Wednesday, 1 August 2012

How not to does Lake Como

Flying into Milan Malpensa on a Friday evening then driving for over an hour was never going to be the most auspicious start to our holiday. Nerves were frayed by the traffic, we got lost, and dodging oncoming cars on the mountain roads had us both worried that the Italians were actually trying to kill us...

By the time we arrived in Bellagio a few tears had been shed. Stepping out of the car and seeing the view made everything worth it though.

Bellagio is a commune more or less smack bang in the centre of Lake Como. It’s a two street town, one by the water front; the other higher up overlooking the lake and it’s basically made up of restaurants, hotels, tat shops, and a few houses hidden down the side streets for the locals as well.

The water front is freakishly pretty; I’d fallen in love with the place half way through my first Aperol and was trying to convince the lady to sell the London flat and move here as I’d finished my second. In short it was a bit nice.

I managed to survive the weekend on pizza, cheese, and cured meat. The best was from Babayaga who served their pizza pancake thin with a cracker crisp crust.

Their simple cheese and meat platters came with honey, house pickled vegetables, and walnuts. I don’t think I could ask for more really and sipping on cheap Prosecco and tearing into the platter I was pretty much a pig in muck.

We were there for a friends wedding and a trip to the lake is not complete without a boat ride so after the ceremony at the Villa de Balbianello we titted about for an hour on the water drinking more Prosecco whilst desperately trying not to get sunstroke.

The next day we chilled out at the Lido; I read, the lady swam, we both drank and enjoyed the trashy Italian house music. It doubles as a club at night but luckily it has the perfect mix of cheese, glamour, and booze that makes a visit worthwhile.

We stayed in the Alberto Metropole which is the middle of town which despite being pretty basic was actually quite expensive. That said you could fall into the lake from our window which in some way explained the price.

Food and drink elsewhere in the town is comparable with London prices in places but mostly fairly cheap considering. You can get budget flights to Milan still for very cheap and public transport up to the town is actually pretty reasonable if you want to save money on car hire but a little time consuming so you could do this quite easily on a shoe string.

Lake Como is definitely one of the prettiest places I've been to in years and was the perfect backdrop our friends wedding.  I heart this place lots.


  1. Agreed with everything you said. Ryanair to Bergamo and horrendous traffic, but then when we got to Varenna, wow, the views, the beauty, worth every penny and all the hassle!

    A few pointers (check ferry timetables especially for Varenna), don't expect anywhere to be open locally at lunch or after 6. so buy milk and supplies early on the trip if you're on self catering. The local produce however is all great and bread doesn't give you that full feeling. Ham, cheese, tomatoes, local wines, I can taste it now.

    We found this site helpful for tourism links and local commune stuff.

    Lake Como Information