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Best home base for a week in the Italian Lakes?

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We're interested in doing a family stay in the Lakes next summer. DH and I have traveled there a couple of times, and based on those trips I know we'd like to be in a town with walking around options for dining and shopping. We loved Bellagio, but haven't visited Menaggio or Varenna. We stayed at GH Tremezzo, but would rather have more of a town this time. We'll likely rent an apartment or villa without a restaurant, so we'll rely on the town for meals that we don't prepare ourselves. Our kids are young (5, 7 and 9), and we want to do lots of hiking, boating and other outdoor excursions. This may be a factor when deciding a home base with easy access to that stuff. What are your favorite towns in the Lakes? We have only visited Lake Como, but I'm open to others if they are a better fit for the outdoor activities and town life. Thanks for any suggestions you have!

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