Lake Como in June with teens

Apr 24th, 2010, 02:00 PM
  #1  
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Lake Como in June with teens

Our family (2 adults, 2 slothful teen boys, 16 & 19) are considering renting a Lake Como apartment for a week in mid-June. Which town is best for scenery, dining, culture, water-skiing, walking and teen-appropriate nightlife, in case the boys want to go out on their own?
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Apr 24th, 2010, 02:49 PM
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There are lots of great places. For your boys' nightlife, you could do with being in/near Como town, although it's not exactly jumping.
This website has lots of info about the lake and activities

http://www.lakecomoapartment.com
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Apr 24th, 2010, 04:09 PM
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In my opinion the best two towns for a first visit to Lake Como are Bellagio and Menaggio, Varenna is fine but it seems that your family is active and Varenna is small and basically slow.

To get the interest of teenage boys, the best idea that I have is to pick a town that has an active lido (this is a beach club where you pay a few euro to get in). This may not satisfy the teen-appropriate aspect, typically these places serve beer and wine but I would expect there to be other teenagers around. For this reason I would say Menaggio. In addition to the lido they have a nice lake-front mini-golf and lake-front promenade. The lido in the town of Bellano is definietely a teen-oriented place but the accomodations in Bellano tend to be either one-star or four-star with nothing in between.

Water-skiing could be done but would take planning ahead and you might find the water too cold . Also, start your research now, the more desireable rooms and apartments get booked early.
Big_Red is offline  
Apr 24th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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If you mean mid-June 2010, you need to book ASAP. I agree with Big_Red's suggestion of Menaggio for the activities mentioned but also because of frequent ferry service to/from the town.

If your sons are into Star Wars and/or Bond films, Villa Balbianello was featured in "Attack of the Clones" and "Casino Royale."

http://www.fondoambiente.it/en/beni/...propreties.asp
Jean is online now  
Apr 25th, 2010, 02:12 PM
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Thanks so much for your responses. I know what you mean about booking ASAP, but because of our work and the the kids' activities, we always end up organizing our summer trips at the last minute. Thanks to your suggestions, I did find an available VRBO lakeview apartment in the heart of Menaggio and we will make a decision soon...Will keep you updated.

alihutch, would you recommend Como over Menaggio or Bellano?
Big Red, There actually are some places available in Bellano - which do you think is preferable?
jean, That villa looks incredible...wish we could stay there!
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Apr 25th, 2010, 02:33 PM
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Even if you aren't staying there, the Hotel Aurora in Lezzeno (about 15 minutes south of Bellagio) is a great place for water activities. They have wakeboarding off their dock--check out the website for the wakeboarding school, the "Jolly Racing Club." http://www.jrcwakeboard.com/

Looked like lots of fun. At least we enjoyed watching while we sipped prosecco from a lounge chair on the Aurora's deck!
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Apr 25th, 2010, 03:01 PM
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I personally would prefer Bellagio to Menaggio, or como. I love Varenna but with kids, Bellagio may be better/ more activities.
ncounty is offline  
Apr 25th, 2010, 03:09 PM
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If any kind of nightlife and a variety of dining is important, I'd stay in Menaggio over Bellano or Lezzeno.

Como has a lot to see (especially on a cultural level), most of which might not interest your teenage sons. You could ferry down there for a day with or without them if you wanted a change of pace.
Jean is online now  
Apr 25th, 2010, 03:19 PM
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My OH says definitely Como for your boys' nightlife...and from what I have seen I second that. The only place that has a variety of bars etc. where they can meet the locals and they can get the train to Milan.
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Apr 25th, 2010, 03:35 PM
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jgg
 
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Crosscheck!! Not sure if you remember me - the one who obsessed over what shoes to wear on an elephant in Thailand but was also astute enough to match you with "the neurotic parent"!! Your blog has kept me sane (and laughing) as we went through the whole college application process this year with our daughter- happy to report she will be attending Occidental College (despite being a double legacy - which goes against your anecdotal evidence!LOL!!)

Anyway, back to the subject at hand - we are headed to Bellagio just a few weeks after you. We have booked one of the third floor apartments at Il Borgo. Flavio has been very helpful and always quick to respond. Here is the website:
http://www.borgoresidence.it/eng/
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Apr 25th, 2010, 05:26 PM
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I'm not sure a "variety of bars" is what the OP has in mind for the 16 year old.

I guess the decision comes down to whether you want lots of options for day or for night.
Jean is online now  
Apr 26th, 2010, 04:06 AM
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As the eldest is an adult I'm sure that he'll look after his brother
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Apr 26th, 2010, 07:15 AM
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Crosscheck,
Regarding Bellano, since this is your first visit to Lake Como, I would focus on the other towns and consider Bellano an alternate ('in a pinch' type of idea). Bellano has about ten boats a day. This is an acceptable level of service but does require planning and a schedule, other towns offer more convenient boat service. Bellano accomadates tourists but does not cater to and court tourists like some other towns.
For instance most shops close from 1:00 to about 3:00 except those that serve lunch. I do however think that Bellano is a good place to visit for a couuple of hours.

If your plan does not include a rental car, make sure that you understand the location of the apartment and if the apartment is not intown, then how high above the lake it is (how brutal the walk is).

Como is not a preferred base town (in my opinion).
Lat year we rented a two bedroom apartment in Nobiallo, which is a twenty-minute walk along the lake, north of Menaggio. Search YouTube for 'Nobiallo Holiday Flat'.
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Apr 26th, 2010, 07:31 AM
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The lido at Bellano will be populated by local teenagers. It might be hard for out-of-town teenagers, who don't have Italian as a native language to start conversations. The lido at Menaggio will have mix of locals and tourists.
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Apr 26th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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jgg, Of course I remember you - In fact, I am still in awe of your extraordinary cyber literary analysis skills. Nobody else could have linked my neurotic Fodors trip reports to my college blog. Major congrats on Occidental! We must meet for a cappuccino (or Thai iced tea, depending which vacation we discuss) when you come to LA. I have contacted your Bellagio place...When are you going? Is that your only destination? Our dates are still not definite because my younger son is waiting to hear about a summer program, but I do have the Menaggio place on hold while I figure out flights.

nccounty - Is Bellagio more touristy? We usually avoid Italy in the summer for that reason.

aprillilacs, the wakeboarding place looks awesome - would greatly appeal to the boys, almost as much as the underage drinking. How hard would it be to get there from Menaggio?

alihutch - forgive me, what is an OH? obliging husband? I could use one of those. I think you're right...the boys might prefer Como if we weren't there to reign them in. They will have to return as backpackers.

jean, you're right - a "variety of bars" is not exactly at the top of our list for a family vacation. That said, both of my sons have spent time in places with "no" drinking age, and without the forbidden fruit factor, there is less incentive for abuse.

Big Red, a rental car is not out of the question, but wherever we go, we'd like to be right in town. We've narrowed it down to Bellagio and Menaggio...I really appreciate everyone's help and hope to be able to get this together.
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Apr 26th, 2010, 10:21 AM
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I don't think Bellagio is touristy in a bad way, or any more so than any other spot there. I do think it is more charming and seemed larger to me with more areas to explore. My son is 13 and he can fully enjoy things with a similar perspective to mine and I find Bellagio to be more picturesque. It seemed to me that there would be more activities in Bellagio than Menaggio or Varenna. FWIW, I stayed in a town just south of Menaggio by about two miles and explored each town by ferry. The rides across the lake themselves are very lovely. Personally, when I return I would like to stay in Varenna; to me, it is idyllic.
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Apr 26th, 2010, 10:24 AM
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And on a humorous note, it IS Bellagio after all! The biggest name on the lake. They didn't name a gorgeous hotel in Las Vegas Menaggio! lol.....
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Apr 26th, 2010, 10:29 AM
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crosscheck--It's easy to get from Menaggio to Lezzeno (and I would agree that staying in Menaggio is preferable to staying in Lezzeno, which is really just a village strung out along the lake). There are several boats that stop in both Menaggio and Lezzeno, or, for more frequent service, take the boat from Menaggio to Bellagio and hop on a bus there for the short ride to the Aurora in Lezzeno.

The return journey is just as easy, though I think taking the bus to Bellagio and then ferry to Menaggio would be the best option on the return.
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Apr 26th, 2010, 10:29 AM
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I found my old trip report from 2007 which are very condensed practical notes. hahaha, it is funny to reread it, Menaggio was listed as a distant third by me back then.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...an-bergamo.cfm
ncounty is offline  
Apr 26th, 2010, 11:38 AM
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here is a link to my photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncounty...7603202278077/
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