VILLAGE HOPPING ON LAKE COMO

Lake Como is a place of alluring images and scenes. The best way to experience this is to travel by boat from village to village. There is an excellent boat service that runs the whole length of the lake and stops at most of the larger villages, but you must have a copy of the boat schedule in order to work out a time schedule between villages if you want to hop from village to village. Next, you need a map of the town, if one is available. For the smaller villages that do not have a tourist office (which is most of the small villages on Lake Como, you can usually find maps or other information from the local hotels, or the next place too look would be local bars or tabbacci (literally, tobacco shop—sells cigarettes and miscellaneous small items such as newspapers, magazines, gum and candy, and bus tickets for the local buses).  And, of course, if you have a smart phone, there are many apps for maps that are free.
How I usually explore a new town is to first get to a high place, such as a church bell tower (that you are allowed to climb) ar an overlooking hilltop in order to see the layout of the town, get my bearings, and see what I can see that I want to visit.
My first day out on the lake started with an awful, cold rain, with wind. I don’t think this is very normal for middle of May here. It was a Tuesday and the boats were mostly empty. Not many tourists out, for sire. Not many locals either. So, here I was, the crazy American in a short sleeved shirt braving the cold and rain, on a mission to see and photograph all I could. As they say, where there’s a will, there’s sometimes a dummy!?
Anyway, the first village I visited is a really splendid little town just a 23 minute boat ride from Como (town). I was able to get a map from a friendly hotel just next to the pier, stopped at their cafe for an espresso, and then hit the cobblestone streets. Moltrasio, just like most of the lake villages, is built on a steep hillside. This means a lot, and a lot more steps. Don’t come here if you are not in pretty decent physical condition, and there is not much (really very, very little) accommodation for the physically disabled. Up and Up I climbed. Occasionally, I would cross a bridge over a small creek or two, all swollen with the latest rain, and adding their soothing sounds to those of the neighborhood birds. There are barely any automobiles around. Many of the streets are narrow pedestrian paths. The number of local villagers you might see will vary depending on the time of day. Most people go home or go to the cafes from about 1:30 until 4 pm. If the village is small and has limited piazzas for public gatherings, you might not even see many locals even in the evenings, when it is customary to go out for an evening stroll through town (in Italy, they call this tradition the passeggiata). For my visit, it was very quiet and isolated, which can be ok since I can concentrate on the scenery and the photography. If I want someone to chat with, I drop into a local bar for espresso. The locals usually try to talk a little, it can be fun when we both don’t speak the other’s language.   If we try, a few choice words can say a lot.
Later in the day when I got on the boat to the next village on today’s journey, Nesso, the rain and wind and cold was really awfull. I nearly decided to take the next boat back to Como town.  Well, just as the boat landed an Nesso, the rain stopped. And, miraculously, the clouds quickly cleared and the sun appeared.  I clearly saw this as a sign.  Maybe I will have to come back to Nesso someday.  It is another pleasant village perched on a steep hillside on the lakefront, but, Nesso, is a bit more isolated, and very much less touristy than Moltrasio and many of the other lake villages, and there are a lot of properties for sale at very good prices here, and, hey, George Cloony lives just across on the opposite side of the lake which is very narrow at this part of the lake.  I think the Italians need a few more Americanos around, and George and his lovely new wife surely need a neighbor to water the plants when they’re away.
My final stop today was another small small hillside lake village, Torno, this one though has a very nice, picturesque and tiny harbor complete with small boats. It looks like a movie set.
That’s enough writing for now, I’ll let you view some photos. I have much more to write about on this trip, but with all ther is to see, I’m having to force myself to find time to write, but I promise to do more.

Lake Como and rain.

Lake Como and rain.

Lake Como

Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Moltrasio, Lake Como

Nesso, Lake Como

Nesso, Lake Como

Nesso, Lake Como

Nesso, Lake Como

Nesso, Lake Como

Nesso, Lake Como

Nesso, Lake Como

Nesso, Lake Como

Nesso, Lake Como

Nesso, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

Torno, Lake Como

One comment

  1. Enjoyed the photo tour of Moltrasio! Also explored Moltrasio in Google Earth with its 3D buildings. Together I could follow your journey. Thanks for posting. Ken

    Like

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