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Hello from Bellagio

Bellagio (Lake Como), Italy: And finally, I mean the actual city of Bellagio in Italy, and not the hotel in Las Vegas!

DT and I have had a very long day, so I will keep this brief. We caught a train to Milan from Florence at 11a.

Every time we are in Europe, we wonder why America doesn't have a similar train system with trains leaving constantly from every city, going to every other city? Cheap. Efficient. Why can't we hop on a train every 30 minutes to Salem or Eugene from Portland? Are we Americans so dependent on our cars that we can't adapt to a rail system? (Discuss amongst yourselves.)

Back to my story... we arrived in Milan 90 minutes later with no onward ticket. But we had a plan. Our plan was to meet-up with our friends from England, Shirley & Martin, in Bellagio (on Lake Como!). Shirley sent me a text message that they had made it to Como (after waking in Surrey at 4a to catch their plane to Milan) and were at a sidewalk cafe, waiting for a ferry to Bellagio. We went to a self-service kiosk in the Milan train station and booked ourselves tickets to Como on a train leaving in ten minutes and met-up with our friends in Como and continued-on to Bellagio with them on the "slow ferry".

The slow ferry is equivalent to a commuter bus  - it follows along the shore of Lake Como, stopping at every port and is just the perfect way to enjoy the lake and the views.

Leaving Como on the "slow ferry"

While on the ferry from Como to Bellagio, we watched Matt Centrowitz, Jr. earn the silver medal in the 1500m at the World Championships and also learned the British 4x100m team was disqualified. Happy and sad in our little international group. The World Championships are over - we hope you all enjoyed the meet from Moscow as much as we did from Italy.

Beautiful view from the "slow ferry"

Ninety minutes after boarding the "slow ferry", we four arrived in Bellagio. It is like fairyland. Unimaginable that such a place could exist on earth. So beautiful. Nestled just below the Swiss Alps, the Italian lakes are a popular area for summer and winter (skiing) holidays.

There are few roads in Bellagio. Built on a steep hill, we had to schlep our suitcases up many stair-filled narrow walk-ways to reach our hotel. Once we all settled-in and had a rest, we met for a cocktail on the shore and then enjoyed dinner on a restaurant balcony - with views over the lake.

You could not expect me to be this close to Milan without ordering Risotto Milanese - risotto with saffron - one of the most famous dishes from this area. There is a sprig of rosemary on the risotto, but the other "garnish" was a fried stick of dried spaghetti.

Two trains, one taxi (from Como to the pier) and a boat ride, makes for a very tiring day, so I will close.

Pedometer: 7,606 steps. I did not reach my goal of 10,000 steps today. Very difficult to do on a travel day, but I certainly have made-up for the slack the past few days in Florence?

Until my next update, I remain, your Bellagio correspondent.