Photo Diary: Bellagio, Italy & My Most Memorable Dinner in Europe
The petite, yet world-famous, town of Bellagio sits on very end of a peninsula jutting into the crystal clear Lake Como. A favorite of the Rockefeller’s, Madonna and Donatella Versace, we (Dan and I along with our dear friends, Lucas and Lisa) knew that our visit there would be a memorable one. What I didn’t realize though is that in 3 short days we’d all grow to love Bellagio so much that we’d cancel plans to go to Milan and see the World Expo just so we could stay another night longer. Bellagio is amazing and unlike anywhere else that I’ve ever visited.
While visiting I compiled 400+ images as I wondered the streets… and I swear, it’s not all that big! After our stormy start, lasting over 24 hours, when the skies finally cleared the town beamed to life with locals pouring into the streets along with tourists, all rejoicing with the sun.
As I often do, I took a few solo ‘photography walks’ (read: not suitable for companionship while I painfully 1-2 step down the street) over the course of our stay. Vespas buzzed through the alleyways while along the lake sleek wooden water taxis zipped luxury travelers to their villas.
The scene in Bellagio is straight out of a James Bond movie, so you’ll have to pardon me while I unload a heap of photos that I’m convinced you all MUST see.
After all the ooh-ing and aahh-ing in the town of Bellagio, we followed the guidance of a local up to Trattoria Baita Belvedere. With wine in mind, we took advantage of their free shuttle service from the town center to the restaurant high above.
As promised, the view from the terrace was REMARKABLE.
The oohs and aaahs continued right through our first bottle of wine. Our chatty waiter (who also served as the shuttle driver) explained that the entire meal was sourced within 5KM of the restaurant. Fresh cheese from the goats down the road, vegetables from the garden nearby, and lake fish from… exhibit A:
…and of course, my fav, white wine from the rolling vineyards right there on the peninsula. Since Lucas’s birthday had been overshadowed the previous day by a long car ride from Heidelberg (with 2 delightful hours of standstill traffic at the Gotthard tunnel) we decided to celebrate his 30th birthday right then and there.
After immediate consensus, we sprang for the local cheese platter as a starter. Pretending to be somewhat civilized adults (aka life with finance/econ-major husbands), we worked clockwise around the platter, distributing each cheese into quarters, tasting then discussing.
This lasted for five minutes.
Sipping our wine between samples, by the end it was a heavenly, cheesy free-for-all. (I had to!)
I went with the venison spaghetti for my 1st course and Lisa opted for the lasagna. Both were sooo tasty but I think Lisa might have made the better choice.
Flaky white ‘lake fish’ (as it was termed) with veggies and polenta for my main.
…and a muffin-like elderflower cake with homemade ice cream for dessert.
As night fell we toasted to Lucas’s 30 years then agreed that this birthday meal would, in fact, never be topped.