Monday 7 November 2016

Crossing Lake Como with bikers

On day 2 of the Italian road trip, south of Basel, we entered the 17km long Gotthard tunnel that bores under the Alps and pops you out in Italian Switzerland - to drive alongside the beautiful Lago di Lugano with gorgeous homes on the edge of the lake surrounded by mountains. 

Lugano is right on the border with Italy; we cross over and minutes later have the first sightings of serene Como in muted shades of blue and green under an overcast sky.

At Cadenabbia we drive onto a car ferry. 
These ferries cross the lake every half hour and we're waved on with little concern for order, cars and motorbikes filling up the boat deck higgeldy piggeldy, Italian style. At the back, with a fabulously un-British finger to health and safety there's a basically pointless loose rope across the open end of the boat, where the bikers are standing and chatting.

As we pull away from the west side of Como lake, we join everyone else on the roof deck of the ferry 

(including a wee and clearly cosseted dog)

from where we have perfect views of a receding Cadenabbio, where Mary Shelley stayed and lingered - was she one of the first of the 19th century Brits to become obsessed with the beauty and quality of life in Italy?

and watch the 'pearl of Como', Bellagio, drawing near

The wee pooch sped off the ferry in a stylish open-top red car, bound for who knew what Sunday adventure.

Byron adored Bellagio and Flaubert declared that one could 'live and die here', but could we find the smallest sliver of a parking space?

Sadly no, so it was onwards and upwards along the coastal shore of this uniquely gorgeous lake, where locals were soaking up the last of the summer sun on jetties and tiny beaches

looked over by peeling ochre mansions and olive trees

Lake Como, Italy, September 2016


  1. Dear Karen, Count me in as one obsessed by the beauty and quality of life in Italy. We travel to Italy as often as we can. Even our new house sports the same yellow stucco and red tiled roofs as those of northern Italy.
    Your beautiful photos have made my day.

  2. Karen, I've done this exact little trek. It is amazing, isn't it? I love Italy, and I could easily move to the Amalfi Coast or maybe the lake country. It's in my heart. You brought it all back to me and I love it! You have a grand & glorious life, you know? sending love....

  3. Dear Karen, as I read your text, and marveled at the beauty of the surroundings and atmosphere of your journey and arrival at location cloaked in a blue mist, I became enchanted by these images.

    And then, I thought...some people actually live here, others have lived here for years. There are people who work on that ferry and other who live on the lake and keep that beauty beautiful. It always interests me to contemplate a lovely image from the point of view of the unknown folks who are on the other side of the lens.

    Your posts always encourage my imagination. Thank you! xo


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