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Sopra, da Bellagio, pronti a tornare in traghetto a Cadenabbia, di cui vediamo, a destra, il pontile di attracco. Nella vicina Griante ha soggiornato più volte Konrad Adenauer Above, ready to return by ferry-boat from Bellagio to Cadenabbia. Right, Cadenabbia’s jetty. Close to this village, in Griante, Konrad Adenauer stayed time and time again

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and must-see sights. Follow us and it will all be clear. The start-point could only be the shipyard where Primatists (funny word, isn’t it? Just another invention of our “lake dog”) are born, which is merged into the green hills of Grandola and Uniti, on the way between Lario and Ceresio. Today is no sunny day. But also under an overcast sky the lake has its charm, its soul. So, to delight our eyes an satisfy our palate, first stop is in Menaggio, breakfast at Carla and Franco Manzoni’s confectioner’s shop, which is just a little out of sight, between an alley and the first little square on the lake, going down after the traffic lights. The cream and chocolate “maritozzi” are supreme, but also the rest competes, even when it comes in souvenir package. Then off we go to the Tremezzino restaurant, this time with local salami and bread, a corroborant half litre of genuine red wine, a card game of “scopone” with occasional friends and with unfailing Giorgio, nicknamed “The Best” (like Palmiro Togliatti), constantly wearing the Primatist uniform. “He is my biggest fan”, Bruno says. Lunch at Villa Linda-Boutique della Pizza, where blond, attractive Morena proposes pizzoccheri and grilled whitefish. In Sala Comacina an interesting encounter with Cimin, extremely popular for his background as indomitable smuggler, who shows us one of his keepsakes, the special jute shoes made for walking silently, in order to cheat the “burlanda”, the financial police. We then miraculously manage to squeeze the Mercedes into the ancient, picturesque alleys of Sala Comacina and, in front of the pier from where the boatmen sail to the homonymous island where all the inhabitants, once Milan’s alleys, surrendered to Emperor Barbarossa who had arrived alone on a boat, we visit the Tirlindana, where owner Fignon offers tasty lamb cutlets. A quick diversion to Bonzanigo, with its old frescoed façade houses and the stone washing tub where the washerwomen saw the partisans, who had captured Benito Mussolini and Claretta Petacci in MussoDongo, arrive. They did not recognise them in the crowd but they were told that they were prisoners and just one step away from death in the nearby De Maria house. The official, but many times disputed by

other historians, version says that the Duce and his beloved were shot, a few bends lower, in front of the gate of Villa Belmonte (28th April 1945, as written on the memorial plaque) in Giulino di Mezzegra. It is a plunge into modern history, a case never closed that even today is still considered a non solved mystery. Just can not wait for shopping? We embark the Suv on the ferry boat and in 10 minutes we land in Bellagio, the Pearl of the Lario, worldwide famed at such extent that a casino-replica was built in its honour in Las Vegas. A pearl in the pearl is the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni (1870), luxury, beauty farm and gastronomic competition level cuisine. You can also go up to the other Serbelloni, a wonderful complex built on pre-existing medieval buildings, a fairy tale park open to the public. The centuries-old castle that once stood here communicated through bonfires and mirrors with the promontory watch-tower, down by the lake, in the locality of Pescallo. Unmissable. Just before we re-embark we are offered tea by Brunella in her Hotel Restaurant Du Lac, in front of the ferry boat pier. Passer-bies enjoying a day trip slow down, intrigued by the latest full optional and super computerized Mercedes model, even though soiled with mud. In Griante, still in Tremezzina, a brief pause in front of Villa Collina, which used to be the holiday dwelling of German chancellor Konrad Adenauer, regular guest, now hosting the Foundation that bears his name. Griante features even an Adenauer Promenade. A few minutes and we reach the hamlet of Rogaro, at the Faguirida (The Favourite), immersed in nature, wine cellar and fireplace, veranda for lunch and dinner with view overlooking the lake, with its memorable polenta served in a hundred different styles by siblings Adriana and Giovanni. All the cars parked outside bear foreign number plates. See you next time for another tour worth recommending to your relatives and friends.

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Magic Lake summer 2008  
Magic Lake summer 2008  

Magic Lake #10

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