Bellagio or Varenna?

Mar 13th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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Bellagio or Varenna?

I am going to Italy in September and plan on visiting the Lake Como area. I am debating between staying in Varenna at Albergo Milano or in Bellagio at Hotel Centrale Bellagio. I heard about Varenna through the Rick Steves book and liked the Albergo Milano which he mentions. Unfortunately the hotel is booked on my travel days, but they are renovating 3 rooms in a separate builing (50 meters away) and say the rooms will be done in the same taste as the hotel. They offered theses rooms to me and it comes with breakfast served at the hotel. I also found Hotel Centrale (on Tripadvisor) and they have availability for the same cost as that other building with Albergo Milano. So now considering the costs are the same, I am wondering which town would be better to stay in? Has anyone been to either of these hotels? Anyone have feedback & comments on Varenna and Bellagio?
annimal is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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Having stayed at Albergo Milano I can't say enough good things about Bettina and Egidio (sp?). They are fabulous hosts and if they are promising that the newly renovated rooms will be available I wouldn't hesitate to stay there. If you have a chance, eat dinner at the Albergo Milano one evening. Egidio is a wonderful chef and you can't beat the views from the terrace overlooking the lake.
kansas59 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 02:20 PM
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Did you consider Eremo Gaudio in Varenna? My boss stayed there last September and absolutely loved it. Very unique, beautiful views. You can have dinner at Albergho Milano.
enzian is online now  
Mar 13th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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Another vote for Eremo Guadia. My boss -- that's me! ;-) - stayed there too. But you have to take an elevator up a cliff to get to it, so it's not for the acrophobic.
nessundorma is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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The two towns will suit different types of people (or people that are looking for different things). Varenna is small,there is a lake front promenade (it is not a street but a 6 foot sidewalk). At night you see only a few dozen people out. The heart of town is a small parking lot with most of the hotels, a church and a few shops.

Bellagio is tourist oriented with dozens of shops, many hotels, lots of restaurant choices, and cars all over (even a movie theater at the top of the hill. Theater might be open, might be closed).

Bellagio is nice. They named a casino is Las Vegas after it. Varenna feels possibly like a small Italian town would feel.

Have a nice trip.
Mar 13th, 2006, 05:27 PM
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Would I get "bored" in the evenings in Varenna or would it be too noisy, too touristy if I stay in Bellagio?
annimal is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 05:33 PM
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I don't know if YOU would get bored, but we went over to Varenna for the day. It is breathtakingly beautiful, but we left after a couple hours having run out of anything to see or do. That was in the busy part of the day. I would DIE of boredom at night. Some people would welcome the solitude. I wouldn't. That's a tough call to make for someone else, though. We're going back to Bellagio and stay there again.
Mar 13th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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We recently spent a week in Bellagio (never got bored) and did a day trip to Varenna, which we found ample.
annw is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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Both towns have their own charm. Varenna less touristy, quieter, calmer. Bellagio more touristy, a little more action ,far from hectic. You have many more chioces for restuarants, cafes, bars, shops, etc..
in Bellagio. Varenna has a handfull of these, and I do not mean two hands.
Both towns give you instant access to the countryside around each. Bellagio being at the end a pennisula allows you to walk easily to the other side of the pennisula and a different part of the lake, which is very calm & quiet. You can walk into the hills easily from Varenna. There is a veryyy, small castle above Varenna, that's worth a climb too, great views.
If you are looking for peace and quiet in the evenings, Varenna is your choice. If you want to choose between many restuarants, cafes, shops and such for your evenings, then Bellagio.
Lorenzi is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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my own experience reflects thos who posted above. Varenna is much, much more the quintessential Italian small town and there would be less to do, and far fewer visitors at night than in Bellagio.

However, I would advise you not to overlook the third, and geographically largest, of the three mid-lake towns: Menaggio. It is worth at least a visit and at night the "town square" area is somewhat more lively than that of Varenna..and that gelato stand overlooking the lake isn't bad, either!
Intrepid1 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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Thanks everyone for your input. Is it bad for me to tell you that I'm still undecided? I guess I have to think about this some more -- oh the pressures of planning a wonderful trip!
annimal is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 05:00 PM
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If you're looking for fun, consider Menaggio.
nessundorma is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 07:29 PM
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It isn't so important where you sleep. The two towns are only 15 minutes apart by ferry. You can spend a good part of the evening in one town and go back to your hotel in the other. Just make sure you check the ferry schedule to find out the time of the last ferry.
Jean is online now  
Mar 14th, 2006, 09:13 PM
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As nessundorma says.

Menaggio for Roman history and plenty to see and do.

VS :-"
viaggio_sempre is offline  
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