lake como advice - varenna or cernobbio?

Old Oct 8th, 2005, 08:03 PM
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lake como advice - varenna or cernobbio?

My husband, 8-month old baby and I are traveling to Lake Como late October. We have five days. Since baby is in tow, we don't want to pack too much in, but would like to take day trips. As planning is last-minute and late in season, our sleeping options are limited. Our choices: Villa Flori in Cernobbio, or in Varenna, we have Olivedo (balcony lake view) or Albergo Milano (hotel full; have apt. available). Any advice on which is best? Is there anything to stroll to (with our baby stroller!) in Cernobbio? Also, where would you day trip to in the lakes area? Thanks.
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Old Oct 8th, 2005, 10:12 PM
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We have recently returned from Varenna, if you click on my name my report titled 20th Anniversary report, Paris, Lakes and Rome should come up somewhere. There is quite a bit of info on the report re: Lake Como. We stayed in Varenna and didn't go to Cernobbio, so can't help you with questions re: Cernobbio.

The Olivedo from memory was right opposite the ferry terminal, it could be a bit noisy as they come and go all day - just a consideration for you. I realise your dilemma re time of year, so I know you can't pick or choose. We stayed further around from the ferry station at the Hotel du Lac. We would highly recommend this hotel, but of course it may not still be open.

Day trips I would certainly recommend some time in Bellagio, good shopping and Villa Melzi's gardens were lovely, more botanical so not reliant on a big flower display. They are open until the end of Ocober. Likewise the Villa Carlotta is open until end Novemeber. The gardens are large and interesting and the villa is also open and very enjoyable, lovely painted ceilings etc. We took about 1.5hr to see both villa and gardens (all of them).

Make sure you visit Villa Balbianello, this is also open until the end of October. This was the highlight of the villas for us. It is smaller, more intimate and just gorgeous. The gardens are open all day, different brochures tell you different times and it gets awfully confusing. We walked from Lenno ferry which is allowable, not stroller friendly so maybe forget that idea and take the speed boat supplied by the villa. It is open Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday and public holidays, so plan accordingly as it is not open everyday. On the weekends the garden gate is open and you can walk - depending on how you are carrrying bubs around.(see above - it is a very rough path)

We only had two days so everything was a bit packed in. If I had had more time I would have taken, on a nice day, the ferry down to Como, just to see all the other villages if nothing else.

We went to Mennagio (one n?) but that afternoon it decided to pour down and Menaggio (that's right) on a wet Sunday was not the place to be - boring. But on a lovely sunny day I am sure it would have been much nicer.

It is such a beautiful place, just take lots of leisurely boat rides and admire all the scenery. You will love it, lucky beasts!!
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Old Oct 8th, 2005, 11:41 PM
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We stayed at Villa Cipressi which is a little ways from the ferry-but the views and the garden were worht it. It was closer to the "downtown" area of Varenna than those near the ferry/train.

If access is your issue, then stay nearby the ferry/train area-otherwise the downtown area is about 350m away.
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 04:40 AM
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I would opt for Albergo Milano apt. with a baby. You will like Varenna.
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 05:26 AM
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The boat and ferry service at Varenna is proably more frequent then Cernobbio.
We have stayed at The Albergo Olivedo twice, but I don't remember any ground floor rooms nor a lift/elevator there.

For daytrips, in addition to towns and villas on the lake, Bergamo is nearby (and reachable by train) and some people like to go to Lugano in Switzerland (bus ride I think). But I would spend most of my time on the lake (especially with an infant that would ilke a midday nap).

It might your decision if you looked at the boat service. The website for all of the boat service on Lake Como is www.navigazionelaghi.it. Staying in Cernobbio makes Como and the towns on the southwest arm of the lake convenient. Staying in Varenna makes Bellagio, Menaggio, and Bellano convenient.

We are very fond of Lake Como.
 
Old Oct 9th, 2005, 08:01 PM
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Thank you for your responses. Schnauzer, I read your reports and they were great and very informative. Can't wait to try Il Cavatappi restaurant - will make reservatiions on your advice. Doble Vergasser, how did you like Olivedo? I fear Laura may be a bit dominering from the reports I"ve read. The apt. at Milano seems like a good option for a couple of days and we could stay at Villa Flori for the other days, but how important is it to see that lake view each morning? We'd save a lot by staying part of time at MIlano...could spend it on food instead! I'm really going round and round on this!
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 02:14 AM
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Unlike some here, we have generally stayed in either Menaggio or Varenna (as opposed to Bellagio) when we have visited Lake Como. I think the Varenna choice is as good as any. Be aware that Varenna is somewhat hilly; access from the ferry dock area is relatively easy via a walkway at lakeside; I am not surfe how stroller-friendly that route is, however. Strollers should be no problem on the ferries most of which take both cars and foot passengers.

We love the mid-lake area and the view but you are going to get that view every day. Personally, if money is a major issue I'd save it for food.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 04:02 AM
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glad to be of help Comobound. I think apartment with the little one would be a much better option, particularly if you have a kitchen/kitchenette for cooking baby food, even if it is a bit mushy for that age! Also to make your own cup of tea after a hard day looking at the lake is a definite plus. I would do the apartment. Does the Albergo Milano not have any rooms with a view? Or is it just the apartment with no view? You get plenty of opportunities whilst zooming around and walking around to see the views of the lake. See decision made for you!!
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 06:47 PM
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Comobound,

Hope that the trip went well.
 
Old Nov 30th, 2005, 11:08 PM
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Having been in Varenna recently if you can afford it stay at The Hotel du Lac - it is just beautiful. Make sure you eat at Vecchia Varenna -the food is sensational and has great views over the lake - I would go back just to eat there again
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