Rent car for Lake Como?

Sep 5th, 2001, 08:58 AM
  #1  
beverlyd
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Rent car for Lake Como?

Good morning

Starting some very early preplanning for a trip to Italy next June. We'll be flying into Milan and will then head up to Lake Como area. We usually rent a car in Italy as we enjoy having the freedom from train and bus schedules and the flexibility to alter our plans if we choose.

Having said that, we know that in certain areas of Italy a car becomes more of a hindrance than anything e.g.,in Rome. Our itinerary will have us going on to Rome from Lake Como and I'm wondering if we'd be better off taking the train up to Lake Como area and relying on ferries and then taking the train to Rome. We plan to spend 3 nights (over a weekend) in Lake Como area - probably will visit Como and the mid-lakes area.

Any opinions on the pros and cons of having a rental car vs. relying on the ferries to get around? Is there parking in the towns? And is driving very slow due to traffic and/or limited roads?

Would also be really helpful if someone can comment on the convenience/reliability of train service from Lake Como area to Rome.

Sorry for the lengthy post and thanks in advance for any advice.

Bev
 
Sep 5th, 2001, 09:01 AM
  #2  
Rex
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If you stay on the Menaggio side, I think a car is nice to have - - there is much to explore south to Como, and north (or west to Lugano). In Bellagio, it is a less clear-cut decision in my mind - - there just aren't as many place to go (though you can, of course, take your car with you across the ferry and explore either coast.

Best wishes,

Rex

 
Sep 5th, 2001, 01:16 PM
  #3  
beverlyd
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Thanks Rex. How is the parking situation if we do rent a car? Would we have to stay in a hotel with a garage or is there some street parking in town (initial plan is to stay in Bellagio but this may change as we do more research)

 
Sep 5th, 2001, 04:06 PM
  #4  
GAC
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I won't comment on the parking situation, but will mention that the train service from Como City to Rome is excellent, requiring only a brief change at Milano Centrale. Travel time is 45 minutes to Milan and four and one-half hours by Eurostar train to Rome. Also, there is an excellent bus service six times daily (only twice on Sundays) from Malpensa (MXP) to Como, with connections to Menaggio, Bellagio and other lake towns. Cost is Lire 25,000 (one way) and the trip takes one hour. Also, the buses from Como to Bellagio and from Como to Menaggio and further north to Colico run hourly, and fares are very inexpensive. Schedules are found at www. sptcomo.it
 
Sep 5th, 2001, 04:29 PM
  #5  
anneh
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Just returned from 3 weeks in Italy with one spent in beautiful Bellagio.We rented a car in Milan and drove to Bellagio.We got lost around Milan and then the drive from Como to Bellagio is on a narrow coastal rode meant I think more for motorcycles.We ended up parking the car for the whole week except for one day when we went to Lugano which you could easily do as a bus trip instead. I would take the train next time to Como and the hydrofoil to Bellagio. That way you will have a spectacular entrance to a lovely place.The name of the boat service is Navigazione Lago Di Como and the torist office in Bellagio could mail you the schedule which runs in to the late evening in the summer months.Get a day pass for the steamers once there and check outVarenna,Bellano (for the gorge),Argegno(take a cable car to Pigra)... We loved walking in the hamlet of Auregio which is walking distance. Punta spurtiventa is in Bellagio at the point of the peninsula and is lovely. Restaurant Barchetta for the tasting menu and Trattoria San Giacamo for excellent food at great prices.Have a great trip! Anne
 
Sep 5th, 2001, 04:35 PM
  #6  
Rex
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I stayed at the Grand Hotel Victoria, and they have plenty of free parking. The Grand Hotel Menaggio, also mentioned here in the last few days, has a gated lot, as I recall, right beside the public parking for the ferry (small - - maybe 20-30 cars). I don't know what other hotels exist in Menaggio; there must be others. but I think you can find on street parking in Menaggio without substantial difficulty.
 
Sep 5th, 2001, 05:25 PM
  #7  
beverlyd
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Thanks to all of you for the really helpful information. If we don't rent a car, the bus up to Como and then a hydrofoil to Bellagio sounds like an excellent option.

Assuming that we stay in Bellagio or Menaggio, would it be easier to return to Como for the train to Rome via Milan or should we take the train that leaves from Varenna? Also, when I tried to search for information on the Italian Railway site there were a bunch of stations for Como. Which is the one I'd use for Rome?

 

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