Como is a town right on the Italian-Swiss border at the southern end of Lake Como. The area is pretty and has a lot of history to impress anyone who will visit. Due to its beauty and uniqueness through the ages, it has been a popular destination for filming movies such as Oceans Twelve with George Clooney (who owns a villa in Como Lake) and James Bond 007 – Casino Royale. Also, many famous people have or have had homes on the shores of Lake Como, including Madonna, George Clooney, Gianni Versace, Sylvester Stallone etc.
Our journey started from Verona where we got the train from Verona to Milan / Expo. From Milan Expo we changed trains and got the one which goes up to Como.
The Lake, as you can see on the map, is an upside down Y shape. Como, on South-West and Lecco on the South-east will lead you up to Colico in the North. Around the Lake there are many small towns, each one with its own unique characteristic and history. The plan was to take the ferry from Como and go up to Tremezzo and on our way back to Milan, take the train from Varenna. The ferry from Como stops at most of the towns’ en-route so you can get off where ever you like. It took us around 4 hours to get to Cadenabbia but it was worth the wait. There are so many nice landscapes to enjoy such as villas, palm trees, gardens, flowers etc.
Grand Hotel Cadenabbia
We booked to stay at Cadenabbia, across Bellagio, at the Grand Hotel Cadenabbia. This was the best stay of all during my visit in Italy. We booked a lake view room which was great! The room was on the 4th floor, large and clean. It felt that I was in a cruise ship! The first night we had the 35 menu per person which served us nice food which was worth the price. Having your breakfast with the lake view is priceless. Near the hotel there are a few nice places for lunch and dinner. The terrace is amazing for a drink during the day or night. Oh, i forgot to mention about the pool.
In Como we enjoyed some nice places including Pasticceria Monti in Como (a place to enjoy lunch before getting the ferry), Pizzeria Lugano Ristorante Bar in Mennagio, La Trattoria in Mennagio and Bar iL Molo in Varenna. In most places if you are lucky and find a table near the lake you will totally enjoy it.
Lake Como is surrounded by many attractive villas which have been built since the Roman Times. Most of them are located on the lake shores and have enormous admirable gardens. Since our hotel was next to Villa Carlotta we decided to visit. We were the first to enter at 9am so it wasn’t busy and had the chance to enjoy the building and the gardens (70,000 square meters). Inside the villa, there’s a museum and you’ll get see personal belongings of Carlotta, a girl by which the villa was named after and will learn her interesting but sad story (she died when she was 23). The last kiss of Romeo and Juliet is one of the masterpieces that enrich the collection of paintings which can be found here. The gardens are worth to visit, especially if you like plants and flowers. There are huge plants, a rock garden, various camellias, bamboo garden and other high and enormous plants which you have never seen before.
In the afternoon we got the Trombetta Express train, which picked us up from the hotel and made a ride to Menaggio and back. It was a ride next to the lake from Laggio (more industrial area) to Mennagio by paying 8 euros for a return ticket. We stayed for the evening in Mennagio, which is a nice town, with a pedestrian area and a lot of restaurants and coffee shops.
The last day, we got the ferry from Cadenabbia to Varenna and spent a few hours in Varenna before getting the train to Milan. The ferry made a stop at Bellagio, which is the busiest and most expensive tourist town on Como. Varenna is a beautiful town with amazing views.
I would totally recommend you visiting Lake Como if you need a relaxing holiday. If you wish for bar crawling and clubs, well, Lake Como and its surrounding towns are not for you. I regret not staying more days here but certainly, one day, somehow, I will be back.
Enjoy some of my photos and if you have any questions or comments please comment in the box below. Thanks for reading.