Sometimes it’s amazing where you find really good articles…my wife threw a magazine at me yesterday and said “you have to read the article in here about Lake Como”. You’ll remember that we visited Lake Como last year during our trip to Italy. We both loved it! I want to go back to spend more time exploring and photographing. Well, today I got around to reading the article from the September issue of Vanity Fair magazine entitled Crazy for Lake Como on page 366 (sorry, it’s currently not available on line).
The article was very well written and talked about the history of Lake Como area (it’s more than just the city of Como itself), how the area has changed over the past few hundred years, and more importantly how it’s changed and changing in the past few years (ever since George Cloone bought a villa on Lake Como).
Usually, these type of pop-culture magazines don’t interest me at all. However, this article went into a lot more detail on the history of the lake than I expected. One of the most interesting parts was a few paragraphs where the author was able to talk to a long time owner of one of the more famous villas on Lake Como, the Villa Melzi d’Eril. After reading this section of the article–Prince Fulco Gallarati Scotti mentioned how he has kept the villa private even as he has opened the gardens that surround the villa to the public–I had a tingling sensation. I had been there!
The way it was described, this was the gardens that my wife and I had walked through many times while visiting Belagio. We stayed at a hotel near the village of Loppia and this villa is between Loppia and Belagio, so it was easier to walk through the gardens (entrance requires a modest fee) than along the road to get into Belagio.
There is a wonderful little chapel on the south edge of the villa grounds. The ceiling of the chapel has these wonderful black and white frescoes that I loved. I was able to capture each one as well as other aspects of the chapel. (Click through either of these two photos to view more of the photos).
The gardens of the villa are wonderful place to explore. The grounds are kept in wonderful condition by a team of gardeners. Even thought it did seem busy in the garden at times, it never lost that tranquil garden feeling. All these photos were taken from the garden of the Villa Melzi.
If you ever get a chance to visit and explore the little towns and villages around Lake Como, take it! I think the best way to explore the island is over the course of a week, but get out and visit multiple cities and areas. There is ferry service between most towns and a bike is one of the best ways to get around in or near town.
You can check out more photos from my time at Lake Como on my site. I would have to agree with the article, I’m Crazy for Lake Como too!