Saturday, June 2, 2018

Another Visit to AMAZING Bellagio With More Friends

Friday, 1 June, 2018

The skies were a glorious blue and the temperatures were soaring, in other words a perfect day to go and visit the Lake Como village of Bellagio again.

We would see Bellagio legend and Skorpions Defensive Line Coach Pacio Cranchi and his bride Teresa again to be sure.

We would also be joined by our visiting delegation from Lake Garda, Susan and Michael D'Antuono from California and Joe O'Leary from England.

The 90 minute drive to Bellagio
ended with Lake Como vistas . . .

. . . like these

The Italian Lakes District is both naturally beautiful to the eye and peaceful for the soul.

The final 20 minutes of the drive on an extremely narrow, winding road, while beautiful to the eye is not so peaceful for the driver's soul or nerves as it turns out.

The usual issues trying to squeeze by oncoming vehicles, mostly small but a few times HUGE, was exacerbated by lots and lots of bike riders today also enjoying the break in the weather.

We survived it and are still alive to tell the tale, so it was a good test of the spirit.

A view of Lake Como from
Bellagio's Promenade . . .

. . . and another

How old is this lakefront balustrade?

The Ferry Landing at Bellagio
was our designated meeting place

Laurie and I have to take a ride on one of these lakeside ferries soon.

Calming lapping of small lake waters
on a man-made stone shoreline 

Joe O'Leary's artful picture
of Mike, Susan, Laurie and myself

A cappuccino and a brioche and the world was whole again after our sometimes daunting drive.

Time to hit the streets of Bellagio . . .

Colorful wine bottles demand . . .

. . . colorful bottle stoppers

One of Bellagio's many shopping streets
whispering Susan and Laurie names

It became instantly clear that these two were quickly entering a shopping feeding frenzy stage.

There was no holding them back.

Joe, Mike and I could only observe and pray that no one got hurt.

Another view of a beautiful
Bellagio pedestrian only street

Colorful ribbons preparing for
Saturday's National Holiday,
the Festa della Repubblica Italiana

This holiday marks 72 years since he newest Italian Republic was formed in 1946 after the conclusion of World War II and the end of Mussolini's Fascist regime.

Ready to make at home risotto pre-
packaged with, from left to right, saffron, strawberries, olives or mushrooms
The risotto was being sold in this
quaint market

Of course a Vespa was
parked on this lane

How much more Italian can you get?

Both of those genuine leather
Italian bags were sold in an instant

Laurie bought the pink one in her hand while Susan opted for one in black instead.

Meanwhile, I concentrated on the
warm colors of the buildings to
calm my quickly fraying financial nerves

Two REALLY happy visitors
to Bellagio and a guy still trying
to figure out what happened

Joe, George, Mike and Pacio

Or is it Joe, Pacio, Mike and George?

Laurie is still a bit confused when Pacio and I are together.

Pacio had some business to attend to in Varese today and only joined us for about the last 20 minutes of Joe, Susan and Mike's visit. It was after 4:00 p.m. and they still had to drive back to their hotel on Lake Garda, normally a two hour and 30 minute jaunt which would take them over three hours today unfortunately.

Pacio, ever so proud of his beautiful city, still wanted to take Laurie and I to see the lakeside Chiesa San Giovanni.

We said our goodbyes to Teresa who was in charge of their tented, street side market, selling Pacio and Teresa's handcrafted wood products, of which we bought more of course.

Teresa is such a nice, warm and outgoing lady.

I told you that Chiesa
San Giovanni was lakeside

Gorgeous interior with a priest
leading a group of children in
prayers and giving information
about the BVM

An ornate main altar is a MUST! 

The Madonna

This statue of the Madonna came from Fatima in Portugal, has resided in this church for some time, is headed to Milano on Saturday and then moves on to Chile for some unexplained reason after that.

The Lord, and this statue of the Madonna, both move in mysterious ways.

A Papal Zucchetto that was
once worn by Pope John Paul II 

The word zucchetto meaning "small gourd" comes from the Italian word zucca which translates to "pumpkin."

A Zucchetto is the small skullcap that the Pope wears as seen in the painting.

If this was the Bellagio in Las Vegas, this Zucchetto would probably be for sale with a Certificate of Authenticity from Moe Di Candia I'm sure.

As always, the BVM is
HUGE in Italy!

The dock just a few steps from the
Chiesa San Giovanni

Downtown Bellagio on the right

Nice little lakeside cottage

My current finances might,
just might mind you, allow me
to buy that row boat

What can we say to sum up our day at Bellagio?

I think the best example of our day's wonderful experience was how relatively few pictures we took. We were too busy talking and sharing the day with friends to take our usual 200-300 fotos.

Life in Italy is SO good!

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