Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gotz comes to Italy #4: Lago di Como and... Hollywood!

On Wednesday, the day before heading to the Domolmiti, Gotz and I got up early (well early for me!) to catch the 8:30AM train to Varenna on Lago di Como. With our muffins that we purchased yesterday in hand, we walked briskly to the train station (it's really close to our house) and purchased our tickets. After looking at the tickets, it showed the destination as Varenna, so that’s what we were looking for on the big boards with the platforms listed. Of course, this was not the final destination of the train itself, so that city was not on the board. This confused me and Gotz!! We were running out of time, and at this point the train was leaving in less than five minutes. I found a guy that told us which platform, and we literally ran to the train. We boarded and sat down, then the train was leaving. That was a close one!!

Looking towards Menaggio from Varenna

Varenna from the ferry
The trip is typically one hour, but our train was delayed for some reason, so it took an hour and a half to get to Varenna. But when we finally arrived, it was a beautiful sunny morning, with a few clouds. We grabbed a coffee, and then we were on our way! That day we spent time in Varenna, Bellagio and Menaggio. We started by walking around Varenna and it was a cute small town with a really old church! It dated back to the 1100's, but there was a church on the property before that. Apparently it was the first church in the Lake Como area. Gotz got a great shot of the medieval door, but for some reason we didn't take pictures inside.
Welcome to Bellagio!

Some fall colors starting to show

The perfect wine pour for tasting!
We took the ferry from Varenna to Bellagio (about 15 minutes), and arrived to see that all of the tour buses for the day were just dropping off people. We were in a tourist haven!! But, we still enjoyed it. Navigating through all of the people, we walked up the hill and window shopped. I also showed Gotz where we had a wine tasting with Jamie when she visited this spring. That shop is so much fun with its automatic pours of wine! We walked all the way up the hill and out of town a bit to see the other side of Bellagio. If you've ever seen the map, Bellagio is out on a peninsula on Lago di Como. The city is on one side of the peninsula, but you can walk up the hill to look out on the other side of the lake. Which is exactly what we did. It was nice! There weren't many people, mainly locals, and the view was nice.
a fun archway in Belaggio

After enjoying a few hours of walking around Bellagio and admiring all of the silk scarves (this is one of my weaknesses!!), we decided to make a quick trip to Menaggio. The ferry was about 30 minutes because it stopped at Varenna on the way to Menaggio. By the point we arrived, we were getting a little tired and needed refreshment. So, gelato and coffee were in order! We walked around a little bit, but weren't impressed with the town. Apparently we didn't go far enough because Josh said there is a cool city center on a hill (we missed that). We decided to cut it short to get back for the midafternoon train back to Milan. We had plans to hit the clubs that night, so we wanted some time to nap before going out. Our ferry back to Varenna was about five minutes late which didn't give us much time to get up the hill to train station. When we arrived at the platform, we realized that we missed the ticket office (about halfway down the hill into town)... So bless Gotz, he ran down to get tickets. Although... he wasn't sure where the office is, so he ran all the way back to the pier where the ferries dock. After running around town for a few, he arrived in time to see the train arriving. We quickly stamped our tickets and we were off! Phew!

I napped on the train back into Milan and Gotz was following the route on his iPhone. We got home and relaxed for a bit, made dinner and when Josh got home from work we all ate dinner together. It was like our own little family dinner :) We had a cocktail, got ready, and then went to Corso Como. This area is known for its clubs and nightlife. We arrived around 11:30PM, so we had a drink and waited until about 1AM to go to the club. We decided on Hollywood- this place is famous here. The club really doesn't get going until between 1-2AM, and stays open until 6AM. We stayed for a while, and I danced liked I've never danced before! It's been a while since we've gone dancing, and I was pretty excited about that!! As we were dancing, the place started to fill up, and a group of about 10 models walked in to take their reserved seats near the dance floor. Of course... all the guys in the place started flocking and dancing near them. It was pretty funny!! The guys in Italy are really aggressive- so if you're a single guy looking to meet someone, you better be on your game! If you are a single girl... be on your guard! It was a fun night out, but we had to leave just as the club was heating up. We left about 2:30AM, grabbed a cab back to our neighborhood, bought donor kebaps at about 3AM (omg!! sooo good!) and went to bed. As much as we wanted to stay out, we knew that we had to get on the road early the next day to get to the Dolomiti. We were all too excited about that to stay out all night. Hollywood was fun and I am definitely going back there!! Maybe when Lew visits in November :)
Hollywood! (you can see the men swarming in the background,
trying to get the attention of the models by the wall)

Coming up... the Dolomiti!!

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