My Story of Lake Como
After taking you to Lake Garda last time, we’re now jumping onto another great lake, this time closer to Milan, Lake Como.
Although we previously planned to go from Verona to Milano, spend a day there and then visit Como, the weather had other plans. Rain and storms were forecasted for the day we initially planned to visit Como, so we switched.
However, this meant we greatly cut down our time at this lake, which turned our day into a sort of speed race.
So brace yourselves for the ride:
There was no direct train from Verona to Como, so we had to change at Milano. Hence, we decided to stop at Milano and take our backpacks to the hotel so as not to carry them everywhere. Luckily, we found a hotel near the main train station “Milano Centrale” (just as we did in Verona), so we were able to do this in very little time. However, the train from Verona to Milano Centrale took about 2 hours.
We left the luggage at the hotel around 11:30, in a room that was actually the hotel staircase, where many others had left their luggage.
Then we rushed back to the station to get the train to Como. Luckily, this one only takes about 30 minutes to arrive in the lovely town of Como. Nevertheless, we ended up getting there around 13:30. From there, we wanted to see Bellagio, so we took a “speed” boat that takes about 45-60 minutes to get to Bellagio.
TIP TIME: There are two types of boats going from Como to Bellagio and Varenna, as well as making several other stops to the main towns around Lake Como. You can find out more about the service here.
One of the boats takes about 2 hours, the other one is faster and takes only 1 hour (or even 45 minutes). Of course, the faster one is also more expensive and operates more seldom. That said, plan your travels around the boat timetable which you can find here.
Once on the boat, we finally got to slow down and enjoy the views. However, we were only allowed to stay inside. At Bellagio, we wandered the streets – as we do – and I marveled at how much power these Italian cobbled winding streets have over me that I could walk them forever. Of course, my feet have an entirely different opinion on this, but that’s a whole other story. It is worth mentioning that there are plenty of stairs to climb in this town. So be prepared. As charming as the towns at Lake Garda, Bellagio also boasts a beautiful lakeside walkway, lined with blossoming trees. Two grand villas and their gardens guard its ends and in between a myriad of stone houses, tiny shops, and restaurants reside.
After climbing one of the many stairs, we got some rest and enjoyed some Sicilian arancini. I mentioned these delicious rice balls in “My Story of Catania, Sicily” and I was keen on trying them again. I was not disappointed.
After getting enough of the cobbled streets and stairways, we went back to the ferry station, got our tickets, and patiently waited on one of the benches that line the gorgeous lakefront walkway.
Once back to Como, we met with a co-worker of mine and his wife, who reside in Como. We had drinks at a nice terrace just in front of the beautiful Como Cathedral and they told us a bit about the town and walked us back to the train station when it was time to go back to Milano.
Fun fact: I’m calling this a fun fact because I had no idea about it. However, I’m sure many of you might be aware. Como was one of the main silk centers of Europe until China took over and ran the city out of business a few decades ago. Nevertheless, my colleague remarked that some local producers have opened up shops again, so things look promising.
This is all we have
Upon our arrival at the hotel, we finally checked in and asked for our luggage. The slightly embarrassed receptionist opened the staircase door, showed us our backpacks, and told us “this is all we have” which seemed to me a sort of “if you want them, take ‘em. If not, too bad for you.” Anyways, we laughed about it and proceeded to our room, longing for a much-needed rest.
All in all, I recommend you take at least a full day to visit Lake Como and try to see Como, Bellagio, and perhaps even Varenna. For our usual pace, we would have probably had the time, if not for the change of weather. So keep one eye on the forecast and one on the boat schedule, and you’ll be fine.
There’s still one final part of “Another Italian Trip” coming soon, with our last day in Milan when we did get that storm I was telling you about in the beginning. Stay tuned. Stay dry.