That other branch of Lake Como

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

Author and references

No, we didn't visit "that" branch of Lake Como. Why? Mr. Alessandro Manzoni, starting his Promessi Sposi, was thinking of the Lecco branch. This travel diary, however,? set on the Como branch, and here is the title. Tune in? Let's go!

1 day

The rain. It rains on our sylvan faces, it rains on our hands and on our breakfast. Come already? in buckets, on the streets of Lenno? a stream that reaches my ankles, soaking my leather sandals.
We left home at 7.30 and reached Lenno around 9. We want to visit the Villa del Balbianello, but with this rain "you don't have to do it". We get back in the car, along the gray and heavy lake.
We arrive in Menaggio. It should be one of the most? beautiful. With this rain too? drenched. While parking, an elderly man comes against us with his car. Instead of stopping to check for damage, it accelerates and disappears. Marco chases him and joins him. The gentleman sends him to that country. The beautiful country.
We get out of the car under a light drizzle to take some pictures in Menaggio. Alleys, nice little shops. But the climate remains depressing. We drive the next hour, observing the rain drumming on the windshield. We are sad and angry. Let's Snap.
Going down the lake we stop in front of Villa Sola Cabiati, an imposing, magnificent building. Unfortunately ? private and our visit? barred by a beautiful gate.
It is now 12 and we head to the hotel to leave our things. Fortunately, the room? ready, so? we console ourselves from the rain with a soft pillow. The room ? large and beautiful, with 2 balconies, but very cold. Finally at 13.30pm the rain stops: the sky opens and the sun looks out shyly. We must take this opportunity.
We get back in the car towards Villa Carlotta, in Tremezzo. The Carlotta that gives? the name of the villa was Princess of Prussia: she received the palace as a gift, built at the end of the 600th century, for her marriage to a prince of Saxony. Apparently, it was? of a love marriage, interrupted by her untimely death at 23 years old. Meanwhile, the princess had time to give birth to 3 children. Ah for ?.
Villa Carlotta? sumptuous, luxuriant. If the interiors are impressive, the botanical garden? wonderful. It extends for hectares and? a jungle of exotic flowers and plants. From the terraces of the villa you can see the lake, you feel like the kings of the world. The princesses, at least.
Is it 16.30 pm and the day? still long, now that the sun makes the lake sparkle and sweat in clothes. A thought passes through us. The pool! The hotel swimming pool, caressed in a dream in the previous days. Nobody takes a bath from us.
19pm. We go out for dinner. We booked in a little place in Tremezzo, Cantina Follie. We are celebrating our anniversary. Wine, maxi cheese and salami platter, bread basket. We come out crooked, very crooked. On the pillow, the head is lost in small waves. We sleep.

2 day

Wake up early and breakfast. This morning the Villa del Balbianello awaits us. The one with the Star Wars balcony, so to speak.
The villa is located in Lenno, which we crossed the previous day, and can be reached with a stretch of road on foot. Or by boat, if you have pennies to spend. Today, Villa del Balbianello? owned del FAI: it was built by a cardinal in search of a second holiday home. But the owner more? famous was Guido Monzino, a rich explorer.
Inside the villa? the museum of his expeditions and collections has been set up: books, ancient artifacts, chinoiserie, sledges, paintings on glass, medals. The environment has a virile, pleasant air.
The gardens of the villa are a feast for the eyes. The photos are consumed on the loggia. The lake ? immortalized from all angles. Who knows? what it must be like to wake up here every morning. I don't think we'll ever be lucky enough to find out.
After a quick lunch, we take the ferry to Bellagio, on the other side of the lake. That branch! The town? enchanting, a tangle of uphill alleys. But the heat and fatigue are felt, we wander in search of benches and ice cream. We chase some Pokemon. We take pride in our laziness.
It is now 17 and? time to take the boat back to the opposite bank. From there, we get back into the car. The weekend ? now all consumed.
Mountains rising from the waters, farewell.

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