Italy Lake district in August

Old Jun 18th, 2005, 06:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Italy Lake district in August

We are going to Italy in August 15, and would like to spend 4 days in the lake district. We are a family of 5 (2 grown boys and a 14 yrs old), we would like to stay in one place and travel in the near area, hiking, exploring, etc.

What would you recommend for a first time, relaxing visit? Which of the lakes? We heard a lot about lake Como and Bellagio, we would like to hear your opinions


nsl is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2005, 07:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you believe that numbers of visitors is an indicator of which is best, then it would be true that Lake Como is the best (believe me it <u>is</u> awesome), and Bellagio is the gem of Lake Como.

But it <i>might</i> also be the most expensive, and it might be the most visited because more people have easier access to it (live near, or make use of Milan as a transportation hub, and by a whisker, it is the closest of the three leading lakes).

Of course, a good thing about this forum is that you can find solid and alternative views on Lake Como, and on Bellagio as well.

I have been to Lake Garda (but not Lake Maggiore), and by a slim margin it seemed a little more family-oriented than Como (albeit a little less spectacular, geographically) - - Como, and Bellagio, in particular has a touch of Rodeo Drive to it.

You'll have no trouble getting some info here on Stresa and Maggiore, including the Borromeo (sp?) Islands (in the lake).

And Bellagio is by no means your only choice for a place to stay on Lake Como. Menaggio and Varenna both have their fans (I have enjoyed an extended stay in Menaggio).

There is hardly a wrong choice to be made on this.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2005, 01:17 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 397
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For my money, Lake Como is the most spectacular, with mountainsides plunging fjord-like into the water. Bellagio is probably the ritziest lake town in Italy, but it's by no means your only choice. You could stay in just about any town on the lake and still be well connected by boat, and by train if you're on the eastern shore. See for links and tips.

Lake Como is within easy reach of mountains for hiking - from Lecco, for example, you can take a bus up the hill to the funivia (cable car) that gets you near the top of the Resegone mountain. Or you can drive north and northeast from the lake and be in high mountains with beautiful Alpine towns and a major national park {Parco dello Stelvio).

Lake Garda is the most mass-touristy, with amusement parks and water parks, as well as the usual water sports. It tends to be very crowded in August with low-end and camper tourists, especially Germans (a former colleague in Belgium told me he learned German by spending his childhood summers on Lake Garda!).

Maggiore is also beautiful, more high-end than Garda. The surrounding area is more soft hills than craggy mountains as on Lake Como.

Basically, as rex says, you can't go wrong whichever one you choose!

best regards,
Deirdr&eacute; Straughan (personal) (work)
DeirdreStraughan is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2005, 01:34 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,260
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lake Como was a popular destination for visitors LONG before there was an internet and a board such as this one. If you do go you'll understand why and Deirdre has given you some factual content in terms of why this is so.

One thing about the so-called &quot;mid-lake&quot; area of Lake Como is the three towns differ enough to make each one interesting.

I personally feel that Varenna, in many ways, is typical of what many of us have perhaps stereotypically conjured up as &quot;the&quot; small Italian town; Bellagio is probably the most well-known, is very pretty and popular, and probably has the most visitors; Menaggio is the largest (in area) of the three.

You can get to them all, easily, by ferry; and you can get to other parts of the lake from tghere by ferry, and to Milan or Tirano by rail from Varenna.

This is NOT the Spanish Steps or the middle of Rome...go there to hang out and relax. Except for restaurants, etc., the towns are otherwise dead at night. The scenery is wonderful and you are only a few miles from Lugano in Switzerland (easy bus ride from Menaggio).

Just one more aspect of Italy which allows the people who DO visit there that the country has more to offer than Tuscany and the so-called &quot;big three.&quot;
Intrepid1 is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2005, 08:01 AM
Posts: n/a
In early June, we spent one night in Riva del Garda and later five nights on Lake Como. We have high regard for Riva but I give Lake Como the win over Lake Garda.

Como - For relaxing, you just hop on a lake boat, sit back and enjoy the most fantastic scenery that you have ever imagined. (The Star Wars scene was intended to capture a place of fantastic beauty.)

When the boat reaches its destination, walk around, have a meal or snack/ beverage and then return.

As said above, Varenna, Bellagio, and Menaggio are all wonderful places to stay. This triangle has the greatest convience for boat service.

If you are for Como, I would start working on accomodations now (as you need two or three rooms). We stayed in Varenna at the Albergo Olivedo, a hotel well known on this forum.
Old Jun 19th, 2005, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well said, Intrepid !
There are actually 5 lakes and all are delightful. Como has the press, and rightfully so, but I enjoy the combination of Maggiore/Orta as much. I would decide partially based on where you are going from there.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2005, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,325
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are going THIS August 15 (a national holiday in Italy and the heart of Italian vacation time)where you end up staying is going to matter on where you can find a vacancy for a double and a triple room (or an apartment that will accomodate you) at this late date. Como is gorgeous; I've stayed in Cernobbio four times, but as other have said, other than what your hotel or restaurants can provide, there isn't much in the way of entertainment at night. Maggiore is lovely too and Stesa has a bit more nightlife.
Grinisa is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Apr 19th, 2009 08:55 AM
Jul 10th, 2007 03:32 PM
Jun 11th, 2006 06:15 AM
Jan 28th, 2005 06:22 AM
May 30th, 2003 04:09 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -