Arriving to the Hotel:
We caught the train from Vernon to Como after having two wonderful days at Vernon. If we go to Bellagio on Lake Como, what else will we find and enjoy? When we arrived at Como, we didn’t realise that we could take a water ferry to Bellagio as the cheapest way to travel. Instead we took a taxi all the way to Bellagio which cost 80 euro instead of 25 euro with the ferry. It turned out to be a 5.45 hour trip. When we first saw Lake Como, it was AWESOME with the great expanse of water and the different mountains rising up behind (Italian Alps).
When we finally arrived at our hotel, at the reception, the three woman as customer relations woman were so personal …. as if they were family. We were treated as very special guests. Before we came to Italy our travel agent (Shane) in Brisbane, Australia, we asked for a lake view on Lake Como. He talked with an Italian colleague who suggested Hotel Belvedere as the best option. We were given this absolutely wonderful lake view in our separate apartment down a little from the main hotel. It was if Shaun had been here before. See the photos below.
It was not on the waterfront but the first view when you walked out on the balcony of the apartment, was the lake which was about two kilometres across and the mountains rose almost a kilometre out of the lake. The mountains arose in a series of undulations.
Hotel Belvedere ….. Your private panorama
The Belvedere was not born in a boardroom or constructed by committee. It was crafted by five generations of women. Since 1880, it has been a family business, a true calling passed from mother to daughter. These days, three generations: grandmother Signora Lucia, mother Signora Tiziana, and daughter Giulia, are present on the premises to welcome you to their world with a warmth beyond words.
Entry to the Hotel
The Units in Hotel Belvedere
A front relaxing area in Hotel Belvedere
Another front relaxing area in Hotel Belvedere
The main lounge for relaxing in Hotel Belvedere
The main dining room in Hotel Belvedere where you would have breakfast, lunch and dinner. A long glass window gave you a superb view of Lake Como ….. looking down over two kilometers of water with a mountain which suddenly rises about a kilometre above the water. What a place to eat …. AWESOME !!
Unbeknown to us, Harriet had unknowing booked and paid for dinner when we got there on the first day, breakfast in the morning and dinner the next night. It was already paid for in our prior payment of our hotel stay over two days. We had a selection from a set menu.
Another view of the dining room from the far end ….. you went into an adjacent room to select your breakfast. There were tables pushed together with piles of food. Do you like eating food? There was far more than you could ever select !!
A fresh new table for every meal …. it has a white tablecloth and a potted flowering orchid to greet you at every meal
The three woman as customer relations woman …. they were so personal …. as if they were family
Our Own Private Apartment Overlooking Lake Como ….
View of Lake Como and the Mountains
This was the first view when you walked out on the balcony …. the lake was about two kilometres across and the mountains rose almost a kilometre up out of the lake. Then the mountains arose in a series of undulations. Then there were little fishing villages all along the far lake shore in ochre – cream coloured stone in a low-set fashion. A road and railway line connects one village to the next with villages about every kilometer along the shoreline ….. AWESOME !!
Apart from the immediate view of the garden, there was this enthralling view of Lake Como as a vast stretch of grey rippled water. This was in combination with the vertically ascending mountain. Where does the view start and stop? The obvious view off our little balcony, is the grey water of the lake and the edge of the lake on the far side.
The next day after arriving, we went on a ferry to one of these villages …. Village Varenna … one of the largest ones in the area.
The immediate view was over two house blocks and down to the waters edge of grey rippled water about 200 metres away. The view being over two house blocks was fascinating and enjoyable. The houses in the whole area have curved terracotta rooves. There is many alternations in the curved tiles. A top rounded tile curves into an upturned down tile then a top rounded tile curves into that upturned down tile in the next line of tiles.
The terracotta rooves of the different houses intersect each other by criss-crossing in different directions to the next house. The effect is lovely. The actual terracotta rooves is a picture of life itself as it could be of unity and harmony with others. The tiles are uniformly placed so each tile being about 0.5 metre long with the next one in longitudinally rows. See this post from when we were in Assisi from a few days earlier: Tiles from Assisi. We climbed up to a small balcony on the roof our hotel to see these views.
The tiles are overall a terracotta colour and some are a dark red. Some are a lighter creamy colour. Because the tiles are unglazed, they are a little porous on the outside, they hold a little bit of moisture on the tile surface. This allows the tile roof to age …to give a blotched effect with moss and lichens.
Looking at the terracotta rooves gave this aged, blotchy effect. Harriet and I and I trust like you, just love the effect. It almost looks like a living roof. It gives a real hand-made look versus a machine – built look.
These rooves are then intersected by small green trees. The greenery harmonises with the blotched terracotta rooves.
White birds (seagulls) fly around the water making seagull sounds in the quietness of the lake. They roost on the red terracotta rooves of the buildings below us. They are very apparent against the red terracotta rooves.
The Actual Apartment …. a separate block to the Hotel above
The view of Lake Como from the balcony
Harriet my wife looking down at me from the balcony
The Hotel above our Apartment …. you walked down a curved path to our apartment or walked up for your meals
The bed in our apartment
Further Photos of Lake Como From the Apartment:
The Gardens Around The Apartment:
The Garden Overview:
Being given a separate apartment a little lower down the slope than the main hotel meant many things. We initially looked down from a small balcony which looked directly over the lake and the mountains. It was spectacular !! We could then look out on the the terracotta rooves giving an aged, blotchy effect of the nearby houses.
But then we looked down into the extensive Belvedere garden. It was very simple and consisted of a large flat grassy terrace below up to 20 metres wide and about 100 metres long. On this grassy terrace was placed an assortment of garden lounges (see photo below) to enjoy the sun. In Italy here, getting enough sun is a very important thing whereas were we come in Brisbane, Queensland Australia, we have so much sun, (subtropical climate) we want to get out it. There were several groups of garden lounges across this lawn. See photo below on the spa with garden lounges outside.
One prominent thing about this garden was the garden hedging on the lower side facing the lake. The hedging gave a sense of enclosure in the garden. The hedging gave a formal feel to the garden then three were informal areas. Hydrangeas with broad dark green leaves grow up to 2.0 metres high with big bunches of pink flowers. The Hydrangeas merge with mass planting of azaleas and other shrubs to about 1.5 metres high. Some of these shrubs I have not seen before.
Hydrangeas: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Colours and soil acidity
In most species the flowers are white, but in some species (notably H. macrophylla), can be blue, red, pink, light purple, or dark purple. In these species the color is affected by the presence of aluminium ions which are available or tied up depending upon the soil pH. For H. macrophylla and H. serrata cultivars, the flower color can be determined by the relative acidity of the soil: an acidic soil (pH below 7), will have available aluminum ions and typically produce flowers that are blue to purple, whereas an alkaline soil (pH above 7) will tie up aluminum ions and result in pink or red flowers. This is caused by a color change of the flower pigments in the presence of aluminium ions which can be taken up into hyperaccumulating plants. Lowering the pH of potting soils or mixes usually does not change the flower color to blue, because these soils have no aluminum ions. The ability to blue or pink a hydrangea is also influenced by the cultivar. Some plants are selected for their ability to be blued, while others are bred and selected to be red, pink or white. The flower color of most other Hydrangea species is not affected by aluminum and cannot be changed or shifted. Hydrangeas also have a nickname called ‘Change Rose’.
Vehicular access to the garage on the lower right-hand side of the apartment
The extensive Belvedere garden. It was very simple and consisted of a large flat grassy terrace below up to 20 metres wide and about 100 metres long. On this grassy terrace was placed an assortment of garden lounges to enjoy the sun.
The hedging gave a formal feel to the garden. Above this was a compact wall of ivy on the top side of the sloping path coming down to the apartment.
An earthen pot of red dipladenia. See this website for images of dipladenia if you are interested in gardening, dipladenias are a must !!
The spa with garden lounges outside
The Hydrangeas merge with the hedging giving a formal feel to the garden.
The hedging gave a formal feel to the garden
On the grassy terrace was placed an assortment of garden lounges to enjoy the sun
Hydrangeas with broad dark green leaves grow up to 2.0 metres high with big bunches of pink flowers.
Some of these shrubs I have not seen before. They have large pink flowers with reddish centres at the end long canes.
Hydrangeas with broad dark green leaves grow up to 2.0 metres high with big bunches of pink flowers. The Hydrangeas merge with mass planting of azaleas and other shrubs to about 1.0 metre high. A curved informal planted bed of roses is close to the outer hedge of plants. It is about 1.0 metre wide X 6.0 metres long. There is one large red rose (photo below). There are about half a dozen roses out and makes for an eye-catching portion of the garden.
Roses: flower closeup
Hydrangeas with soft purple and pink flowers …. see above and below.
A Hydrangea shrub with large green leaves
The garden slide show via the Imgur Website …. Click on the arrows below: