Northern Italy’s most romantic lake district!!
Just over an hour train journey from Milan and you are on the shores of some of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
Picturesque mountains and stylish waterfront terracotta villas line the lake side, take in the stunning purple wisteria winding it’s way around the villas on this forested coastline in the foothills of the alps.
Lake Como is truly enormous, stretching over 100 miles in length. The lake is shaped in an inverted ‘y’ and the villages are all easily interconnected by ferry. Bellagio is the most visited, next Tremezzo and Menaggio. We chose to stay in Varenna, which is a smaller town located in the middle lake and easily accessible to all the other towns.
Varenna features a waterfront cafe culture on the eastern side of the lake. The town has the remains of Veizo Castle which is a steep hike, with a rise of hundreds of vertical feet but well worth it for the view at the top overlooking Menaggio town across the lake. Historical narrow cobblestone walkways and bright colorful homes hug the shoreline making Varenna truly breathtaking.
While in town make sure you visit the famous botanical gardens of Villa Cipressi or Villa Monastrero.
Bellagio – Bellagio is the village that has the highest daily influx of lake trippers so we went to check out what all the hype was about. Bellagio is a very attractive town at the junction of the two ‘legs’ of the lake with extravagant villas, boutiques and restaurants.. Bellagio is a hub for the boat service on the lake. We stopped here for lunch at one of the rooftop restaurants and enjoyed fresh home made pasta and a caprisi salad with delicious local wine. Then for a spot of shopping, Como is italy’s capital of silk so we spent the afternoon wandering around the silk scarf shops.
Menaggio – The main town on the Western Shore, it’s an attractive town and not as touristy as Bellagio and Varenna opposite.. Spend your afternoon strolling along the promenade area with coffee shops, gelaterias, restaurants and the most gorgeous little lavender stall selling all locally made organic lavender products. I bought the lavender sleep time tea to take home which is just divine.
Como – At the southern end of the lake, the lake’s main town. The town has a population of roughly 80,000 people. Not as Picturesque as some of the other towns on the lake but they do an amazing Gelato!
Several boats and hydrofoils offer day travel all the way up the lake from Como to Colico stopping at most of the towns en-route.
There are also frequent service between the ‘triangle’ of towns in the centre of the lake – Menaggio, Bellagio & Varenna.
For a little Celeb spotting check out George Clooney’s 18th century villa is in the little town of Laglio, a beautiful little Italian village of only 930 inhabitants, in the heart of Lake Como.
Start your happily ever after in Lake Como