Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lake Como: Cruising for Clooney

Dear nice people who happened to share a Lake Como ferry with us,

I realize it is highly unlikely that any of you are reading this right now, but on the very off chance that you have somehow inadvertently ended up here, I believe I owe you an apology.  Please believe that when I asked the crew if we had already passed George Clooney's house, I did so only so that we could stop guessing in vain.  Also, please take it on faith, that when I asked them to point it out when we did  pass by, I was at best hoping for an announcement.  I had to way of anticipating that we would end up doing aquatic donuts in front of the man's house.  Trust me that it was not my intention to divert the express ferry so that we could have additional gawking time.  Likewise, I did not foresee that my friend would take upon herself to dramatically and repeatedly pantomime flashing her breasts in the direction of said home (although her declaration on the train ride from Milan stating that if she saw Clooney, she was going to show her tits should have clued me in).  I guess I should apologize to the small and somewhat frightened children for that one.
You see, folks, as with the prior's day of directionless wandering in nearby Milan, we had not prepared for this outing.  We knew there was a pretty lake nearby and that hottie sexpot Clooney resided somewhere in the area.

On departing the train at the Lago Como stop, we managed to wander in the opposite direction of the lake.  We eventually remedied this error and bound onto the first departing ferry we saw.  (Note: You may not believe this, kind folks, but I assure you, we did absolutely nothing to deviate this first ferry from its scheduled trajectory.)


With no earthly clue what Casa de Clooney looks like or where on this Y shaped lake it may be located, we were kind of at a loss on that particular mission, but we were happy to be on our way to Bellagio, the supposed prettiest of the cities on the lake.


Only problem was that our ferry was only doing a mini-tour, one which went nowhere near Bellagio. We jumped off on the second stop, Cernobbio and wandered that small city for a bit, not really sure what we would find.





It was at a charming pizza place here that a waiter explained that we could still make it to Bellagio if we jumped on the next ferry and that with the almost 3 hour before the final return ferry of the day, we could effectively cover the city.



Villa d'Este: Forbes best hotel in the world 2009


And this is how we all came to share a ferry.  Our small group of four was ready to kick back and enjoy the ride.  By this point, we had photographed a postcard featuring the Clooney villa so that we had a point of reference (albeit one without a map). Admittedly, it was I that thought we would enjoy the scenic ride a bit more, if could just put the photo away and have someone point out the damned house already.


Not Clooney

So, yes, I did ask the crew about it.  But I was just as confused as anyone else when, smack in the middle of the lake, we began to veer sharply to the right.  I was doubly confounded when, just as we had almost reached the water's edge, we veered sharply to the left.  Was the captain drunk?  Had someone dropped their favorite pair of sunglasses in the water? Were we avoiding a highly improbable iceberg? Nope, we had reached it.
Georgie's house
Seeing as I am addressing this post to a group of people that are surely not reading this, let me address myself to one person that is surely not reading this. Listen, Georgito, I am a fan of your work.  I think you are rocking the salt and pepper hair like nobody's business.  Given half the chance, I would happily do unspeakable things to you (twice!).  But, if we frightened you or your staff with our impression of a voracious circling shark..then, my bad.  Also, and I hope this assessment is not going to come between our beautiful relationship, but- how do I say this?- your house is surprisingly unimpressive.  Sure, it is big but it is closely surrounded by other non-famous people houses. And you have a church as a near immediate neighbor. Those bells must start ringing much too early.  You surely must have the power to have it removed.  You should look into that.  Now, Sir Richard Branson's place...that is one hell of a non-church adjacent home.

No, I did not get a photo of Branson's place.

So, back to you, fellow ferryer's, I do admit that we may have tried our best to play off this 10 minute detour, going as far as ignoring the co-captain who kept yelling in my general direction "Guardi signora. Questa è la casa che stavi chiedendo. Ecco. Proprio lì."  But we had no clue how much further it was to Bellagio and the water looked cold.




Villa del Balbianello: It has appeared in Casino Royale and in Star Wars Episode II, built on the site of a Franciscan Monastery.
It was with some relief that we arrived on schedule at the Bellagio port.  During my non-Clooney related conversations with the ship's staff, I had asked about what we should see during our brief stay.  Their advice was to simply walk around, which seemed like a bit of a cop out, that is, until we actually got there.



The charm of the small village lies in its picturesque streets and vistas, each and every one worthy of exploration.


To think, someone in my family has an antico (and an additional 'z'), yet they never invited me to visit...

The church of San Giacomo 





Of course, it was a bit disconcerting when one of you ferry folks, (and you know who you are) spotted us at an outdoor cafe and asked us, whose house exactly we had circled in front of and why was one member of our group so avidly threatening to disrobe (not that any of the men aboard would have complained).  That is when we realized that perhaps everyone had been on to us, all along.







You will be happy to know that we did make it onto the last hydrofoil, which sped us, without deviation of any kind, I swear, back to our starting point. And, on a side note, Georgito, I hope you were not waiting for us to return for some sunset cocktails.  If that was the case and you were, then once again, my bad...


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