Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy

April 9, 2017 by David Herd

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy with it’s cobblestone lanes and elegant buildings with beautiful views over the famous lake. The village is characterised by century-old buildings & interesting stone lanes & steps.

 Cobblestone steps

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy Climbing all the Bellagio stairs is an excellent way to work up an appetite. 🙂

View from the top of the steps.

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy Every time you turn around there is another great photo opportunity.

Narrow lanes

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy I used to wonder why so many European towns & villages had such narrow streets & lanes. Then a friend of mine Riny Doyle, from Breil Sur Roya in the south of France, explained it was simple to control the temperature. Narrow lanesw meant a much cooler enviroment, & lets face it in those ancient times there were no air conditioned shopping malls where you could het relief from the heat. 🙂

Delightful little cafes & restaurants

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy Around every corner there is a little cafe or restaurant.

If you prefer a water view

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy Here is a perfecy spot to soak up the view of Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy. Perhaps if you hange around long enough you may see George Clooney wander in with his beautiful bride. 🙂

Sadly I don’t have the time.

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy

I don’t have the time to wait for George as I’m about to catch the car ferry to the other side of the lake.

Bit of a rust bucket

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy At least I don’t have far to travel.  

Lets explore a little more before I leave.

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy More stairs and more shops.

And another little hidden restaurant.

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy A surprise around every corner.

 Hotel Metropole

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy Right in the heart of town, just book through THIS LINK for a great discount on the room rate.

Or Hotel Splendide

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy Has views of the lake which is even better, just book through THIS LINK.

The crowd builds up

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy Lunch is over, now for some seious shopping.

As Andrea Bocelli would say……

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy Time to say goodbye. (lets not forget Sarah Brightman)

Ferry across Lake Como

Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy The views from the ferry are absolutely stunning. 

Thanks for visiting my Beautiful Bellagio Lake Como Italy photo blog.

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                                       Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
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Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

August 18, 2015 by David Herd

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy is the largest Italian lake. The wealthy and the snobbish will always prefer Lake Como because that’s what they read about in the social pages and gossip columns, the experienced traveller however would most certainly choose Lake Garda as the more interesting and user friendly location.

Lake Garda northern Italy

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

Lake Garda is Italy’s largest and most visited lake. The lake is 51km long but only 17km wide at its widest point in the south. The distance around the lake is 158km. Picturesque villages, medieval castles, and lakeside promenades dot the shoreline.

Swimming at Lake Garda

Beautiful Lake Garda northern ItalyThe lake has numerous small islands and five main ones, the largest being Isola del Garda. Nearby to the south is Isola San Biagio, also known as the Isola dei Conigli(“Island of the Rabbits”). Both are offshore of San Felice del Benaco, on the west side. The three other main islands are Isola dell’Olivo, Isola di Sogno, and Isola di Trimelone, all farther north near the east side. The main tributary is the Sarca River, while the only outlet is the Mincio River.

Relaxing beside Lake Garda

 

Beautiful Lake Garda northern ItalyThere are many delightful cafes and restaurants around the lake where you can relax and enjoy the sunshine.

 

Beautiful Lake Garda

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

 Lake Garda is known for its clear water, great for swimming in summer. Windsurfing, sailing, and hiking in the lake’s many parks are popular activities.

Lake Garda

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

Is it surprising that Italy is my favourite European country?

Lakeside restaurant

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

A perfect spot to relax by the lake.

Lake Garda church

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

If you would like to rent an apartment here use THIS LINK for an excellent rate.

Fabulous colours

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

Magnificent colours on the buildings.

Shopping arcade beside the lake

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

Shop, drink coffee or enjoy pasta for lunch.

Ferry at Lake Garda

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

You can also explore the lake from the ferry.

Old castle

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

The lake has a diverse landscape with beaches along the southern shores and rocky cliffs above the northern shoreline.

North of Lake Garda.

Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy

The surrounding countryside is magnificent.

The Castle of Sirmione on Lake Garda.

Sirmione castle Lake GardaThe Sirmione castle is the most significant example of the defensive structures on Lake Garda. Between the 13th and 14th centuries, the village of Sirmione was a border town situated between the land owned by the Della Scala dynasty of Verona and the property of the lords of Milan. The original nucleus was delimited by a tall square wall with three towers, and was probably built on top of the remains of a Roman fortress.

Thanks for visiting my Beautiful Lake Garda northern Italy photo blog, which one do you prefer Lake Como Lake Garda?

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That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

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Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy

August 17, 2015 by David Herd

Lake Como northern Italy

Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy has been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times, it’s a very popular tourist attraction with many artistic and cultural gems. It has many villas and palaces such as Villa Olmo, Villa Serbelloni, and Villa Carlotta.

Fabulous Lake Como home

Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy

Lake Como weather is generally mild. It is known for its Mediterranean-like climate where sub-tropical plants can grow year-round, Average daily temperatures range from about 2 °C (36 °F) in January to 30 °C (86 °F) in July.

Bellagio on Lake Como northern Italy

Bellagio Lake Como

Bellagio is a wonderful upmarket village on Lake Como, certainly a place that attracts the wealthy. Bellagio & Lake Como are both beautiful and famous, however I do prefer the larger Lake Garda which is a couple of hours east. I found it more “user friendly” in so much as there were many more places you could actually access the lake itself. The wealthy and the snobbish will always pick Como because that’s what they read about in the fashion magazines and gossip columns, but the experienced traveller I believe would choose Lake Garda as the more interesting location.


My little road rocket

  Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy This little car really covered a lot of miles in the coming weeks, all the way to Saint Tropez, Cinque Terre, Menton, Breil Sur Roya, Verona, Pejo, St Moritz and Salzburg.

David Herd Thailand

My fantastic road trip.

Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy

Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy

Taking the shortcut across Lake Como northern Italy.

West side Lake Como

Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy

It is a rather short trip on the ferry.

For whom the bell tolls

  Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy Pardon me quoting the title of Ernest Hemingway’s 1940 novel, however I’m sure he would have sometime in his life sipped his double daiquiris on the shore of Lake Como. 🙂  

Hemingway did enjoy a drink

Ernist Hemingway

What a fabulous old photo.

San Giacomo Church, Ossuccio

Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy This Romanesque church is situated along the shore at Spurano, Ossuccio.  It was built between the 10th and 12th centuries. The sail bell tower on the outside wasn’t built until after the 14th century.  The double arched apse is typical of the local architecture and inside the church you can see visible traces of original frescoes.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Grand Hotel Tremezzo Dining outside on the terrace overlooking the lake with the lights of Bellagio twinkling is a magical experience.  

Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy

Way above my pay grade I’m afraid. 🙂

Como Cathedral

  Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy

Please click on Google +  

Como

Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern ItalyComo is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy. It is the administrative capital of the Province of Como. Its proximity to Lake Como and to the Alps has made Como a popular tourist destination and the city contains numerous works of art, churches, gardens, museums, theatres, parks and palaces.

  Veal Scallopini

  veal scallopini comoOne of my favourite meals is veal scallopini and this dish I had in Como at the restaurant shown below was perhaps the best I have ever experienced.  

Main square opposite Cathedral

Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy

The food here was fantastic.

Restaurant on the square

Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy

A beautiful summer day in Como.

Como by the lake

Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy

As you can see the weather was absolutely perfect at the end of June.

 Garage for the boat

Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy

I would be very happy living here, 🙂

I’m enjoying a coffee in Bellagio.

David Herd Thailand

Thanks for visiting my Dramatic scenery Lake Como northern Italy photo blog, lots more links below.

          Checkout some more of my terrific blogs on the links below.

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Kowloon Hong Kong           Joaquina Beach Florianopolis            Dubrovnik

             Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later. 🙂
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Pattaya webcam

That’s all folks

David Herd Thailand

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Italy fantastic seaside villages

July 12, 2013 by David Herd

Italy fantastic seaside villages, how many words could I write about this wonderful country & colorful people? The music, the wine, the villages, the food, I could go on and on. However words alone won’t do Italy justice, just go there and experience the joy this wonderful country will bring you. Hopefully in this post you will find a few travel tips for Italy to help you plan your own Italian adventure.

David Herd in Italy

David Herd Italy

Italy was not a united country until 1870. Before this time, the country was a group of separate states ruled by France, Spain, Austria and other foreign countries. There were many attempts to unify the country but all of these failed until 1860 when Guiseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) formed an army of volunteer soldiers to drive out the foreign rulers. Garibaldi’s soldiers became known as the ‘red shirts’ because they all wore bright red shirts. The red shirts soon took over all the states except Rome and Venetia, and in 1861, the states joined together to become one country called Italy. 

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My favourite part of Italy is the Cinque Terre, which is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. “The Five Lands” is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare,Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Over the centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside. The Cinque Terre area is a very popular tourist destination.

Manarola, Cinque Terre.

Manarola Italy

Manarola, built on a high rock 70 metres above sea level, is one of the most charming and romantic of the Cinque Terre villages.The tiny harbor features a boat ramp, picturesque multicoloured houses facing the sea, a tiny piazza with seafood restaurants.

Manarola

Manarola rocks

These villages are magnificent, have not changed in centuries.

Manarola

Manarola Cinque Terre Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore, in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northern Italy. It is the second smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists. Wikipedia

Lovely Manarola restaurant

Italy fantastic seaside villages Manarola is connected to Riomaggiore by the famous Via dell’Amore (Lovers’ Lane); a footpath carved into the rocks above the sea. Other popular sites are the Church of San Lorenzo built in 1338 in Gothic Ligurian style, and the defence tower.

Manarola

Manarola cinque terre

If you love photography this is the place to be.

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Manarola

Manarola cinque terre

Exploring the five villages properly takes at least five days.

Looking toward Manarola from Corniglia

Italy fantastic seaside villages

The villages seem to just cling to the land.

Vernazza at night.

venazza cinque terre

First records recognizing Vernazza as a fortified town date back to the year 1080. Referred to as an active maritime base of the Obertenghi, a family of Italian nobility, it was a likely point of departure for naval forces in defence of pirates.

Over the next two centuries, Vernazza was vital in Genova’s conquest of Liguria, providing port, fleet, and soldiers. In 1209, the approximately 90 most powerful families of Vernazza pledged their allegiance to the republic of Genova. 

In the 1400s, Vernazza focused in its defense against the dreadful and regularly occurring pirate raids, erecting a fortifying wall. In the mid-1600s, like many of the Cinque Terre villages, Vernazza suffered a period of decline that negatively affected wine production, and prolonged the construction of the trail system and harbor molo (pier constructed to protect against heavy seas).

In the 1800s, after a long period of stagnation, Vernazza returned to wine production, enlarging and creating new terraced hillsides. The result was a revitalization of Vernazza’s commerce. Also at this time, the construction of the Genova–La Spezia rail line began, putting an end to Vernazza’s long isolation. The population of Vernazza increased by 60% as a result. Meanwhile, the construction of La Spezia’s naval base also proved important to Vernazza in providing employment for many members of the community.

Vernazza

Vernazza at night

Vernazza was a great choice for our home base.

Great seafood in Vernazza.

Italy fantastic seaside villages

Italian seafood at its finest.

 Vernazza

Vernazza Cinque Terre

I climbed the many steps to have dinner at the restaurant.

Check out this short video on Vernazza

Main St Vernazza

Italy fantastic seaside villages

I think Vernazza was my favourite village because we spent more time there.

My Australian friends, Jodie O’Neill & Deborah Holliday

David Herd Jodie O'Neill Deborah Holliday

The gorgeous bar lady here poured me the best shots of Jack Daniels I have ever had, they were triples, and Deb & Jodie said I consumed five. I said, “well who the hell is counting.” 🙂

Morning meeting in Riomaggiore.

Riomaggiore cinque terre

Hard to pronounce but who cares. 🙂

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore cinque Terre

The village, dating from the early thirteenth century, is known for its historic character and its wine, produced by the town’s vineyards. Riomaggiore is in the Riviera di Levante region and has shoreline on the Mediterranean’s Gulf of Genoa, with a small beach and a wharf framed by tower houses. Riomaggiore’s main street is Via Colombo, where numerous restaurants, bars and shops can be found. The Via dell’Amore is a path connecting Riomaggiore to its frazione Manarola, also part of the Cinque Terre. Riomaggiore is the most southern village of the five Cinque Terre, all connected by trail. The water and mountainside have been declared national parks.

Riomaggiore

Italy fantastic seaside villages

Every village has something different to offer.
 

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore Italy

These fishing villages have not changed in centuries.

Riomaggiore workshop

Riomaggiore Italy These villages are close to Portofino, & Camogli, both well worth a visit.  

David Herd relaxing in Coniglia Cinque Terre.

david herd in corniglia

For me this is the most interesting part of Italy.

 Corniglia bar

Italy fantastic seaside villages

Small cafe tucked away in a courtyard.

So peaceful and quiet.

Italy fantastic seaside villages

What a great setting for a coffee and a cake.

Monterosso in Cinque Terre.

Italy fantastic seaside villages

Quite different to the other four villages.

Monterosso Cinque Terre

 

Monterossa cinque terre

This village has a huge beach where the others don’t.

Monterosso

Monterosso cinque terre

Catch a ferry to Portofino, you won’t regret it.

Monterosso

Monterosso at Cinque Terre The town is divided into two distinct parts: the old town and the new town. The two areas are divided by a single tunnel that caters to pedestrians and the very few cars in the town. The beach at Monterosso runs along most of the coast line and is well used by tourists and locals. The beach is the only extensive sand beach in the Cinque Terre. Monterosso is a small town that in the summer months is overrun by tourists. The village was briefly excluded from the Cinque Terre trail in 1948, but was re-introduced in mid-1949. This is because Italian officials considered the village too large to be considered part of the historic trail.

Lunch at Monterosso

Italy monterosso Another terrific seafood & pasta at Monterosso. In 1870, the Italian government built a railroad line into the city, which opened it up to the outside world. It is the main way in which people enter the city. During World War II, many young men from the Cinque Terre fought for the resistance against the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, and the subsequent Nazi German occupation of Italy.

Busker in the tunnel.

Italy fantastic seaside villages

One of my favourite photos.

Monterosso on the rocks.

Monterosso Italy Sunbathing on the rocks, in Manarola they were laying on the concrete.

Super travel tip

If I had to pick my place in Italy it would be Cinque Terre, a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. “The Five Lands” is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We stayed in Vernazza where it was easy to park our car nearby, without a pre booked room we just wandered into the village where many people approach with accommodation offers.  Many people walk between each of the five fabulous villages that seem to cling to the cliffs that overlook the sea. I took the easy way and caught the train that runs every 20 minutes or so between the towns. My advice to you is visit in the off season as all the villages are full of tourists in summer.

Thanks for visiting my Italy fantastic seaside villages photo blog.

Please check out these fabulous posts
 
        Gold Coast                              Pattaya                          Cinque Terre
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Soi Cowboy Bangkok          photo ShabuseninGinza4.jpg          Cape Town Safari
                    Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later. 🙂
                              Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                         Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses
Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

 

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