by Anna
The end to another beautiful day on Lake Como

Our final stop on the Sherwood Family Italy Tour was gorgeous Lake Como. Linda found us a cozy apartment through the Albergo Milano in the small town of Varenna. Varenna could not have been more charming with its colorful waterfront buildings sprinkled with elegant villas and a tiny waterfront full of the fattest, healthiest and best looking ducks we had ever seen! Our stay in Varenna was immediately kicked off with a late afternoon aperitivo at the Hotel du Lac. Upon arriving, we had intended to take a longer stroll to explore the town, but the blackboard in front of Hotel du Lac boasting fresh white peach Bellinis on its perfect lake front deck was too much for us to resist.

On the deck of Hotel du Lac We couldn’t resist the Bellinis!
Leaves around the lake were showing signs of autumn Views from our daily stroll along the lake
Lake Como

After our Bellini pit stop and some more strolling through the town, we got ready to head to dinner at the Ristorante La Vista at the Albergo Milano. We were treated to the most beautiful sunset over the lake from our table on the restaurant’s amazing terrace, and figured the view would be the best part of the night, but it got even better with a delicious meal and the “hotel cat,” Sashimi, who curled up in Linda’s lap during the meal.

It doesn’t get much better than this
Sunset over Varenna Sunset over the lake
The view just kept getting better
Luckily there was a gelato store at the end of our street!

The next day we hopped on the ferry for a quick ride over to Bellagio, “the pearl of Lake Como.” I had great memories from a trip that I took to Bellagio in college and was so excited to make a return visit! Bellagio is pretty in every way…its steep narrow streets, panoramic views of the lake and perfectly landscaped trees and flowers. After spending the morning admiring the beautiful gardens of Villa Melzi, we had yet another delicious meal at Trattoria San Giacomo on one of Bellagio’s picturesque streets and topped it off with local microbrews and white wines at Aperitivo et Al.

Riding the ferry to Bellagio
Villa Melzi
The gardens of Villa Melzi Villa Melzi’s “front patio” is not too shabby
Monument of Dante and Beatrice by Giambattista Comolli in the gardens
Tree and flower-lined path in Bellagio View from our lunch spot in Bellagio
Big Jay and Johnny were happy to find a good Italian microbrew

We decided that for our final night with Jay and Linda in Lake Como, we should return to our two favorite spots – the terrace at Hotel du Lac and the Ristorante La Vista. The views and food just couldn’t be beat!

A final round of aperitivos at Hotel du Lac (we grew to be very fond of bright orange Aperol Spritzs!)
The stunning view from Ristorante La Vista was a perfect backdrop for our final evening with Linda and Jay

The next day we sadly saw Jay and Linda off at the train station. We could not have asked for a more wonderful two weeks with them, and we are so grateful that they were able to join us on part of our adventure!!

We spent the remainder of the day and the following day catching up on emails and the blog and researching the upcoming parts of our trip. We also completed the “golden triangle” on Lake Como and took the ferry to the town of Mennagio for lunch. On our way back from lunch, we were almost to our hotel when we heard “Johnny!” from across the street. Believe it or not, Johnny’s friends from San Francisco, Dennis and Robyn, were waving across at us…of all places to run into friends from home! Dennis and Robin now live in London and were on a weekend getaway with their Aussie friends, Linda and Philippe. They invited us to join them for dinner, so a few hours later we were all sitting together swapping travel stories (I think Dennis and Robyn have been EVERYWHERE, so we got some great travel tips for Turkey and South Africa) and having an awesome time! What a great way to spend our last night in Italy!!

Dinner with Dennis, Robyn, Linda and Philippe So lucky to run into friends on our travels!

**The reason why we are cracking up in the group photo is because the cutest, oldest and smallest Italian man was taking our photo. It took a few attempts to show him how to use Johnny’s high tech camera, and when he finally got the button, with flash, pushed, the camera went on automatic timer mode, so he just held the camera for 15 seconds while the camera beeped and finally took the picture. It was pretty funny…he must have thought we were crazy!

So it is time to say ‘Arrivederci’ to Italy, as we make our way east to Turkey tomorrow! Our next update will be from Ephesus!


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