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Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

We were staying in Lake Como last year in August, and fancied a trip to somewhere different. The Swiss border is very nearby, so we popped over and headed over to Lake Lugano to find some lunch. From Nesso you can either head down to Como and take the E35 or drive up to Bellago and take the car ferry across Lake Como and follow one of the smaller roads over to Lugano.

We went via Como, and ended up at the southern end of Lake Lugano in the village of Morcote. The area has a different feel to Como, even though it’s so close ( it took us just an hour from Nesso.

Morcote is a very attractive and quiet spot and we had a choice of places to eat, quite a few of which are right over the edge of the lake. We ate in the Ristorante della Posta, which is part of the Albergo della Poste which was lovely and we got to say that we’d been to Switzerland for lunch!

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If you want to see a stunning view like this, over Como town, but don’t fancy a long and steep walk

Como from Brunate

you can take the Funicular (funicolare, in Italian) up to Brunate from Como. This picture was taken a few years ago, but the view never fails to impress me; it feels like you could be flying!

I’ve just found this website about the Funicolare, which has lots of information about it (it was opened in 1894) Some of the info is a little out of date,  but it will give you an idea of the opening times and you can ‘enjoy’ the interesting translation into English.

Brunate is the start of the long walking trail from Como to Bellagio (this link has the all the info about it) but you can just do a short walk from the top of the funicular.

 

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If you want to take part in some of the very Italian Christmas celebrations, get yourself to Piazza Duomo in Como on the 24th of December at 1600. Here you will see Santa Claus (Babbo Natale) arrive with presents for the children.

I’ve also mentioned La Befana. If you want to see her arrive (usually in spectacular style!) you’ll need to be in Piazza Duomo on January the 6th 2011 at 1600….and here’s a link to a video which really gives you a sense of being there!

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Some people ask us,  ‘what can you do around Lake Como in the Winter?’  thinking that it’s just a Summer resort.

Well, we came across this website link yesterday which pulls together lots of information about events around Lake Como over Christmas and New Year. There are Christmas markets, an dinner cruise on the lake on New Year’s Eve (Capodanno) and lots more.  It’s a nice place to come for a few days after a skiing trip.

One Festival not mentioned in that link is La Befana which I wrote about earlier this year. La Befana.

Apart from Christmas and New Year festivities there are other things to do in Winter. The Moto Guzzi museum is open every working day from 1500-1600 except during August and in Como there’s also the Silk museum. The Como area is famous for silk, and many shops in Como and Bellagio sell beautiful examples.

Como also has a lovely theatre, Teatro Sociale Como which has dance and opera throughout the year…today, 10th December it’s ballet..

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Although the traditional season for Lake Como runs from about March to September/October it is very beautiful all the year round, although many attraction are closed out of season. If you just want an Italian getaway or fancy some walking high above the lake do consider coming outwith the traditional holiday time.

There’s a lovely route marked walk that goes along the ridge, all the way from Como to Bellagio. with great views. I’ll be putting the details either on the website or the blog in the not too distant future. You could easily split it up into sections and walk down to the road to catch the bus back to Nesso at the end of the day. We think that it would make a great Lake Como walking holiday, especially out of the main season, when the weather is cooler….
I’ll finish with a picture I took in November 2006. It’s up by the cyclists church (Madonna del Ghisallo, an amazing place, full of bicyles, photos etc) and the cycling museum which is at height of 754 metres.

View from Madonna del Ghisallo – Nov 2006.

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My partner used to live in an apartment on Lake Como in the village of Nesso. Nibbio Bruno is the Italian word for Black Kite and there are a number that live nearby and can be seen diving for fish outside the apartment window. I love to photograph them and am convinced that one deliberately taunts me, by flying close to the living room windows when I’ve managed to leave my camera in another room, or have the wrong lens attached! However I love to try and get better and better images of him and will just keep trying.
That Nibbio Bruno
We had a bit of a time trying to get the correct Italian name for him. A number of neighbours said he was a Poiana, but that appeared to be the translation for Buzzard. There are also a number of different dialect words from the different villages that added to the confusion. But finally having looked at some pictures and researched a bit, we decided that he is a Black Kite (Milvus migrans) and that the Italian is Nibbio Bruno….at least that’s what we are calling the one that flies past the apartment in the village of Nesso and sometimes fails to catch his fish. Just to confuse things even more, bruno is Italian for brown……
Nibbio Bruno misses his fish

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