Driving to Bellagio

Friday was another driving day, going up North for 4 hours. Through the very flat planes of the river Po, passing by Milan. Then as we approached Lake Como the mountains started quite suddenly rising up.

The big yellow villa is our hotel!

We took the ferry from Varenna to Bellagio and then drove slowly through the very small streets, always trying not to run over some tourists who apparently were completely oblivious to the fact that there was a car approching.

This was our last destination and the reason why we had made this trip in the first place. I had won a competition in a magazine for 2 nights in a five-star hotel, including dinner, massages, a boat tour and entrance to a big garden. The idea had been that since we were going to Italy anyway we might just as well make it a longer trip. And after having stayed in cheap hotels during the entire trip, arriving at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni was really wonderful. Loads of employees to take care of us, carry our luggage, guide us to our room with lake view... We even were brought a free bottle of champagne as a welcome!

My first big deed was to take a very long shower. Our bathroom alone was as big as some of the other hotel rooms!

This is the side of our hotel, where our room was and the view from the window:

Then we took a walk through the pretty village, over the hill and back.

I can still remember walking up and down these stairs as a child - when we used to go to Lake Como every summer!

Little harbour on the other side of the peninsula

Walking back over the hill

The promenade to the village center

Also have a look at the hotel's beautiful interior - like in some of the palaces we had visited!

In the evening we went to the hotel's restaurant Mistral where we had a table with a wonderful view over the lake and mountains behind which the sun was just setting.

The dinner that was included in my competition prize was a 7-course degustation menu of molecular kitchen, Italian style. It would cost 140.- € per person if you had to pay for it...

Everything tasted really good and the small portions were just the right size so that we would be full in the end.

The last course included ice cream that was frozen in nitrogene, and they prepared it right next to our table. It was quite spectacular with the smoke floating out of the bucket.
Flambé is so last century :-)

We finished the evening in the big room next to the restaurant where a trio of violin, piano and bass played a wide variety of music styles.