the waiter gives you a funny look and says ‘you wanto that for your maino courseo?’ Think again.

The photo below is a better one of an alleyway than the one above. I don’t know how to delete that and replace it with this one, so you get 2!

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Just heading off to bed, turned on the TV for a check and stumbled across the final of Eurovision complete with Italian commentators. Now you can’t get much better entertainment than that!

Sunday 15/5: Sunday, the day of rest, so we decided to take it literally. A late breakfast (again) and then a walk over to the Porto (you can work it out, come on….) followed by a stroll over to a neighbouring suburb – magnifico. Then time to hit the terrace roof.

Now, some notes on terrace roof chair etiquette. Today the terrace was much more crowded, with not a spare deck chair in sight, although we had managed to secure a couple through our wise early appearance.

However, if you have to move away from your chair, you don’t both go at the same time! An English couple unwisely did this and before you could say Papa Guiseppe, one of the chairs had been flogged.

Down the length of the terrace ran the enraged Pom, ‘Scusa, Scusa, that’s my chair!’ The offending thief pretended to look sheepish and embarrassed, but didn’t carry it off well.

Property rights re-established, calm settled on the somnolent group and we slumbered on.

We made the acquaintance of a new drink later – an Aperol Spritzer. Introduced by 2 English ladies who insisted they didn’t drink much but who had already sculled 2 of these and just finished a bottle of red. Think we will try them again tomorrow to see if they still taste as good.

Restaurant for dinner, took note of previous ‘note to self’ and ordered the fresh char grilled fillet of sea bass. Buonissimo!

The streets around here are very narrow, not much wider than the alley ways. This morning we were surprised to see a cavalcade of fine cars winding their way through the hordes of tourists. I think it was the local version of Targa – or Targo as they call it here. Below is a photo of some of the cars with our fine hotel in the background:

Ciao

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Monday 16/5: It’s 8:00am and the sun is shining magnifico. Thinking it might be wise to go to breakfast a touch earlier, get in a quick walk and establish property rights on the terrace before the great unwashed get ideas above their station.

Ciao

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6 Responses to Notes from Bellagio

  1. Gail Foster says:

    Thanks Jim
    I have noted for the “Foster’s flyaway”
    1. Take frock
    2.Take umbrella
    3. Take notice of the waiter’s body language.
    4. Save shopping money for Italy
    Grazie! Arrivederci!
    Gail

  2. Deirdre I'Anson says:

    Hi Jim & Cheryl
    Can see you are having a wonderful time,exploring,relaxing,etc,etc. The photos tell it all.
    Lake Como is a beautiful spot, especially with it’s little towns like Bellagio. Are you visiting Mennagio & Verenna? They are fascinating as well.
    We are off to Uganda this week for 10 days, then back to Thailand via Dubai. Will be lovely to get to some warm weather. It’s been very cold here. Winter has hit before autumn has even finished.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip!
    Love
    De & Neville

    • Jim Wilson says:

      G’day Nev & Dee, good to hear from you. Didn’t realise you’d been here, yep it’s gorgeous! We came in via Varenna so saw it from the water in good evening light. We also leave that way, ferry from here to Varenna then train to Milano.

      Not doing a lot of wandering from here as this is our ‘down time’. Have spent a lot of time on the terrace roof reading, eating, drinking and snoozing!

      Your coming trip sounds a lot more daunting than ours! But the warmer weather will certainly be welcome. About 23 here today. We get back 10 June from Santorini – now that’s going to be a challenge!

  3. BILL PERRY says:

    Ah.. the life of the idle rich! I see where you went wrong re the cold duck Jim. Wasn’t that a drink? Well, you assumed “caldo” was cold didn’t you ? – when it’s actually the word for hot. Never mind easily done. I’ll check on your exploits when I return from The Big Island next week.

  4. Lynne OCB says:

    love the cobbled laneways and the rooftop chairs and drinkies? aaaah! lovely!
    I was hoping for some R&R myself today, but got called in to work – bummer!
    Pete is enjoying the perks of P&WL and swanning around Melaleuca for a few days!
    I’m expecting you to be the expert on Italian and French wines on your return!
    How’s the Italian shoe collection going Cheryl?

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