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The lakes of Lombardy

The most beautiful feature of northern Italy is arguably the amazing lakes. Last week I had a road trip through the Lombardy region with friends.

Bellagio Arriving by car ferry to the port of Bellagio.

We arrived to the port of Bellagio by a car ferry. I remember reading about Mark Twain’s visit to Bellagio in 1867, where he described the picturesque surroundings with vibrant words.

The town of Como, largest settlement around Lake Como, attracts a lot of people with big wallets. But I preferred to take the funicular up the mountain to the Brunate region, where you get a much better view of the lake. Less retail, more mindfulness.

Brunate The spectacular lunch view in Brunate.

The town of Bergamo is often overlooked by hordes of people flying with RyanAir to the airport of Bergamo, just to get to Milan in a cheap way. But the old town (Città Alta) is a hidden gem, perched on a high cliff with amazing views of the surrounding area. Just take the funicular and you’ll be up there in no-time.

Bergamo The old town of Bergamo with spectacular buildings.

For movie buffs such as myself the Lombardy region features several sites of interest. One of the best is Villa del Balbianello, hidden away from the main hustle. After 20 minutes of walking through a beautiful forest one may enter the compound with a great view of the lake and surrounding mountains. This particular day I saw all the way up to the snow-clad alps in the north.

Villa del Balbianello This exact spot at beautiful Villa del Balbianello was featured in both Casino Royale and Star Wars Episode 2.

The villa was featured in several scenes of Star Wars Episode 2, including the marriage of Anakin and Padme. It also was the recovering place for Daniel Craig and Eva Green in Casino Royale.

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