Storms over Villa Melzi // Lake Como, Italy

Storms over Villa Melzi // Lake Como, Italy

Villa Melzi - Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy-2

On our first morning in Bellagio the weatherman’s promises came to fruition – the cracks of thunder the previous night continued right through breakfast. Our rental apartment, with its huge skylights, permitted the flashes of lightning to evoke a rather creepy sense of vulnerability into our living room. Our visit to Lake Como thus far was limited to a 11PM arrival after the long drive from Heidelberg the previous day (including a 2 hour wait at the famous Gotthard tunnel, essentially the only way of passing through the Alps and not to be overlooked for its lengthy delays for drivers!) so we were eager to stretch our legs and find George and Amal scope out what the fuss was all about. 

Joined by our close friends, Lucas and Lisa, the aggravating weather quite literally couldn’t rain on our vacation parade. Two years ago we had jokingly named them Start’s Godparents because we adore them so much. In turn, they take their role seriously… so serious in fact that a picture of Stuart is on Lisa’s home screen on her phone.

When the skies broke for a few hours around lunch we made a run for it to explore Villa Melzi, a gorgeous estate close to the town center of Bellagio famed for its garden. 

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With the streets totally desolate, we quickly scooted across the village and along the lakefront. The water was grayish-blue from all the commotion from the previous 12 hours. 

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Upon arrival to the gardens we were delighted to find that while we had tucked away to hide from the storm, just about everything around us was blooming vibrantly, reaching upwards for more water. We heard rumbling on the far side of the lake (a la the cup of water scene in Jurassic Park?) so our pace quickened as we began to wind our way through the property. 

Without time or a plan, we went choose-your-own-adventure style through the various footpaths and paved walkways, opting for the route that offered the most appealing flora within eyesight. 

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from that time I shared a lake with George and Amal…

A photo posted by Margo (@margo.paige) on

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With the skies darkening rapidly and dramatically and a tangible change in pressure, we knew that it wouldn’t be long before the next series of storms arrived. 

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today I learned that my favorite color palette is ‘Italian villa gardens between storms’ 💕☔️

A photo posted by Margo (@margo.paige) on

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High-stepping it back through the village we made a necessary, but risky, pit stop at the local market for essentials – wine, cheese, and baguettes. Big fat raindrops fell on our jackets as we walk-jogged the final 50 feet into the safety of our apartment. Lisa and I promptly washed and sliced strawberries, then tossed them in our barrel-sized glasses of white wine for an afternoon of chatter and libations. 

In the spirit of being totally cheesy – while the storms raged outside we made our own little sunshine inside. Rain or shine, nothing beats traveling with friends. 🙂

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  • The rain is a great reason to break out that amazing raincoat!!

    • ha! girlfriend, you can borrow that thing whenever you please! well… you might have to fight @jordanbeckwagner:disqus for it…

  • Gorgeous — even in the greyness of the day!

    • totally agree! I hope you get a chance to get to lake como someday soon, it really is beautiful!

  • So unbelievably beautiful! And I think the stormy clouds actually add to the appeal of the scenery! 🙂

    • I think you’re exactly right, dear! had the skies been totally sunny I don’t think the pictures would have come out as well.

  • Despite less than ideal weather, you sure made it sound and look incredible!! Plus, a rain storm in Italy is better than a rain storm most places 😉

    xo Mary-Katherine

    • ha, thanks gal. i think that rule applies to most things, right? like ‘a ____ in Italy is better than a ____ most places.’? ha!

  • The Lake Como area looks absolutely gorgeous! I really want to visit someday!

    • it really is sooo incredibly beautiful! I DO hope you get the chance to explore it someday soon! 😀

  • Aww what a lovely ending! Such stunning photos too! <3

    • thanks so much, Vanisha! It was definitely a great day!

  • So beautiful!!
    Another city to my list :b xo

    • bingo! Bellagio is definitely worthy of a top slot on that list too! 😀

  • Beautiful photos, again!

    • thanks so much, dear!

  • The place looks so dramatic and stunning in this weather 🙂

    • I totally agree! I actually think that had it been bright and sunny my pictures would have been way less interesting. I love how vibrant everything was during the storms!

  • Ahh this is lovely!! We recently went to Japan and I loved taking photos right after a rainstorm– the clouds are so majestic!

  • I absolutely loved Bellagio and these pictures bring back so many good memories.

    • That’s wonderful to hear – glad I could transport both of us back there! It’s such a a special place. When did you visit?

  • Wonderful pictures! I’ve decided to move to Rome next year and am obsessed with all things Italy! Great post 🙂

    • Thanks, dear! Can I just say how excited I am to follow along with your Roman life? That’s going to be pretty amazing to say the least.

  • I am swooning over this post so much, Margo!! I totally know how it feels to be bummed out that it’s raining, but looking through these photos and reading about your day makes me want to have the exact same day. Sometimes my most treasured travel days are rainy days because you have to figure out how to make it work… and sometimes the silliness of it all makes it that much more magical 🙂 The clouds, the moody light, the lack of people… it’s all so beautiful. I LOVE the moody alleyways. The shops are so happy looking, but the contrast of the weather makes it seem so cozy. I gotta make it over to Lake Como asap!

    • If there’s a gal that can articulate their appreciation for a rainy day, it’s YOU! I totally love everything you said here about the calm yet moody skies between storms – it really does make for such a special time to be out and about photographing. 😀

  • So fun! I’m actually a huge fan of traveling in the rain – the empty streets and sense of urgency makes everything so much more magical!

    • You’re so delightfully interesting. I love it. Yes, I can totally see what you’re saying. I’ve also noticed that a lot of pro photographers really encourage getting out and taking pictures during/just after the rain, which I try to do… but that conflicts with my hermit-like ways of coping with bad weather. You can call me a rain-hermit?

      (In hindsight, this is one of the weirder blog comments I’ve ever made…I’m sorry, but I know you understand…!) xo

  • Margo. What a magnificent post. It’s like we’re almost there! I’m such a huge fan of your blog. Keep it coming!!

    • Thanks so much, Anita. That feeling like you’re there with me is precisely my goal! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

  • Even in the rain this place looks amazing! I love your spirit of making the most of your trip despite the storms. Makes me want to visit here someday 🙂

    • Thanks so much, dear! I guess you need a bit of bad weather to remind you to appreciate it the good weather, right?

  • This place is straight up beautiful! Your photographs are absolutely amazing also!!! This is definitely on my list now.

    • Wonderful! Have you been to the area yet? If you like the look of this then I’m sure you’d also love much of Switzerland. It seems like there’s lakes and peaks everywhere!

      • Hahaha you’re going to think I’m crazy but within the 4 days between the time I commented and now I’ve actually booked the last two weeks in July to visit this place, some places in Switzerland and Prague! You sold it to me, all I needed was a little inspiration!

        • haha! are you serious? I totally love that. Let me know how it goes!

          • I’m genuinely being serious hahaha! I’ll be updating on my blog and social media so just pop round every now and then 🙂

  • Mima Isono

    I’m impressed with the pictures quality despite the weather. They are all gorgeous. And Lake Como is a beautiful place.

    Mima || Tokyo Blogger ||

    • Thanks so much, Mima. Dramatic/angry skies definitely make getting interesting shots easier!

  • Awww so adorable! Still want to steal your yellow coat 😉

    • and ya still can’t havvveeee it!

      on an unrelated note – it’s currently 85 degrees inside our apartment. I am literally melting. #moforACingermany?

  • I love this! I only spent a few hours in Bellagio but I fell in love!

    • thanks gal! can’t wait to see pictures from your honeymoon – it looked amazing!

  • Duarte Oliveira
    • thanks so much, Duarte! 🙂

  • Gorgeous shots! It’s always lovely to have sunshine, but these clouds make for some incredible photography – I love it all!

    • Thanks so much, love! I didn’t realize how much I’d end up liking those stormy skies in my pictures- they were so threatening at the time! 😀

  • Despite the rain, you got some incredible shots! Looks like a fun day!

    • thanks so much dear! I have to admit that I was pretty excited when I went back through my pictures – I didn’t anticipate the stormy skies would make the pictures so moody! 😀

  • World Journeys

    the weather fails to dampen its beauty!