Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Villas On the Lake: Outfit 12


Button-up, Pants, Belt: J Crew final sale / Shoes: Privo / Necklace, Earrings: AE /Purse: Nordstrom (bryna nicole)

This was our last full day at Lake Como, and it was supposed to be blustery and rainy . So I only wore the outfit above for dinner, and for the rest of the day I wore the lone hiking outfit I packed with my Keens.

We first went to the Orrido di Bellano, a gorge carved into the mountain where glacier water runs out of the Alps in spectacular falls then flows into the lake. While hiking up the ravine we crossed some interesting décor...


Apparently the gorge is as old. Prehistoric old. I suppose it did look a bit like Jurassic Park. The Husband was quite perturbed at those dinosaurs. He said they ruined perfectly good photos. We then continued deeper into the ravine on wooden platforms built into the rock that allow you to explore the gorge.


While driving to the gorge, the Husband noted a place from which he could dive into the lake {The man's obsessed. Obsessed.} There's an old road with tunnels along the shore that's used for hiking and biking. So we parked along the roadside and hiked down so he could dive in a few times, after which he was a happy little camper. Meanwhile, I gawked at the glimpses I caught of a stone house built into the hillside.


We next got lunch then headed to the Villa del Balbianello in Lenno. It was built in the late 1700s for a Franciscan Cardinal and is one of the most luxurious villas on the lake, with extensive terraced gardens. It's located at the tip of a peninsula and is also famous for having appeared in Star Wars Episode II, Ocean's Twelve, and Casino Royale. Today you can rent it for a wedding. If thousands and thousands of dollars is pocket change for you, of course. 

After hiking up the poorly marked trail and massive hill to the gate, however, we found it was closed for the day. Boo. So we appeased our appetites for luxury by watching this and this video instead, then went to the Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo. And, to spite me for wearing my hiking clothes all day long, the sun decided to come out just as we were graced with picture perfect backgrounds like this stairway to the Villa Carlotta, which, I just realized, I never photographed in entirety. It's massive....


The gardens were lovely and expansive. There were species from all over the world, from cacti to palms and lemon groves and everything in between, but the hydrangeas were my favorite. That's Bellagio across the lake from the hydrangea garden. We went there a few days earlier, remember?


The Villa really is spectacular, and the museum inside is just as interesting. It was built in the mid 1700s for a Milanese marquis then eventually purchased by the Princess Marianna of Prussia as a wedding present to her daughter, Carlotta, after whom the villa is named. The upstairs rooms are richly decorated and furnished, and downstairs is a gallery featuring several marble sculptures, including the famous Cupid and Psyche copy by Canova's pupil. Photographs indoors were prohibited, unfortunately.

After leaving the Villa, I explored Tremezzo a bit while the Husband searched for an ATM. There was a super fancy hotel facing the lake, as well as beautiful views of the Alps...


Once back in Domaso, I showered and changed for one last dinner at our favorite restaurant. This time we got a pizza with white cheese and cream and one with buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. We went for a final stroll by the lake and got a last gelato {raspberry and chocolate..YUM!} before heading back to the apartment to play Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride for one last fun-filled night with our friends.

6 comments:

Gentri said...

Oh my goodness... You are living a dream!!! That place is gorgeous!!! And you look so cute!

Stef / Diversions said...

hehe I love those dinousaurs :)
Beautiful shots all the way!

Megan said...

I love that top!

My fiance is obsessed with board games, and Carcassone and Ticket to Ride are two of my favorites! We are playing those all the time.

XO, a fellow redhead blogger :)

myedit said...

Ah! These pictures are beautiful!!! The gardens, the gorge... ok, the dinos are a little weird but the rest is breathtaking!

Ruby Girl said...

seeeeeriously??? When I saw this in Casino Royale, I remember thinking, oh my goodness, I hope Heaven is like this!! Seriously amazing. I would LOVE to go sometime!! also, I love the neutrals going on in your outfit! <3 www.rubygirlblog.com

Linda Z said...

Gorgeous!! Have you seen the movie "A Month by the Lake"? It was filmed here... so pretty! :)

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