One of the reasons we love to go with Go Ahead Tours is that we are afforded more than enough time to wander off by ourselves wherever we are..and we are very prone to wandering off! After checking into our hotel we had about 3 hours before the group dinner. We could have taken a nap after being up over 22 hours flying to Italy and then taking the bus to Lake Como, and several of our fellow travelers did just that, but we decided we needed to turn our internal clocks around so we chose to explore our area instead.From the beach I spied a castle turret! I just knew we could find our way to that neighborhood and figured we had enough time to go explore. We are ever so happy we did!
We wandered up and around the cobblestone streets and soaked up the beautiful views of the neighborhood. There were lots of these little winding streets. As tired as we were it was wonderful to be able to slowly make our way up the hill and see these beautiful and charming homes along our way.
I think there are two types of traveler. One is the traveler who enjoys the beautiful sights, enjoys the relaxing pace, enjoys hanging out with their companions. The other is the traveler who is also fascinated by the country, culture, art and history of where they are traveling and this type of traveler soaks up every bit of information and revels in the realization that a simple cobblestone path, such as this one, has been walked on for centuries by thousands of people in all types of dress on their way to all sorts of activities and jobs in their daily lives. My imagination is always momentarily awestruck before it starts picturing what those people looked like and what they were doing!
Details. This is what sets Europe apart. The details like this aqua colored gate. The wrought iron lamps with their curlie-ques and animal faces, the flower boxes with red geraniums, colored doors and gates and more make up the picturesque beauty of Europe. I discovered this is Italy and have not found another country in which this is more true than Italy. (Keep in mind I've never been to France so I may well change my mind when I visit that country! LOL!)
As we were walking up the hill to the castle we noticed several pathways down to the beach. This neighborhood seemed to be welcoming you back to Lake Como at every turn!
At the top of the hill was the Castle! My very first castle in Europe! I was truly giddy with excitement. On a narrow street that didn't allow me enough room to capture the entire building I was limited to photos that caught pieces of the castle. I love this one the most because it gives you a taste of all the small details like the turret, the wrought iron gate, even the arched windows.
Ok, so I get a lot of weird looks when I photograph the signs in front of historical buildings. But here I am, several years later, and I can "remember" what this castle was all about. I can just enter the words into an online translator and find out, once again, that this was built in the 14th century and known as the Tower of Rezzonico for the royal family of Rezzonico and currently is home to the church of the Magi Kings which was restored in the 17th century. If you are a traveler like me you are currently swimming in the idea that this castle was built in the FOURTEENTH CENTURY!!! And the most recent real renovation to the church there was done in the SEVENTEENTH CENTURY!!! Makes my head and my imagination reel!To our delight there were beautiful garden paths surrounding the castle. To our disappointment we were there on a day when the gates were locked and all we could do was enjoy the vantage points from there.
But what we were able to see looked lush and beautiful.Finally we were able to take one of those paths back to the Lake. I love the medieval feel of this walkway with the stone arch and walls as well as the cobblestone pathway.
We were rewarded by this beautiful view of Lake Como. The Italian alps, the boats, the architecture, it all makes up for a wonderful, serene view. We were so tired that this was sheer bliss to just hang out at this viewpoint...till we realized we were about to miss dinner if we didn't hurry up and get back to the hotel because we had been wandering for almost 3 hours!
Next week we'll head off to the town of Como, tour Villa Carlotta and then onto our lake tour to Bellagio! Until then you can always get beautiful photos every day on Instagram. Just follow shutterbugtraveler on there. This week we are in Hawaii!