Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Bellagio Center: Rockefeller Foundation

Our next adventure in Bellagio, Italy was one person short as Brian woke up feeling pretty under the weather (could be the excess of wine and Italian coffee, but he insists, it was a bug). So, we left him wrapped up on our balcony and headed off to the Bellagio Center for a tour of the grounds.

 The grounds of this estate were given to the Rockefeller foundation by an American woman who married an Italian prince. The villa and other buildings are used as a conference center and for artists and is managed by the Rockefeller foundation. Our tour of the grounds (we weren't allowed in any of the buildings) is conducted by the town of Bellagio as a way to make some money. Our guide was wonderful - knowledgeable, enthusiastic and really passionate about the area.

 Basically, we wound up the hillside on a wide road that was fairly easy hiking even though it was all up hill. Along the way, the guide told us a bit about the history of the villa and, of course, we stopped often to snap photos of the amazing views.

 This view overlooks the boulevard in Bellagio - you can see it just along the coast of the lake.

 Part of the path to the Center - we weren't allowed to take any photos of the villa itself as we might have interrupted the inspiration of the artists.

 Overlooking the rest of Bellagio. The town of Bellagio is really quite large - but the main attraction and where the tourists all hang out is along the coast of the lake. It was cool to see the whole town from this vantage point.

 Bellagio means two lakes and gets its name because it sits at the Y where the lake splits into Como and Lago. This view is the Lago side.

After almost two hours, we returned home to check on Brian (still not feeling great) and to grab some lunch. Luckily, Brian's bug retreated a bit and he joined us later for dinner and some cards back on the balcony.

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