We’re home now and I finally have enough brain power (post jet-lag) to upload some more photos. So I just posted a bunch more photos over here (on Flickr) of the final day we spent in Lake Como, and the 10 nights we spent in Tuscany. We stayed at Jay’s dad’s first cousin’s place in the hills of Massarosa. They’ve lived there for 15 years and have a beautiful b&b, with the gorgeous view you see in the photo above. We did day trips from there—to Lucca (ancient walled city), to the beaches of Viareggio; to Florence, to the hill towns north of Lucca, to a local winery, and to Vinci (birthplace of Leonardo).
Since I last posted, we’ve traveled from Amsterdam to Italy. We met up with Jay’s parents in Milan, and yesterday we drove up to Lake Como. I actually did the driving! It wasn’t bad—Jay’s a great navigator, and we only kinda got lost once and almost went to Switzerland!
We’re spending three nights here before we head down to Tuscany. We’re staying in the little town of Tremezzo, which is on the west side of the lake. When Jay and I visited here in 2000, we stayed in Varenna, which is on the east side. There are some lovely little towns here on the west, but unfortunately the main road running up along the lake on this side runs right through the towns, so there is a constant din of traffic. We’re going to head to Bellagio and/or Varenna tomorrow on one of the boats, so it will be interesting to see if they’re still as quiet and peaceful as Jay and I remember from our last visit.
So I’ve posted some photos from the last day or so you can check out (see photo set on Flickr). They mostly include some views of the lake, and our visit to the Villa Carlotta botanical gardens, which are right down the road from where we’re staying:
Villa Carlotta is the most famous public villa of Lake Como, in particular for its centuries-old 70,000sqm botanical gardens. . . . It was built, as a summer home, by Marquis Giorgio Clerici, an important gentleman from the Spanish and Austrian Milan.
The gardens are very beautiful and varied–including bamboo, pines, azealas, citrus fruits, hidden pathways, arbors, etc.