Kayaking Lake Como // Bellagio Water Sports
At 9:45AM we were half-trotting up the walled pass from the touristy village over a small ridge to the lesser-known Eastern side of the peninsula. While Vespas had been buzzing through the main artery of Bellagio, here we were greeted by silence. Following our instincts, we found our way to the tiniest of harbors. Swans nosed at our shoes as we took seats along the three small concrete steps at the waters’ edge. The lake before us was totally placid and breathtaking.
Mich, the owner and lead guide from Bellagio Water Sports, arrived shortly after and greeted us warmly, obviously just as excited as we were about the hours ahead. After a brief introduction and chat about the morning route, we each lowered ourselves into neon kayaks- mine a blazing yellow. It felt as though we were paddling on glass as we skimmed past a row of sailboats and set of buoys.
Growing increasingly at ease captaining our tiny boats, we cruised closely along the rocky cliffs below the UNESCO protected Rockefellar estate. Looking east, heavy mist rose up the mountains, unveiling the lakeside village of Varenna – famed among the stars as the ultimate Como wedding destination.
Working our way around the peninsula, keeping the shore on our left, we paddled past massive estates and ultra-luxurious hotels. At one point Dan abandoned his kayak and bravely took a leap off a diving board in a deserted swim area in the name of GoPro footage (it looks awesome too!). Mich called for us as we neared Bellagio and congregated our kayaks together in front of the village. Bellagio is absolutely beautiful with its pastels and lakefront promenade.
With time ticking, we reluctantly turned back and retraced our strokes. Pausing at the tip of the peninsula with 270 degrees of lake views, Mich popped a bottle of champagne and poured each of us a glass. Raising our plastic flutes in the air, “Saluti!” we sang.
Nearing the end of our tour, the morning mist had given way to warm tones and still sleepy town. The inquisitive swans circled nearby as we de-boarded. Mich suggested that we continue our blissful day at La Bellagina pizzeria and we all immediately concurred. From our table on the balcony of the restaurant we drank house wine (as one should always do in Italy), shared slices and recounted our perfect morning before a sweeping view of the lake. So fun!