Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The villas and palazzos along the lakeside really are beautiful, with some dating back to the 15th Century and 17th Century. It seems that few remain in the hands of the original families. Those with constant tenure seem to be owned by the Catholic Church. One gorgeous property was gifted to an Italian Philanthropic Foundation within the last couple of years when the gentleman who owned it passed away. It has been used in the Star Wars series and James Bond as one of the locations for filming, it really is spectacular And is located on a small peninsular so is well positioned to look effective on film. Other villas seem to have become owned by multiple families, one per floor, as a means of making them affordable. With many villas being three levels, this is a good way of sharing access to these beautiful buildings. The villa owned by Donatella Versace has recently sold for €35 million to a Russian millionaire.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Thanks to the Executive Lounge I have rediscovered Bailey's Irish Cream Licquer. The problem is that I tend to drink it like I drink port, preferring a substantial tumbler of it, on ice of course, rather than a dainty little sip.
The only way to really get the full benefit of Lake Como is to explore it by water. This we did today, taking a boat across the lake from where we are staying, and heading up the lake, past private villas and palazzos, across to Nesso which we viewed from the water. With a Roman bridge and waterfall, it is very quaint.
The castle in Verona was quite interesting to visit and actually provides one of the best viewpoints of parts of the city from the Ponte Castelvecchio. The structure dates from 1354 - 1355.
This morning we left Venice via water taxi, then on to meet our driver for the road trip to Lake Como. We had decided that as the trip is only about three hours, we would stop in Verona for a couple of hours to have a look around, break our journey, have lunch, then head on. So by mid morning we were exploring the city of Verona. Next largest city in the area after Venice it really is worth a stop of a couple of days. Highlights include old Roman bridges, a Roman theatre and arena - really a small Colisseum, as well as an old castle. While we could still look around the castle, and the outside of the Roman arena, being Monday there was no entry to the museums or internal areas.