OK, I apologize for the title, but, I was fortunate to arrive in Gravedona just before the start of their “Spring Party”, an annual celebration which takes place along the picturesque waterfront, and which included several live bands (one of which played excellent blues), food and wine tastings, face painting for the little ones, a fashion show, and dancing. It never got too crowded and everyone was having a good time. Near the blues band, I was able to catch in photos a young girl dancing on a boat pier to the music (see photos), it looked very bohemian.
Gravedona is a pleasant, picturesque, and friendly small town of approximately 4,200 perched on the west shore of the northern portion of Lake Como, and, although small, it is considered to be the main center of business and commerce for the area. This is not as popular a tourist destination as are many of the towns on the more southern parts of the lake, and I like that because that means that you do not have to deal with large crowds of tourists, and that you can better enjoy the local authentic Italian character. The main sights are the harbor and lakefront, a few notable churches, and the old Castello section. This area of the lake is well known for sailing and windsurfing (see previous blog), and there are many fine hiking trails throughout the adjacent valleys and mountains.
While in Gravedona, I visited the tiny hillside town of Livo (covered in a previous blog), and hiked between Gravedona and Domaso (to be covered in my next blog). Getting around without a car is a bit limited. Walking is great, there are a lot of trails outlined on the local maps. The ferry boat service to Gravedona and surrounding towns is very limited. Bus service is good, especially for routes that follow the lakefront, but limited for reaching the more inland towns such as Livo. I found Gravedona’s Tourist Information Office to be most excellent for assistance in boat and bus timetables and for info on visiting the area.
With the pleasant and picturesque harbor and lakefront, lack of huge tourist crowds, friendly natives, plenty of good restaurants, and plethora of hiking trails and water sports, Gravedonna is definitely in my opinion worth a visit, and is only a 45 minute ferry boat ride from Varenna and the central more popular part of the lake.
I’m in Italy, on the lakefront in Gravedona, listening to some good blues music, a young girl is on the pier soulfully dancing to the music, there’s good food and friendly natives, white capped mountain peaks are visible in the distance over Lake Como. If there is a heaven on earth, this has to be close to it. Ah, yes, there’s nothing quite like it.