favorite things to do at Lake Como

Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 11:54 AM
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favorite things to do at Lake Como

We are ending our two-week May 09 Italy vacation with three full days at Lake Como and would like some input on your favorite things to do/favorite places to visit in the area.

We are using those last few days as a relaxing end to our trip, but we also like outdoor and adventurous-type activities, so we would prefer a mix of both. My husband and I are 31 and 27, and we are travelling by ourselves (no kids) if that helps.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations!!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 12:20 PM
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If you are interested in flowers, azaleas might be in bloom if you are there early enough in the month. Villa Carlotta is pretty spectacular.

We loved just walking in Bellagio and Varenna. OPs will suggest other lovely villages in the area. Smithsonian had nice article about the city of Como itself-it is a center for silk.

You could call George Clooney for drinks (har har)!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 12:26 PM
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Villa Balbinielo is definitely a must see especially for the perfect Italian garden.

If you are into waterskiing, there are a few small hotels that provide waterskiing program.

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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 12:47 PM
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I agree with all of the above. Taking the boats around the lake and going to the small towns is great.

Also next to the Villa Carlotta is the Grand Tremezzo Hotel. If you climb the hill behind the hotel to the top, the view across the lake to Bellagio is beautiful, especially at dusk when Bellagio just glows in the distance.

Varenna, Mennagio, Bellagio, Villa Balbiniello all worth a look. We were not that fond of Como itself---alot of grafitti and too big, but the shopping was good.

Tell us where you are staying and you may get some restaurant ideas.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 12:50 PM
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<i>Taking the boats around the lake and going to the small towns is great.</i>

What is the driving circumference around Lake Como (for comparison's sake, the drive around Lake Tahoe is 71 miles -- is it like that)? How many towns are there around the lake?
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 01:02 PM
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I found a website for a company that offers &quot;canyoning&quot; somewhere around Lake Como. Anyone ever tried that? Apparently its a combo of hiking, swimming, and climbing. Anyone ever done that?
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 01:11 PM
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Lake Como is very long. I don't know the circumference, but maybe someone else will.

We stayed at the Grand Tremezzo Hotel so we drove to the towns on that side of the lake. When we went to Varenna, Bellagio, and Como we took the boats.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 01:19 PM
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Lake Como is shaped like an upside down Y so there is a lot of lakeshore to see if you go all around each of the legs--not like a round lake. I'm looking at a pretty large scale map but it looks like it's at least 150 miles around the entire perimeter. I've been there 6 or 7 times and have never gone all the way to the &quot;top&quot; of the upside down Y
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 01:23 PM
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I don't know where we will be staying yet. We haven't decided which town to stay at either, so recommendations on town/hotel to stay in would be appreciated!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 05:04 PM
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What is your budget?
Will you have a car?
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 05:44 PM
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Debrad, I would suggest watching the 1995 film &quot;A Month by the Lake&quot; with Vanessa Redgrave, set in Lake Como pre WWII. Great views of the lake and surrounding area.

Enjoy the lakes - beautiful!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 06:08 PM
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Hi Bob,

We will not have a car, and we would prefer to keep the budget under $300 per night for this leg of the trip.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 08:28 PM
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I have just replied to your other post re the hotel. As for things to do, go with all the other suggestions. Ride the lake, definitely Villa Balbianello and Villa Carlotta. Visit some little towns around the lake, Bellagio etc. Get good restaurant recommendations and eat well!!!

Il Cavatapi and Vecchio Roma in Varenna are two great restaurants.

Go for some walks, it is a truly magnificent spot.

Schnauzer
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 09:11 PM
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You need to decide what you want to do before you pick where to sleep. The mid-lake area has the most frequent ferry service, but the more adventure-type activities may be in the hills east of the lake or south of Bellagio.

These websites include links to info on some outdoor activities in the mid-lake area.

http://www.bellagiolakecomo.com/inglese/italiano.html

http://www.bellagio.co.nz/

http://www.varennaitaly.com/english.html

You can check the ferry schedules here:

http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/eng/com/nlc.html

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Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 10:15 AM
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We like taking the ferry-go-round mid lake. Wandering, exploring, shopping - Como itself is a wonderful destination. Nice museum, shopping etc.

Menaggio, Varenna, Bellagio, Cadenabbia, Lenno are all quaint and fun stops on the ferry-go-round!
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