As promised, I have a few more photos to share from our weekend. The aforementioned fog slowly crept in around the lake and cast a dull haze over the landscape for the rest of our trip. We felt lucky to have had such great weather the first day and enjoy the compelling scenery in all its splendor.
We briefly entertained visiting Varenna, located directly across from Menaggio, but decided instead to go for a “hike.” I put it in scare quotes because while Adam and I do have real life hiking shoes and a proper hiking backpack I more closely resemble Sporty Spice than Alpine aficionado and we rarely conquer elevations that would require poles or more advanced gear. I’m going to continue calling it hiking but I think we all know it’s walking and there’s no shame in that.
Ever onward, we declined anything strenuous and settled on the Greenway di Lago. The woman at the tourist office wondered aloud why it was even called such given that the walk itself doesn’t necessarily cross through any green areas. Rather, it’s a 10-kilometer hike that passes through five towns, giving you the opportunity to indulge in a little Italian village sampler platter. For us this was perfect (see note above about our hiking expectations): we could admire the impossibly charming old towns, catch a few rays while we were out and neatly knock out six miles in an afternoon.
The Greenway is located on the west side of the lake and begins in Colonno. It then passes through Sala Comacina, Ossuccio, Lenno, Tremezzo, and finishes at a nondescript bus stop in Cadenabbia. We were hoping someone would be there with free XL t-shirts and an 8-ounce bottle of water congratulating us on our efforts. Instead we were met with an almost indecipherable bus schedule and the fumes of a bus that had only just departed, leaving us with approximately 45 minutes until the next one hurtled by. Absolutely not interested in this plan, we decided to just walk back to Menaggio, roughly another 2 kilometers. I do not recommend this route since there isn’t exactly a sidewalk that runs the whole way and you may find yourself clinging Spiderman-like to a wall or guard rail. Maybe just grab some beers and wait out the bus instead?
It was a nice walk despite the fog that prevented the program-promised spectacular views. We arrived home with the spent feeling of having walked very leisurely for four and a half hours absorbing the character for which Italy is so renowned.
The sass! I’m almost positive I earned this face for making some snide comment about the fact that he’s wearing zip-off pants. I hate nothing more than those damn pants. “But they’re so practical!”
^^ We thought this enchanting little pathway was part of the Greenway. It’s definitely not. It’s a private trail for residents and a place where we had no business. Ever the responsible tourists!
^^ Should have tipped us off…
^^ Villa Balbiano is supposed to be one of the area’s most beautiful private homes. It looked a little worn, however, and the overgrown algae on the pond didn’t add any charm. The buzz is that it was recently purchased by a 21-year-old Russian woman and is in the process of undergoing “maintenance.” No judgment or anything…
^^ This delightful pastoral scene was hampered only by the rump you can see on your far right. This gentleman was in near hysterics trying to get after the two mares. Certainly nothing you want a teenage to see.
^^ Playing tennis, swatting the world’s biggest fly, or running to catch the fella who has the bottom half of his leg?
^^ Seriously, Italy, cut it with the idiotically charming and old-world cobbled alleys. Enough is enough and I can’t take it!
^^ Eerie, huh? Taken at 4 pm.
^^ Trying so, so hard to reach the lowest branch. Having a 6’5″ husband gives me a bit of a complex and I need to prove myself every so often.
Italy, we love you *this* much and are already looking forward to coming back. I studied abroad in Florence and would love to go back not only to revisit some of my favorite spots but also to apologize for my 20-year-old self.