Lake Como, or Lago di Como in the North of Italy, had always been somewhere I’d wanted to visit, so given a spare day in Milan I took the opportunity to jump on a train and explore the area.
Arriving in Como, I decided to take the 2 hour ferry trip to Bellagio passing the pretty towns lining Lake Como along the way. You can buy a whole day ‘hop on and off’ ticket allowing you to explore the various towns around the Lake.
With its flower lined promenade, stately hotels, and historic villas its easy to see why Bellagio has been a popular spot amongst artists and writers over the years.
The deep blue shores of Lake Como are truly stunning on a summer day and a walk in the afternoon breeze is a great way to cool off from the hot Italian sun.
Exploring the cobbled streets and alleyways of Bellagio is intriguing. Around every corner there is something new to find.
Private gardens and tree filled courtyards are hidden behind iron doors and gates, evoking the feeling of having stumbled across a secret garden.
With galleries, antique stores, boutiques and delicatessens brimming with local produce, there is something for everyone.
Local artisans showcase their wares from silk scarves and ties, to leather goods and colourful ceramics.
Stop and relax in one of the cute cafes lining the backstreets. Gelato anyone?
The views back out to the Lake are dreamy in the late afternoon sun.
My day of exploring Lake Como came to an end, as all good things do, but if you’d like to visit the area, here’s what you need to know.
Getting there: Como is easy to reach from Milan by car or train. Trains depart regularly from Milan’s Stazione Centrale and Stazione Porta Garibaldi, and arrive at San Giovanni, Como’s main station. The journey is approximately 40 minutes.
Getting to Bellagio: There are frequent boat services from Como to Lenno, Mennagio, Bellagio and Varenna, including a car ferry. There is also a less frequent but faster boat which travels the full length of the Lake from Como.
Como City: This is definitely the liveliest of the towns around Lake Como. It would be a good base if you have longer to explore the area. There are a variety of restaurants,shops and boutiques, as well as a good choice of accommodation. In the day time you can visit the Cathedral, stroll around the town and explore its historical squares, or enjoy a walk or a boat trip along the Lake. There is also a Funicular which runs up the mountains to the small town of Brunate, offering breathtaking views over Lake Como and out to the Alps.
The hills sweep upward from the shore, With villas scattered one by one
Upon their wooded spurs, and lower
Bellagio blazing in the sun
I ask myself: Is this a dream
Will it all vanish into air
Is there a land of such supreme
And perfect beauty anywhere?