Lago di Como - Driving south and enjoying Bellagio

If you can't take a long Summer vacation, take a short one!
That's exactly what we did, departing on an early Friday morning, driving down to Italy.
We stopped a few times on the way, first at the Heidiland highway restaurant. I had my friend Willow from Honolulu with me and thought I'd let her be a good tourist.
We bought some cake as a snack for the road and watched the Heidi, goat and Peter puppets putting on an automated show. Cheesy but fun.
 Next stop: Splügen, the last village before the mountain pass.
The Hinterrhein river - one of the two who further down become the Rhine.
Typical house
Hello fish!
Driving up and up on many curves
It was rather cool and windy when we arrived on top of the mountain pass. 
A stone marks the boarder and you can hop between Switzerland and Italy.

Not exactly sure in which country we are jumping here... 
After that the narrow curves took us down - through small tunnels that look more like caves and where you have to honk before entering because the Italians sometimes drive like madmen!
I drove through until Varenna on the shores of lake Como. The have a big new parking garage that's cleverly hidden in the rocks and has a great view if you go to the upper levels.
We walked through the village and had our first gelato of the day. It's very pretty there.

Some posing
On the ferry to Bellagio.
There it is!
This village is one of the major attractions on Lake Como and when I was  child we came here many times. I had chosen to come here on Friday to avoid the weekend crowds.
We strolled around and went into many of the little shops, some of which sell things that are actually produced here, like leather goods. We bought some pretty leather arm bands.

And there's the Salita Serbelloni, the most photographed little street of Bellagio. A must have in the picture collection!
The shop that sells wooden items has a hole in the floor...

No visit to Italy is complete without at least one church. This one had beautiful mosaics over the altar.
I could not decide which picture of the promenade to choose so you get them all!
All the blooming oleander trees!

On our way back to Varenna
We drove back up to Colico where we met up with my aunt Maggie and later my cousin and his wife for a nice dinner outside. It had been very hot in the afternoon and was still quite warm at night.