The last several days has been a whirlwind of driving, finding our way to Tuscany and settling into Villa Il Castellaccio. Wassen and the surrounding area was beautiful and relaxing. I’d love to visit more of the small mountain villages and especially return in the winter – to the places that are accessible. Several of the passes we drove through don’t open until June depending upon the snowfall, but there are ski areas that would be great for winter fun and photography.
After leaving Wassen, within a few kilometers we entered the Gotthard Tunnel. It’s 16 kilometers long and one of the worlds longest tunnels. It was just the beginning of driving “through” the mountains on our way to Lake Como. I lost track of the number of tunnels we went through, but it makes you appreciate the engineering and expense needed to build these highways.
Our next stop for a night was Moltrasio, Italy on Lake Como. My original plan was to stay somewhere north of Milan, but I started working with Riccardo at Suiteretreats.com on some trip details and he suggested Lake Como as a better alternative. He was absolutely right! He booked us at Hotel Posta in Moltrasio, across the street from one of the Lake Como ferry stops. In a future post, I’ll tell you more about Riccardo and the travel planning services he offers. Working with him has been wonderful.
Crossing the border into Italy from Switzerland was a day and night change. We left a multi-lane freeway, to narrow winding roads, roundabouts and in places, single lanes with traffic alternating in directions. We were driving between buildings so close I wondered if the car would fit through. It felt like we entered another world with cobblestone lanes and alleys, stone buildings, red-tiled roofs, golden facades and beautiful flowers. It could have been straight out of a movie set, but was filled with people carrying on their everyday lives.
We drove along the winding shore of Lake Como for several kilometers before reaching Moltrasio, a small, quiet village on the lake. We passed the hotel and discovered there are few places to turn around on the narrow roads – especially with the cars, bicyclists, buildings on one side and the lake on the other. But it was exciting to be there with better views around every curve. Finally turned around, we parked across the street from the hotel, which was right in front of a small plaza that is a ferry stop. We immediately decided to take a boat trip that afternoon.
Hotel Posta is a beautiful, old, family run, hotel, with cozy rooms overlooking the lake and wonderful views from the outdoor dining room. The perfect place to sit in the shade, relax and watch the world go by. After checking in we decided to take the next ferry to Bellagio, which was leaving in an hour.
The trip to Bellagio took about two hours with several stops at other small villages. Even though it was a bit hazy, the weather was perfect for a day on the water and the views of the hillside towns and villas were amazing.
In Bellagio the area around the dock was swarming with tourists, but once we started climbing the steps up into the village, the crowds thinned and we found a quiet restaurant for lunch. After pizza and cappuccino we wandered around the village and along the promenade at the waterfront. The afternoon passed quickly and we caught the 5:30 ferry for the 2 hour trip, relaxing with a glass of wine and stopping at new villages on the way back.