Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy
First of all, let me say Italy, in general, is an easy place to fall in love in love with anyway. But Lake Como and Northern Italy captures a little piece of me every time I visit. I guess that is why we are considering retiring there one day. Out of all of the great Italian lakes, this is by far my favourite. Lake Como with its stunning views, you can see why everyone says it is a beautiful place.
Things to know before you go to Lake Como
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Getting to Lake Como
Car Hire – Hiring a car from Milan is easy, it doesn’t matter what airport you arrive into, you can hire a car with no problem at all.
Fly – You have three major airports to choose from; all are within reasonable distance to the Lake Como area.
Malpensa airport, approximately 1 and a half hours to Como
Linate airport, about 50 minutes
Bergamo airport, 1 hour and 4o minutes
Train – Trenitalia is the name of all the trains that run between Milan and Como. Most trains are direct and depart from Milano Centrale or Milano Porta Garibaldi. The journey takes approximately 36 minutes.
Hotel recommendation in Como
Everything about this hotel is exquisite, from the rooms to the service to the view. If you plan to splurge once on your trip through Europe and stay in a luxury hotel, well this should be the location. Overlooking Lake Como, this hotel knows what the phrase 5 star means.
The rooms are clean, the staff are friendly, and the location is excellent. This boutique hotel has it’s own ensuite and balcony, for this part of town (being a little more pricey than other parts of Italy) this hotel does what you need it to do. Must add, the beds are a bit hard, so if you struggle with hard beds, then this isn’t the place for you.
Ten reasons why I fell in love with Lake Como
1- You can take a trip on the Lake to other parts of the Lake
Lake Como is 46kms, so there are little villages along the lakeside, that are there to be explored. The best way to do that is to catch get there via Lake Como itself. You can choose the ferry, MotorShip or Hydrofoil, all go to different parts of the Lake, and all are a great way to get to where your final destination.
2- View the Lake from afar by catching the funicular
If you haven’t been on a funicular well then, this will be an excellent experience for you. A funicular both trains are connected to the opposite ends of the same cable. At the engine room, the rope runs through a system called a pulley. The rope pulls one train upwards while the other train descends. When you arrive at the top of this beautiful town, there is so much to see and this is why I fell in love with Lake Como.
3- Experiencing the Italian Charm first hand
Sure, there are many parts of Italy that you can feel this, but nothing is quite like the little towns that surround this beautiful Lake. Sure we have all heard of Menaggio and Bellagio but what about exploring the charming small quaint villages like Carate Urio, Lenno or Argegno.
4- You can stay in one of the big towns like Menaggio or Bellagio
Why not break your trip into half, spend one half in Como or one of the little towns along the Lake and then head over to one of the bigger towns like Menaggio (my favourite) or Bellagio? I fell in love with Menaggio the first time I stepped foot on the cobblestone streets. It has everything you enjoy about a more substantial town but with a small-town feel.
5- Being able to enjoy a meal in any of the restaurants
I love the further you head up the Lake and move away from Como, the more majestic these towns seem to be. Not as many tourists, more locals and of course more restaurants that cater to the Italians. So because of this, your meal will feel like it has come straight out of an Italian home.
6- You can hike the mountains around Lake Como
This beautiful area doesn’t just have a spectacular lake, but also gorgeous mountains. If you are a lover of hikes like me, then you have just come to one of the most spectacular places in the world to hike. You could take a different trail each day and never come across the same spot twice.
7- You can hire a speed boat or take a private tour by boat
You can choose to spend the day as you please by hiring a speed boat and enjoying the water at your own pleasure. Or hire a guide and boat and tour the Lake with someone who knows the area well. Either way, the day out on the Lake is always a memorable one.
8- Listen to the church bells ring
Why not do more than listen to the church bells ring? Head inside to one of the many churches in this area. Every Cathedral has it’s own unique story, every church bell that rings makes me realise I am back in Italy and it is why I fell in love with Lake Como. Sit and admire the many years of history that this place of worship brings.
9- Chatting to the locals at the bar
No, I am not talking about the bar you might order a beer from, I am referring to the many coffee shops in and around Lake Como. Head over to the bar, order an espresso or macchiato (with or without milk) and chat to the locals. I love that this is a way of life in Italy! That the communities are so social and that stopping in for a coffee isn’t spent on your phone, but instead chatting to locals.
10- Appreciate the local produce
Purchase the local produce and spend some time around the Lake enjoying the view, the company and of course the food and wine. Instead of consuming lunch at a restaurant, buy some of the local produce and enjoy your time outside with a picnic basket.
I know that you will not be disappointed by visiting, and you can see why I fell in love with Lake Como and it will be everything you imagined and more. There is a good reason why many people have Lake Como on their bucket list, and now when you visit, you can see why for yourself.
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