Lake Como

Old Aug 13th, 2006, 08:01 PM
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Lake Como

My husband and I will be taking a trip to Italy in late September and plan to spend 2 to 3 days in the Lake Como area.
1) Where on the lake would be the best place to stay? Bellagio? Lecco? Como? Mennagio? We plan to take ferries around the lake and make several different stops but we are wondering where we should make our base.
2) Suggestions of nice hotels in the $200 to $300 Euro range?
3) Must see places on the lake?
Thanks in advance for any advice or tips.
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Old Aug 13th, 2006, 08:11 PM
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Your hotel budget allows for some of the nicest hotels on the lake with views, so the only question is your personal likes and dislikes.

Bellagio is famous for its view, but many people dislike the wall-to-wall tourism that dominates the town. A short boat ride away is Varenna, with views that are truly lovely if not quite as amazing as Bellagio's, but it retains more of its true Italian character than Bellagio -- although many complain it is too quiet. One advantage of Varenna is that it has a train station.

If you have a car, Mennaggio is the most easily reached, and because of that, it is the liveliest of the 3 towns that afford easy access to the best views on the lake.

Como and Lecco are rather removed from the best touristing. If you want a lot of peace and quiet, check out the Eremo Gaudio hotel in Varenna (but not if you are disabled) or pick a town north of Bellagio/Varenna/Menaggio that isn't famous at all. If you'd like to be convenient to the tourist attractions, stay near Bellagio.

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Old Aug 13th, 2006, 10:45 PM
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The well-known towns you mentioned on Lago de Como are crowded, and all can easily be reached by water taxi whenever you wish. For a nice hotel in a very small and quiet town where locals holiday I would recommend the Hotel San Georgio in Lenno. Right on the lake across from Belagio. Lake view room only, though. The mountain view rooms are subject to some road noise.
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Old Aug 13th, 2006, 11:10 PM
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I suggest Hotel du Lac in Varenna, not to be confused with the hotel of the same name in another town. You can see photos and read my trip report at http://www.travelswithdiane.homestea...5LakeComo.html

The villas are worth visiting. Two in Varenna are the Villa Cipressi and Villa Monestaro. Both are within walking distance of the Hotel du Lac.

If you go to the Villa Balbianello, be sure to take the 45-minute tour of the house. The Villa Carlotta has beautiful gardens.

Our favorite restaurant on Lake Como was Bilacus in Bellagio.

Enjoy!
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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Thank you for your replies, I have been checking out all of your suggestions. I emailed the staff at Eremo Gaudio and they only have a lower level room, standard double with no balcony. It seems from everything I have read about this place the reason to stay is the views, so I am wondering would I still get the same satisfaction with a lower level no balcony room. Nessundorma, if you have first hand experience please do let me know. In the meantime I have been having a good time reading and viewing luvtotravels website and am also considering Hotel Du Lac. So many choices to consider.
Thank you
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 12:38 PM
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Another vote for the Hotel du Lac in Varenna, but I also recommend the Hotel Florence in Bellagio. Both are within your budget range. I happen to think the views from Varenna are more spectacular than from Bellagio, especially in the morning and especially from the hills above the town. The weather should be great.

By late September, the tourist crowds in Bellagio during the day will have lessened just slightly and are very nearly gone by dinner time. Dinner reservations would still be needed, but you could probably make them after you get to the lake. For more peace of mind, you could ask your hotel to make them before you arrive. My favorite restaurant is Bilacus in Bellagio.

If two days, spend the equivalent of one day exploring Bellagio and Varenna and the equivalent of another day ferrying to either Villa Carlotta or Villa Balbianello or somewhere else on the lake that offers something of interest to you. With three days, you can spend even more time exploring other sights on the lake that fit your interests.

If villas and gardens don't appeal, there are short walks and hikes in the Varenna and Bellagio area. One of my favorites is the walk DOWN from the castle ruins and falconry above Varenna. Absolutely gorgeous views. Take the Varenna city bus up the hill; ask for details at the Info Center.
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 12:42 PM
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Your best base will depend if you will have a car but you did not mention that. Look at Grand Hotel Menaggio---my pick if you do have a car.
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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Poogie,

I would also want a balcony at Eremo Gaudio.
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 04:57 PM
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Not sure what is wrong with my website, but you can read my report on Lake Como by first going to Page 1 and clicking on "continue" at the bottom to the fifth page.

www.travelswithdiane.com/Trip2006Page1.html.
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 05:17 PM
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I didn't have any problem with your previous link . . . ?

Your pictures are great. We stayed at the Villa Cipressi, but none of my photos came out as nice as yours.

Poogie - we really enjoyed staying in the quieter Varenna. I rarely have a car, so it worked out nicely for us to go via train, and use the boat service for reaching the other towns.
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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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luvtotravel-Awesome photos and great report! We leave for Lake Como in a mere 24 days! While the landscape photos were simply beautiful it was the food photos that captured my heart Shirley
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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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Diane, You are good ! I love your note cards---especially Greece.
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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 12:31 PM
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Thanks for the nice comments.

By the way, the food photos did not do justice to Italian pasta. Food is not a main concern for me while traveling. This trip was an exception.
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