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3:23pm on Wednesday, 18th July, 2018:



Bellagio isn't all that large a place. Well, the touristy part isn't, anyway. It's actually made up of lots of little hamlets connected together by a network of small roads.

One of the sights it's advised that all visitors check out is the Villa Soundslikebaloney at the top of the hill. We duly went along and found that it's inaccessible. You can only get there on a guided tour, which costs €9 each and only happens twice a day, no more than 30 people per tour. Luckily, we got to the ticket office in time to procure tickets. Also luckily, the woman who works there hadn't closed the ticket office to go get a coffee, which she did five minutes later.

I say "luckily" because the views from the walk up the hill really are quite spectacular.

The whole place is owned by the Rockerfeller Foundation, and it's possible for people far more famous than anyone reading this to apply for a residency there for anything from one to six months. They get free accommodation and a studio to work in, undisturbed except by tourists twice a day, a guy with a leafblower doing a futile job and possibly an opera singer in the studio nearby. If ever I have so much money that I don't need a residency there, maybe I'll apply too. To be fair, they do have some unfamous people and some famous but not wealthy people, but most seem to move in rather elite circles.

This doesn't make the grounds of the villa any less delightful, though, nor the views any less impressive.

We'll have to go somewhere on a boat tomorrow. There's only so many photos of the same opposite banks of the lakes that I can take before they all look the same.

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Copyright © 2018 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).