My Two Weeks in Italy: Lake Como

Jul 26, 2022

After Venice, we headed to Lake Como. We took a train to Milan, and arranged for a driver to pick us up at the station and take us to Bellagio. One thing I learned about Lake Como is that it doesn't really matter where you stay on the lake. Bellagio is the most popular, but Como is probably the most convenient location because there's a train station there that allows you to skip the driver. However, I say just stay at the hotel that most appeals to you because you will spend most of the time boating on the lake. 

We stayed at Hotel Metropole, which is at the end of the main road in Bellagio. It is extremely convenient for catching the ferry around the lake, and there are a ton of restaurants right outside the hotel. We had the most amazing room at this hotel. It was a corner unit on the second floor with an enormous patio. In front of us we had the most spectacular lake view, and to the right we had a view of Bellagio. Ask for Room 112! The only complaint I have is that the shower is super tiny.

Here is the view from our room to the patio.

We opted to have after dinner drinks out here with our friends the two nights we were here because we weren't going to get a better view at a restaurant!

The first day we had a quick lunch, changed clothes and caught the ferry to Villa Balbianello. It has been on my bucket list for years after saving so many photos of it on Instagram. It's where parts of Casino Royale and Star Wars were filmed, but honestly I know it best from an iconic Slim Aarons photo. 

1980-1989 Art Print featuring the photograph Villa Del Balbianello by Slim Aarons
Fine Art America

One of the reasons I changed is because I knew this was going to be one of the most picture worthy spots on our trip. I was sweating bullets in this long dress, but it was worth it. I'm not the kind of girl who usually wants photos of herself, but this day I had no shame. I handed my phone over to my husband so many times to make sure we got every bit of scenery in the backdrop. He didn't get the significance like I did, but he could tell it was important to me so he was a good sport.

This last photo! It shows the scale of it, and how beautiful this place really is. We opted for a tour, but honestly the inside isn't nearly as impressive as the gardens. I wish we would have just bought a garden ticket. Also, catch the boat ride to the villa instead of the uphill 20 minute walk. I'm fairly fit, and it was a little tough for me. I thought my husband was going to pass out!

The next day was our full day in Lake Como. We opted to rent a boat all day. We had to ferry to Varenna to pick it up, but it's only a 15 minute trip. I'm glad Bellagio was sold out of boats because I got to experience this beautiful town. 

I loved seeing the swans! This town is much more quaint and less expensive than Bellagio, but so charming.

We went from Varenna all the way down to Como, which is just one of three legs of the lake. It took almost all day once we stopped for lunch. I did dip in the water to cool off, but I got right back out because it was a little too cold for me.

Villa Balbianello from the water

A popular spot to jump off the bridge with the waterfall in the background. 

I love the wooden boats on this lake. 

We stopped at this small town for lunch. There's a beach club here, but it's just really loungers overlooking the lake. Almost all of the towns on the lake have a beach club you can stop at for lunch. Reserve in advance if you want to use the sun beds.

Oddly, we had the best Pina coladas ever here. They have a cream foam on top that's amazing. My husband had a limoncello spritzer. We were trying to get lunch reservations at Villa d'Este. It's one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, but the restaurant isn't great about picking up their phone. This was such a nice lunch that I'm okay that it didn't work out. 

This was the most relaxing day we had on the trip after running from site to hotel to train since we landed in Venice. If you don't want to rent a boat you can go town to town via ferry. The beaches are rocky so we preferred the water, plus the scenery of the hills and homes are amazing from a boat. There are also other villas you can visit, but one was enough for me. We did everything on the itinerary except the lunch at Villa d'Este so the next day we moved on to Florence!


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