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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Varenna - Day 3

It's a most pleasant Sunday morning, the church bells ringing in the distance and a lovely view from our balcony

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A bit of morning haze but it should clear up as the day progresses.

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Right across the waters from us is the town called Menaggio

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and high in the hills if you look carefully you'll see a little white church perched on the edge

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That is the Church of San Martino and no, we're aren't hiking to visit it. It was built to house a wooden statue of the Madonna and Child. The story goes that the statue was hidden in a mountain cave to protect it when the town was destroyed. It was found 200 years later and brought back down but it disappeared once again, returning to this spot. The residents saw this as a sign and ultimately built the church to house it.

Today we're taking the ferry and heading for Bellagio

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The ferry stop isn't far from where we are staying and you'll find a couple of hotels and restaurants there as well, though we've never tried any of the places here

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While we were waiting this gull happily posed for me

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It takes between 10 and 15 minutes to reach Bellagio and gives you a chance to enjoy a different view of Varenna and the Lake

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That basically is the whole town.

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This is the Castle of Vezio peeking out from the top of the mountain.

All too soon we are approaching Bellagio

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Belaggio is a much bigger version of Varenna but still you'll have to climb stairs to get to the differing levels of the town.

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We found a nice place for lunch - out of the way and away from most of the tourists who seem to be all down at lake level

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After the last few big meals we just wanted something simple and this place specialises in wood-fired pizza

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I had the Pugliese which was an onion, parmesan and mozzarella pizza - the crust was super thin, it was just perfect. Simple but full of flavour.

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Paalo had the house special, La Grotta - tomato, porcini and prosciutto. He was one happy camper.

We finished off with a chilled glass of Mirto (Mirtillo Liqueur) and coffee

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After lunch we wandering around looking at the various shops before eventually heading back to Varenna

leaving Bellagio

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I have no idea what that little rocky outcrop with the trees on it is - if anyone does please let me know

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The sun sets on another day

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For dinner we return to another favourite spot Il Cavatappi

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We begin with an assortment of local cured meats - cut to order these really spoil us. Our local australian product just can't compare and the imports are just not worth the money as they are, most of the time, too dried out from the travel.

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For mains, Paalo has the special steak with fresh porcini mushrooms

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and I have the duck with orange sauce

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with a bowl of salad to share on the side

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For dessert, Paalo has the Fennel Mousse

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and I have the Nut Cake.

We end the evening with two glasses of Aged Marsala and coffee.

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