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- On January 12, 2014
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Circumnavigating Italy’s storied Lake Como
Kayakers photograph the Canada Goose Jackets Church of Santa Maria del Sasso as they approach the village of Morcote. (Dina Mishev/For The Washington Post)
Traveling via water gives you a different perspective. Sitting in the front cockpit of a tandem kayak 200 feet off shore from Varenna, Italy, in the middle of Lake Como, I count three gelaterias faster than you can say, “I know why George Clooney spends so much time here.”
buy canada goose jacket cheap Navigating Varenna by road, you couldn’t get within 500 feet of a scoop of gelato. The town, founded by fishermen in the 8th century, doesn’t actually have any streets, just walkways. buy canada goose jacket cheap
Childhood summers spent on Maryland’s Eastern canadian goose jacket Shore taught me that water, when it’s around, is where the action is. Our front yard wasn’t the one facing the street, but the one facing the pier, ramp and beach. The heart of waterfront towns and cities at least if they are of a certain age, like all the towns and villages on Lake Como are is on the water.
So even though I’m an avid road cyclist and Northern Italy’s lakes have some of the most scenic and challenging cycling canada goose coats on sale routes in the world, it’s always been my dream to visit this area by boat. And, of course, find a couple of days for biking while I’m there.
canada goose clearance sale It is possible to travel among towns on Lake Como and neighboring lakes Lugano and Maggiore by ferry. But that isn’t the kind of boat I had dreamed of. I want a slower, more intimate experience. I sign up for a nine day kayaking trip that hits Como, Lugano and Maggiore. canada goose clearance sale
Canada Goose online Three weeks prior to the trip’s start date, I have an accident that requires surgery. As surgeries go, it’s minor, but its recovery time isn’t: eight weeks. Canada Goose online I won’t be able to paddle, but the surgeon says sitting in a boat is fine. Grant Thompson, the owner of the company I’m traveling with,, graciously offers the front cockpit of his tandem kayak. Canada Goose online
[Around the world in 20 days: How to visit seven countries in one 21,623 mile adventure ]
canada goose coats on sale Sitting anywhere relaxing in general, really is difficult for me. When I explain to friends how I can still go “paddling” after surgery, I play along when they comment that mine now seems like the best kind of kayaking trip: all of canada goose black friday sale the experience with none of the work. Inside, I’m buy canada goose jacket severely disappointed. Rescheduling is not an option. canada goose coats on sale
Canada Goose sale The disappointment is still there when I land at MilanMalpensa Airport. (Lake Como is 25 miles north of Milan.) During an afternoon and night in Milan, I Canada Goose Outlet forget the disappointment, but, the next morning http://www.mycanadagoosejacket.org when the group 10 paddlers including me, Grant, guide Enrico Carrossino and logistic wizard Daniele Ratto loads into two vans for the 60 minute drive to Lake Como, it returns. It doesn’t go away until Grant has been paddling me around for an hour and we’re in front of a two story, buttercup yellow home. The house is set back from the lake 15 feet, on land protected by a stacked stone bulkhead. Directly above the bulkhead, running its entire length, are iron trellises dripping with jasmine thicker and bloomier than I’ve ever seen or smelled. At either end of the bulkhead are van sized masses of hydrangeas, also riotously blooming. It is one of the most happily situated Canada Goose sale homes I’ve ever seen. Canada Goose sale
Canada Goose Parka If I don’t have to hold a paddle, I rationalize, I’ve got more time to admire and snap photos of the scenery. Canada Goose Parka
canada goose black friday sale Kayaks tied up near Nesso’s ferry pier during a lunch break; as a guide set up lunch near the pier, paddlers were left to explore the village. (Dina Mishev/For The Washington Post) canada goose black friday sale
Canada Goose Jackets People have appreciated Lake Como’s scenery for millennia. canada goose Pliny the Elder had a villa here. Leonardo da Vinci visited the lake frequently and the two versions of his painting “Virgin of the Rocks” include streams and waterfalls he saw here. Verdi composed “La Traviata” at Lake Como. The Villa d’Este was built on the lake’s five mile Riva Romantica in 1568 by a prince and became a hotel in 1873. In 1925, Alfred Hitchcock shot some of his film “The Pleasure Garden,” there. When Winston Churchill vacationed at Lake Como after the end of World War II, he painted almost every day. Canada Goose Jackets
canada goose uk shop Lake Como stands out among the dozens of lakes dotting this area Garda, d’Orta, Varese, Comabbio and d’Iseo, among others for the intensity of its blue water and its extensive shoreline. While only the third largest lake canada goose clearance sale in Italy after lakes Garda and Maggiore Como is one of the deepest in Europe. The depth is partially responsible for its color. canada goose uk shop
Canada Goose Outlet Because of its shape most people say it’s an upside down “Y”; I prefer to think of it as a walker without arms or a head Como has more shoreline than any other Italian lake, 106 miles. Canada Goose Outlet
canada goose store The city of Como sits at the foot of the western leg. Industrial Lecco is the east foot. The landscape of the Lecco leg is more rugged, with fewer towns and lakeside villas than the Como leg. canada goose store
canada goose uk black friday George Clooney’s Villa Oleandra and any Lake Como villa you’ve seen in a movie is on the Como leg. canada goose uk black friday
Canada Goose Coats On Sale The village canada goose coats of Bellagio is at the lake’s crotch. Canada Goose Coats On Sale
canada goose coats I’m ashamed to admit that before I saw “Bellagio” on the paddling itinerary, I didn’t know that Bellagio was more than a casino in Las Vegas. I knew that the Vegas Bellagio’s shtick is that it’s a recreation of an Italian village, but I didn’t know that it took the village’s name. canada goose coats
[This isn’t Darwin’s Galapagos: The wildlife rich islands are more tourist friendly than you think ]
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Narrow cobblestone paths lined with boutiques, cafes and galleries tumble down a steep hillside. Italian flags flutter among palm trees. Gothic, baroque and Renaissance buildings are painted in colors ranging from peach to tangerine, pale pink, white and mustard. The tallest structure in town is the bell tower of the Church of San Giacomo, parts of which date to the 12th century.
buy canada goose jacket Enrico, with 80 some year old Marilyn in the front of his tandem kayak, guides our group along Bellagio’s waterfront. Looking to shore, buy canada goose jacket cheap we see men with cigarettes dangling from their lips fishing and looking at us dubiously. Tourists pause in the shade under ordered rows of densely leafed trees and take photos of us. Couples walk dogs or sit cheap Canada Goose on benches holding hands and watching us. buy canada goose jacket
cheap Canada Goose While kayaking is not unusual in the United States, it is in northern Italy. is the only company that regularly does organized trips here. During the week, I see a couple of canada goose store random lakeside outfitters with “kayak rentals” signs but don’t see any boats I’d feel comfortable taking out. Nor do I see any kayakers outside of our group. cheap Canada Goose
Grant and Enrico have a schedule for us. Enrico is a proud native of Genoa but has been living near Como, Lugano and Maggiore for 10 years. He knows the spots that are overhyped Canada Goose Parka and the ones canada goose outlet that are overlooked. A kayak guide for 15 years, he also knows that schedules, especially when weather is involved, are not set in stone.
canada goose clearance Our second day on Como is more leisurely than originally scheduled. The day’s scenery is so diverse, though, it feels like our longest day. canada goose clearance
canada goose uk outlet The northernmost tip of the land that pushes up to the bend in the upside down “Y” of Lake Como is just past Bellagio. In canada goose deals Italian, it’s called Punta Spartivento, “the point that parts the wind.” It’s not windy as we paddle around it, but it is as if we’ve been swept into a completely different landscape. canada goose uk outlet
uk canada goose Gone are the villas that dot the peninsula’s western side. Instead, I see 100 foot tall, sheer, white limestone walls. Waterfalls canada goose clearance of prickly pear cacti, some with yellow blooms, cascade down them. Every inch of land that isn’t sheer rock is dense with greenery. Mallard ducks swim between our boats, but pterodactyls seem more suited to the scenery uk canada goose.