Lake Como, Garda???

Nov 6th, 2007, 06:01 PM
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Lake Como, Garda???

My husband and I are going to Venice April 15-18, 2008. We are a little confused as to exactly what lake and where to stay when we get to the lake area. We will be taking the train from Venice to Milan and then the lake area. Any suggestions? We aren't hikers and would enjoy enjoying the views and customs. Any hotel recommendations?
Thanks, nvmike
nvmike is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 06:26 PM
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I would recommend Lake Como over Garda, although Garda has its attractive town like Riva in the northwest shore.

Lake Como is stunning WHEN the weather is good and there are plenty of places to visit like Villa Balbinielo, Villa Carlotta, Mennagio, etc. The best place to stay is in the town of Bellagio which is located in the middle of the upside down Y shape lake. One hotel that represents a good value is Hotel Florence mostly for their lake view rooms, otherwise it would just be an old hotel. The junior suites are worth the splurge, otherwise get the standard rooms WITH lakeview. Here's the review:
DAX is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 06:29 PM
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It is easier for us to give recommendations if we know your price range.

Our family prefers Lake Como to Lake Garda. I think Lake Garda is not extremely mountainous at its southern end whereas Lake Como is mountainous from north to south.

If you decide on Lake Como, then Bellagio, Menaggio and Varenna are the towns that most tourists stay in.
Big_Red is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 06:41 PM
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Here's our trip report on the lakes from a year ago:

"Italy trip report: The Lakes District":

On Lake Como, we stayed in Varenna, and enjoyed it very much. We spent a nice day in Bellagio, but I don't know if I would have wanted to stay there. It was mobbed with tourists, and had a rather commercial feeling.

Lake Garda was still touristy, but had more of a feeling of having a real local life.

I kind of liked Lake Maggiore, with many of its activities on islands.

The area in general is a tourist area, not an area in which to explore Italian life and customs. As my wife Margie says, that would be a little like trying to learn about typical life in the US by visiting the Hamptons. Because of the northern location of the lakes, the majority of tourists are probably Germans, particularly at Lake Garda.

Our report on Venice from the same trip:

"Italy trip report: Venice":

- Larry
justretired is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 02:57 PM
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Thanks for you input. I think we will stay in Bellagio. We like the Silvio and are checking into that. The Hotel Florence was a little more expensive and seemed as you said "old".
nvmike is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 02:59 PM
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Hi Big Red,
Thanks for your input. We will be staying in Bellagio, just still up in the air as to where. I think Hotel Silvio if we can.
nvmike is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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Hi justretired,
Thanks for your lengthy reply. We are going to stay in Bellagio...still checking on hotels. Like a couple.
nvmike is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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That still is a bit early for the lakes---take a jacket with you. Silvio is a good hike from town---I would stay closer if you can.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 05:34 PM
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We stayed on Lake Como in April this year and the whole thing was brilliant.

Bellagio is the big town - but there are plenty of others.

Weather was magnificent.
margo_oz is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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hopingtotravel is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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Please make sure that you research Silvio's location. I think that some would say that it is outside of Bellagio.
Big_Red is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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Just a note to whet your appetite with some photos from my recent visit to both Como and Garda (and Orta, a beloved jewel, tho you didn't mention that), all of which I visited last September. For April, just take warm clothes for the boat rides around the lake.

I stayed in Varenna on Como, and Torri del Benaco on Garda. Here on Fodor's, the choice between Como and Garda usually turns up tilted towards Como. I was glad I chose Varenna instead of Bellagio due to my preference for less touristy, more picturesque places, with more focus on 'colorful building beauty' than shopping beauty. But you'll know what's best for you.

Anyhow, I have albums on both lakes (and Orta) at the site below, under Italy (Italia). You'll have a wonderful time!


P.S. I agree with others that the lakes region isn't the best for 'the customs'... And, of the lakes, Orta is best for 'local color'.
KarenKM is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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Karen, Your work is inspiring--thanks again !
bobthenavigator is offline  

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