30 August 2011

Castel Gandolfo and Lake Albano, Italy

Castel Gandolfo

Castel Gandolfo is a mere half hour train ride from Rome and it is where my aunty has been residing for the last 20 odd years.  I had the good fortune of spending four weeks in this splendid little resort community that hugs most of Lake Albano's coastline.

The main entrance to the centre of town leads you to the Pope's summer residence and Piazza della Liberta.  A handful of cafes, gift shops, gelaterias and the local parish church occupy much of the Piazza's perimeter. The fountain in the centre gave Trinity, a water loving child, plenty of entertainment and often wet clothes.

Entrance to the town centre
Pope's summer residence
Swiss guards in traditional garb
A panoramic view of Lake Albano is afforded at an elevated level and is further enhanced by the surrounding forest and summer residences built into the hillside.

Lake Albano panorama as viewed from the town centre

Many strawberry ice creams were devoured by Trinity whilst my siblings and I indulged in cappuccinos, macchiatos, pastries and the occasional ice cream.

Coffee and cake at Bar Carosi

Whilst the residences are mainly rectangular in shape with very little architectural design, what makes them wonderful and a photographic feast are often their distressed facades as a result of aging and conversely the newly painted ones, interesting gates/entrance doors, shutters, pots of flowers and greenery suspended outside windows/balconies.

An abandoned building for many years
it was recently purchased and restored
The distressed facade of this building is synonymous with Italy
The strong colour and greenery gives this
apartment building a lot of spunk
Street panorama
Curiosity got the better of Trinity
Sadly, abandoned properties seemed to be littered throughout with many once grand family homes now completely decayed and surrounding grounds neglected.

Lake Albano

According to Wikipedia, Lake Albano is a result of the overlapping union of two volcanic craters, indicated by the ridge in its center.  At 3.5km long and 2.3km wide, this freshwater lake is paradise during summer for the locals and visitors.

We indulged in bathing, suntanning and water games and thoroughly enjoyed not just the cool and refreshing nature of the lake but also the delightful 360 degrees view.

Lake Albano panorama
Beach panorama
Castel Gandolfo seen from Lake Albano
Apparently it's a hotel with lake views
Hillside residence
If you are ever in the vicinity of Castel Gandolfo in the summer, spend half a day lakeside, preferably in the morning before the crowds and the harsh sun.  You will not be disappointed.

Playtime with Aunty Annie