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Round trip Italy part 2: Lago di Como and Bellagio

The second travel and photo report is up. Lago di Como and Bellagio. Since I got so many good and useable photos of Lago di Como and Bellagio
I decided to make a separate post about these places. Very nice places, beautiful landscape and a lot of tourists in Bellagio. 🙂

 

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So Lago di Como, by some mentioned as the playground for the rich, is a huge lake. It is really huge. If you take the slow boat from Como to Bellagio it takes you about 2,5 hours to get there. Then you  have crossed a little over 1/3 of Lago di Como. But its worth it. We took the fast boat on the way up there, but got smart and took the slow boat back to Como.  If you got the time, take the slow boat.  They have seats on the roof and its open air. Fresh wind, 360 degree round view, excellent to make photos.

 

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About Lago di Como.

Lake Como, Lago di Como, or locally  in Italian, also known as Lario,  is a lake of glacial origin in Lombardy, Italy. It has an area of 146 square kilometres (56 sq mi), making it the third-largest lake in Italy, after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. At over 400 metres (1,300 feet) deep, it is one of the deepest lakes in Europe, and the bottom of the lake is more than 200 metres (660 ft) below sea level.

Lake Como has been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times, and 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). Many famous people have or have had homes on the shores of Lake Como.

 

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The lake is shaped much like an inverted letter “Y”. The northern branch begins at the town of Colico, while the towns of Como and Lecco sit at the ends of the southwestern and southeastern branches respectively. The small towns of Bellagio, Menaggio and Lierna are situated at the intersection of the three branches of the lake: a triangular boat service operates between them. The Lierna area is an historical charming site of the lake with a white beach and a famous castle.

Lake Como is fed primarily by the Adda River, which enters the lake near Colico and flows out at Lecco. This geological conformation makes the southwestern branch a dead end, and so Como, unlike Lecco, is often flooded. As a tourist destination, Lake Como is popular for its landscapes, wildlife, and spas.

There are plenty of nice villages on the shore of Lago di Como. The slow boat comes to nearly all of them. They offer very scenic landscapes and I recommend to visit a few villages. Lenno, Mennaggio, etc.

 

Bellagio.

Bellagio is situated upon the cape of the land mass that divides Lake Como in two. The city centre occupies the tip of the promontory, while other districts are scattered along the lake shores and up the slopes of the hills. Bellagio is a tourist place. When we where there (September 2016)  it was full of Americans. And I mean full… Tour groups with more than 40 persons walking behind a guide with a flag is a common view.

The town is actually really nice. Tons of small streets filled with small shops, restaurants, bars, etc. The town is also looking good. The contrast with for example Como Town is huge. In Bellagio everything is looking good and is well maintained.

You can get to Bellagio from Como. There is an extensive boat service available. Tip: if you have time, take the slow boat. The scene on Lake Como is fantastic.
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Once you get of at Bellagio, leave the mass tourism and get a a coffee somewhere. Wait until they have spread out in the small streets and then start walking. You have some good changes that you can shoot some nice photos of the little streets with not to many people in it.

What I heard from the locals is that June July are good months to visit. Not crowdy and good weather.

 

Photography.

It is hard to shoot the nice streets with so many tourists. So do your research when is a good time to visit (the streets of) Bellagio. 🙂 Second is light. As you can see on the photos, the light is hard, bright and yellowish. Contrasts are really hard. Bring ND and CPL filters. I had a really hard time getting a bit right in the small streets. The light reflects on the colourful buildings and giving you a really hard time to get the colour right. Setting it to manual WB, yes and it will work, but  do that in a time that there are not so many tourists. Your results will be better than mine. All in all, considering the shooting conditions, light, etc. I am still pretty satisfied with the results. (thank you Lightroom and Photoshop).

HDR.

If you are a fan of HDR you will have a great time here. 🙂

Equipment.

I brought a 24-70mm eqv. and a 70-200mm eqv. If you have, bring something wider. 15-30mm (the Tamron is ok !) or a 10/12mm Samyang/Rokinon. Something in that focal length. You can create some really nice effects in those small streets.

 

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More info.

Below some links where you can find more info about Lago di Como and Bellagio.

Bellagio: Wiki. 

Bellagio Promo

Lake Como

Lago di Como

My next post, the third travel and photo report, will about  Milan and Castello Sforzesco.

More photos.

Click on the photo to view large size.

Bellagio.

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Lago di Como.

 

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Hi... I am Ryan Nigel Scheemaker and I am a travel and landscape photographer. On my website you can read and see what I shoot, what I like, what my interests are and more.

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