Lake Como and other Italian Lake towns

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Mar 14th, 2006, 08:57 AM
  #1
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Lake Como and other Italian Lake towns

We are going to spend four days in the area in mid-May. Any suggestions about hotels, especially ones in the $150-200 range? Should we rent a car or can we depend on the ferry system? And what is the transportation situation to the Lake area from Milan MXP?
kicks is offline  
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Mar 14th, 2006, 09:09 AM
  #2
Doble_Vergasser
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Varenna is one of the towns at the middle of the lake. We have stayed twice at the Albergo Olivedo (probably 2 stars)at the ferry ramp in Varenna and it would definitely be within your budget.

Should you want to stay in Bellagio or elsewhere, I am sure someone else will chine in. Once you are at Lake Como, most people do utilize the boat service. Any rental car will most likely sit a lot.

From Malpensa, you could take the shuttle to the central train station (about 10 euro per person) and then there is train service up the eastern side of the lake (Lecco, Varenna, and on). Allow 2 to 3 hours Malpensa to the lake. I have not hired a taxi for it but I think that is about 150 Euro.

You can also train to Como. From Como, there is bus service up the western side of the lake.
 
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Mar 14th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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Agree with Doble. IMHO, of the three towns connected by ferry in the center of the lake (Bellagio, Menagio, and Varenna), Varenna was the best (quiet, small where all the locals knew each other, yet close enough to the ferry and action of the other two towns).

We also stayed at Albergo Olivedo in Varenna (directly across from the ferry ramp) and had an excellent time. Our bathroom was very modern and spacious as was the room. The owner may give you a discount if you pay by cash.

For dinner in the small town of Varenna, highly recommend ILCAVATAPPI website: http://www.ilcavatappiwine-food.it/ we had the BEST MEAL in italy at this small, family-run restaurant. the food was really fresh (go with the chef's special of the day, regardless of what he is making, and I will guarantee you won't be disappointed.)

No need to rent a car while visiting the lakes as Doble pointed out, taking the shuttle to the train station will be good enough (and the ferry system is really good as well once you get to the lakes). We drove to Varenna and trying to follow the city signs was mayhem and we got lost quite a bit around the lecco area at night. If you decide to drive, make sure you have enough gas to drive up. I think there's a gas station in menagio.
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Mar 14th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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You can also go to the Web set of Aeroporti di Milano, click on Malpensa, click on English, and look for the section about getting to and from the airport. There is regular bus service from Malpensa to Como that can save you the long ride to Milano Centrale and then a train to Como.

I think there is also a train service that takes you to Milano Cadorna, where you can catch the Ferrovie del Nord train, which takes you right to the shore in Como. (The Trenitalia station is pretty far from the center of Como.)

Some frequent travelers to the Lake region prefer the small and picturesque Lake Orta, but I'm afraid I have no idea what the transportation from Malpensa to Orta involves.
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