Italy 2005 ~ A LONG Walk in & Around Bellagio / Pescallo, Loppia, San Giovanni

Tuesday, June 28th

I woke up to clear blue skies and decided it would be a wonderful day to do the advertised “two hour” walk around the suburbs of Bellagio. Before starting the walk, I went out to get an espresso and brioche for breakfast. I also stopped in the little alimentari (grocery shop) which sells wonderful cheeses, basic supplies like pasta, cookies, milk, yogurt, water, etc. I bought some delicious pecorino cheese and some coconut yogurt and then headed out for my walk.

I started by heading towards Pescallo, a beautiful little fishing village that I visited last year. To get there, you climb about 50 steps and then walk down about 100 more steps. The views were amazing! I sat there for about an hour taking in the beauty while eating my yogurt and cheese.

I continued on to Via Volta. Because the supermercato was on this street and it appeared to be the midway point on the walk, I decided to split the walk in half, stopping at the store to buy some groceries, heading back to my apartment to put the groceries in the refrigerator, and then continuing my walk. Part of Via Volta was a pretty dangerous road to walk on. It had a very narrow shoulder with lots of cars speeding by.

After shopping, I checked out the map again. I decided to take the little side streets to get back to my apartment. BAD IDEA! I ended up walking up and down hills and steps as well as down narrow paths. It ended up taking at least 30 extra minutes to get back to the main road, which was probably five minutes in length to get to my apartment. Have I mentioned that I get lost easily? The plus was that I saw sights many others do not get to see in Bellagio.

Because I was carrying a big bottle of water and two bags of groceries and was concentrating on finding my way back to the main road, I did not take any pictures. At the time, I thought that maybe I would return to some of the interesting spots I explored while lost to take some pictures, but I never did.

Once I finally reached my apartment, I put my groceries away, ate some yogurt, fruit, and cheese for lunch, and then headed back out to continue my walk.

I decided to start from the town of Bellagio and head towards Loppia and San Giovanni instead of retracing my steps back to Via Volta. Once again, I ended up on a dangerous road that did not make me very happy. 

I made it to Loppia and saw the little restaurant that I had read about, Ristorante Darsene di Loppia. It is located to the right of the boats in the photo below.

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What I should have done was plan to eat lunch here instead of shopping and eating food I bought. It would have been a perfect place to stop for lunch. I really did not make many plans in advance for my time in Bellagio.  I was not about to take this walk again at night on the dangerous road and the only other way to reach the restaurant was through the Villa Melzi Garden, which would be closed. Next time!

Besides the restaurant, there was not much more to see in Loppia, so I continued on towards San Giovanni. The walking tour took me back for a short time on another dangerous stretch of road. Even though, it was a pretty walk. Along the way, I saw an interesting bridge, a beautiful church, and a very interesting orange building (a Mausoleum).

I finally reached San Giovanni. I wondered why the this was part of the advertised walk. The church was very beautiful, but the town was sparse, and there was nothing really to see or do except to go to the free beach nearby. There was another restaurant there though, that has very good reviews.

I headed back towards Bellagio, this time walking through the Villa Melzi Garden. The Villa has entrances both at the edge of Loppia and also at the edge of Bellagio. The Villa itself was closed but the grounds were beautiful. There were many different types of plants including banana plants and taro leaves and even a grass hut!

My two hour walk began at 10:30 am and finished it at 4:30 pm. Granted, I stopped for an hour to admire the beauty in Pescallo, stopped for about 15 minutes at a grocery store, and took a little side tour (lost),  but I still would not advertise the walk as a “two hour” walk, unless you did it more as a “run”. If you do decide to walk to Loppia, I would recommend walking through the Villa Melzi Garden instead of along the road.

Back in Bellagio, I continued walking past the town to the point called Punto Spartivento, the point at which the northern wind divides Como and Lecco. From this point, there is a wonderful view of Varenna and also the little town of Fiumelatte (the river of milk) where there you will find the shortest river in Italy. Because of the heat and the extremely low water levels this summer, the river was dry or if there was a river, it was only a small stream. What was seen instead from this point was a mark on the side of the mountain where the river was supposed to be.

By now, my little toes were pretty sore. I decided to head back to my apartment for a shower and to rest my feet for a while, watching my favorite telefilm show.

For dinner, I returned to the same restaurant (Antico Pozzo) for pizza since they looked pretty delicious the night before. Another mistake! The pizza was horrible! The absolute worse I have ever had in Italy and probably even in the US! I didn’t even eat a quarter of it. I ordered a pizza with mozzarella di bufala and fresh tomatoes. The dough was light yellow in color and hardly cooked. On top was some mozzarella cheese that was hardly cooked and on top of that was I think three cherry tomatoes in all cut up. It was a very disappointing dinner. I stopped to get a gelato on my way back to my room and ate some food that I had bought at the grocery store to complete my dinner. Again, I should have done more planning in advance.  

My dinner was not very memorable and I was lost for a while on my walk, but still, I enjoyed my day exploring Bellagio, Pescallo, Loppia, San Giovanni, and the Villa Melzi Garden. What I learned for future trips… plan, plan, plan in advance!

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