Subject: Re: Bellagio hotel
Dear Stan, The drive to Belvedere is a long one, all along the lake, up and down and around. There are several routes; get advice from someone as to the best way. The first time I went, one road was closed and I took a very difficult route with serious mountain driving.

I have taken the ferry across the lake to Cadenabbia or Menaggio (they are next to each other -- can't remember which one) and then taken a public bus to Lugano for the day. I can't say I adore Lugano, however, even though it's pretty along the lake and a good shopping city. It seems kind of big and commercial after the Italian tiny villages. I suggest you do your driving on your way in or out of Bellagio -- while there, enjoy walking up to the mountain villages, taking the ferry around the lake, eating, cafe-sitting staring at the lake and the people, shopping. Look for absolutely beautiful silk scarves -- Como region is the center of the Italian silk industry...but expensive! The almost-as-pretty polyester ones are nicer than you would expect........

Be sure to visit old, pretty Varenna for a lovely day -- much better than driving to a tourist city. You'll go by ferry in 10 minutes.

You may have seen my earlier notes about visiting the 2 beautiful villa gardens very near Bellagio -- one just a nice walk to the left, as you face the ferry dock -- and there's a nice country inn, Sylvio's, where you can get a very good lunch after the villa visit. The other garden is across by ferry to Menaggio (or Cadenabbia); can't think of the name but it's a lovely morning's visit. Laura or Tiziana at Belvedere will tell you how to get to both. Give them my love -- from Carol Doctor. They know me for years. Carol