This late summer sunny weekend at one of Italy´s most beautiful and most known lakes was perfect for our family get-together. Tasty food and drinks, amazing views on the lake and mountains, picturesque villages full of history and lush vegetation in the background. The lake itself is really big but despite being a place to be seen at for celebrities and wealthy people, we still found some peaceful corners. Even though it was quite a journey to get to here just for a weekend, we didn´t regret it at all.
Us three flew to MILAN from Germany and RENTED A CAR, the Slovenian part of the family came with their car from Ljubljana. From Malpensa airport in Milan it takes around 45min to come to Como town, from Slovenia it was just over 5 hours. As said, lake Como is huge and the ROADS are narrow and curvy so it takes some time to come from A to B. We ended up RENTING A HOUSE at the lake in LEZZENO and did day trips with CARS and BOATS. In August we had some problems finding PARKING SPACES as there were really lots of people, but we managed. To have enough time for visiting most of the important spots, we suggest 2-3 nights.
Just a few kilometres from the famous BELLAGIO, Lezzeno is a smaller town where we found the accommodation to be at more reasonable prices. It´s quite a long town though – stretching for about 7km along the lake, it is also made up from 17 VILLAGES. This historically important town was our base from Friday to Sunday and we were happy to have a big terrace overlooking the lake in which we also SWAM and went KAYAKING.
Considering the large choice of hotels and apartments in the area, we were a bit confused about where it would be the best to stay. Now we can say Lezzeno was a good choice if you are coming with your own car.
IN THE NEXT 2 DAYS WE VISITED MANY TOWNS ALONG THE LAKE WITH BOATS. There are endless connections so it is good to have a plan. We chose the following: BELLAGIO – CADENABBIA and BELAGGIO – MENAGGIO – VARENNA. If you have enough time you can also DRIVE AROUND THE LAKE with your car but that will surely take several hours. Since our time was a bit limited, we chose to spend most of it on the boat and in the villages, rather than in the car.
Our first stop on the other side of the lake has greeted us with beautiful VILLAS and a lovely PROMENADE. You can walk all the way to GRIANTE, a neighbouring village or stop somewhere to have a proper Italian coffee or ice cream. We found a charming little CAFE on our way to Villa Carlotta and did just that.
In this marvellous SUMMER RESIDENCE, where you can visit a BOTANICAL GARDEN as well, you can see ART COLLECTIONS, interesting FURNITURE, EXHIBITIONS and ROOMS in three floors. We also loved the VIEWS FROM THE BALCONIES over the lake and the LUSH VEGETATION surrounding the villa.
Possibly the MOST KNOWN TOWN over here is still small enough to experience it in a few hours. It is a good STARTING POINT for day trips as there is a dock for the boats and also, here you will find some of the best RESTAURANTS in the area. We drove to Bellagio from Lezzeno and took the boat but we also took enough time to walk around the town of course.
Considering the fact Bellagio is one of the most touristy places around here, there is of course tons of things you can do. In the summer season you can SWIM & RELAX at one of the PUBLIC BEACHES or enjoy the privacy at a PRIVATE BEACH in LIDO DI BELLAGIO. You can take a COOKING CLASS, spend the night in a POSH HOTEL, shop in BOUTIQUES, rent a KAYAK or a SUP, check out the VILLAS and GARDENS around the town, walk on the PROMENADE and lose yourself in the city´s photogenic narrow streets. There is also a seasonal train running here, called BELLAGIO EXPRESS.
Another lovely town on the left banks of the lake, where we stopped only shortly this time. Like in other places we visited over the weekend, you can find VILLAS, GARDENS and a PROMENADE here as well.
We might have liked VARENNA the most out of all the towns we visited here. There is lots to do, but it is still relatively small, not overrun with tourists and has a very relaxed atmosphere. You can reach Varenna WITH A TRAIN FROM MILAN, so it is a great place to stay at if you are not coming here with your own vehicle. In just 15minutes with the boat you reach Bellagio on the other side. We had a yummy LUNCH here and took a longer walk around. Really a charming town with beautiful buildings.
Last views on the lake from its middle part before we drove off to COMO TOWN in the south-west of the lake.
COMO TOWN is really big compared to the other towns we visited around the lake. We stopped here for a couple of hours before heading back home on a Sunday afternoon and strolled around the OLD PART OF THE CITY. We also took a look at the MARINA, had LUNCH and checked out the cathedral. Surely, here is much more to do, but we didn´t have enough time left.
What a great weekend in good company, great food and relaxed atmosphere in one of Europe´s nicest corners. Already secretly planning an Italian road trip in this part of the country.
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