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How would you spend 4 nights/3days on Lake Como?

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Mar 28th, 2015, 10:11 AM
  #1
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How would you spend 4 nights/3days on Lake Como?

We (2 couples) are traveling to Italy towards the end of April. We will be taking the train from Milan to Varenna, onto Bellagio via boat. We are spending 4 nights at Hotel Florence in Bellagio. This leaves us three full days to explore - Villa Carlotta? Varenna? Isola di Comacina for lunch? Como itself?

How would you spend three days on Lake Como? I look forward to hearing from others how they've designed their itineraries to this area.
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Mar 28th, 2015, 10:20 AM
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Igt may be easier and cheaper to take the train Milan to Como-Nord, a station right by the boat docks for boats to Bellagio or you can even go by cheaper directr buses from Como Nord - you will have plenty of lake boating later - especially if coming from Milan Airport you can take a train direct to Como Nord (with one easy change without going into Milan).
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Mar 28th, 2015, 11:04 AM
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That's a great idea;however, we're takIng the grain from Rome and have already bought tickets through to Varenna. I should have done my research a bit more on that end. Thx.
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Mar 28th, 2015, 11:04 AM
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Train, not grain
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Mar 28th, 2015, 11:09 AM
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To answer your question: in a half a heartbeat! And do not get all twisted around because you have decided to take the TRAIN to Varenna-Esino (sit on the left side facing forward for the best lake views which begin at Lecco, BTW).

It is an EASY all-downhill walk from the V-E rail station to the ferry docks (and ticket booth) at the bottom of the hill. The ticket person will tell you which dock to wait at. Some ferries go via Menaggio and some go directly to Bellagio.

Enjoy your time there; we'll be going for several days next year.
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Mar 28th, 2015, 12:15 PM
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Here is a good start:
http://www.bellagiolakecomo.com/

I think that Varenna, Villa Carlotta and Villa Balbianello are all time well spent.
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Mar 28th, 2015, 12:58 PM
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If the weather's nice, consider visiting Castello Vezio while you're in Varenna. The views from the castle ruins above the town are just spectacular. We hiked up the hill, but there are taxis and, I've been told, bus service. The walk down is fairly easy. If you time your visit to the afternoon, you can probably see the falcons and other birds of prey when they are released for their daily exercise. Check the exhibit schedule at "Falconry" on the castle's website:

http://www.castellodivezio.it/inglese/storia.php

BTW, walking down the hill from the Varenna train station, as the lake comes into view, is one of my all-time favorite mental images.

If you have time in Bellagio, walk out to La Punta Spartivento (the point that divides the wind) where the upper lake divides into the two "legs." There's a small park at the point and a restaurant open for dinner.

http://www.ristorantelapunta.it/index_en.html
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Mar 28th, 2015, 03:16 PM
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These are yummy ideas all...

Speaking of yummy, opinions about these restaurants:

Ristorante Bilacus
Trattoria San Giacomo
Barchetta
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Mar 28th, 2015, 04:56 PM
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Perhaps you saw this in my trip report:


• A day trip to Varenna and the Villa Monastero gardens. Do not miss the surprising San Giorgio church.
• A day trip to Menaggio for lunch
• A day trip to Lenno and the nearby Villa Balbianello. Do not let them tell you the walk is easy—it is :30 and up and down hill. Take the boat.
• A day trip to the city of Como and the local museum---a pleasant day.
• A walk to the Villa Melzi gardens south of Bellagio.

http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=4442

I did manage to swim in the local indoor pool at the hotel and the girls managed to shop every corner of Bellagio—they are good at that. We also ate well in Bellagio. Here are our four favorite places—in rank order:

• Ristorante Bilacus—I had a wonderful veal dish.
• Trattoria San Giacomo—just across from Bilacus and less $$$
• Antico Pozzo—nice selection and reasonable
• Barchetta—this was a real surprise and worth a visit.
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Mar 28th, 2015, 06:05 PM
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Bellagio:
Ristorant Barchetta is our favorite and we've celebrated several special occassions there. It away from the touristy area too.
Bilacus is fine; sit in their outdoor patio if weather is nice. It's at the top of the main "staircase" Don't care for Giacomo.
Alle Darsena is very good, walk through the Villa Melzi Gardens to the little hamlet of Loppia or take a taxi.
And La Punta, at the northern point where Bellagio ends, has beautiful views of the lake and mountains.
For pizza, head to La Grotta.
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Mar 28th, 2015, 06:32 PM
  #11
 
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We stayed at the Hotel Florence for 3 days in mid-May of 2012 and had a great time. We did a lot of the things mentioned above - they are really good suggestions. You can check out the details of our trip in the trip report I posted. Bellagio was our favorite part of the trip.
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Mar 28th, 2015, 06:49 PM
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42 days and counting! Great suggestions.
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Mar 28th, 2015, 07:24 PM
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Villa Serbelloni tour is great, with fantastic views of the mid Lake, Varenna and Menaggio:

http://www.bellagiolakecomo.com/bell...belloni-garden

With a car, you can drive up to where the Pigra cable car ends overlooking the lake. Then continue on to Balcone d'Italia (great views!) near the Swiss border and from there, continue towards Porlezza and then on to Lugano, if desired.
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Mar 28th, 2015, 07:41 PM
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Alle Darsena was our stand out meal when we visited Bellagio.

I wish I had HappyTrvlr's walking directions when we went there. We went past a cemetery with bats, through a farmer's field and got chased by a tractor. I recommend going there, but not the way we did.
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Mar 28th, 2015, 08:15 PM
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A cemetery with bats? Buried? Teasing...I understand What an adventure.

Everyone has contributed greatly to my planning - both in terms of sightseeing and eating.

Has anyone eaten lunch at Isola di Comacina? Recommended yay or nay?
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Mar 29th, 2015, 06:49 AM
  #16
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Bobthenavigator - I perused your trip photos on Slowtrav. Beautiful, enticing, colorful array - you are a great photographer!
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Mar 29th, 2015, 07:54 AM
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Over the hill from town is Pescallo, a pretty hamlet of Bellagio. It's a short walk up & down a series of cobblestone steps & paths. We had nice lunch at La Pergola.

We also enjoyed a visit to the gardens of Villa Melzi. It was fun to imagine what it must have been like to travel & stay there in the early 1800's! How grand it must have been!

There's no end of wonderful things to do! Have a wonderful trip!
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Mar 29th, 2015, 09:27 AM
  #18
 
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One trip we spent two weeks in Bellagio and never ran out of things to do or see using the ferries. It was the most stress free stay without a car.
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Mar 29th, 2015, 09:38 AM
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I liked Como itself too - actually enjoyed staying in a real city and a real sweet one - outdoor markets - lots of non-touristed shops and restaurants - the day I went to Bellagio it was mob city - each time a boat came in and ejaculated its mobs of day trippers any inherent romance the tiny town had was lost - I enjoyed it because I love mobbed tourist scenes - taking it all in but I was glad I stayed in Como - at least give Como itself a good look over.

You couldn't pay me to stay in a plastic place like Bellagio but that is of course my own subjective opinion - just not enough there there for my likes - I loved taking boats around Lake Como and walking between some places.
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Jul 6th, 2015, 07:08 PM
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Bookmarking.
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