towns on Lake Como - which one?

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Apr 19th, 2009, 08:36 PM
  #1
wug
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towns on Lake Como - which one?

We are flying into Milan Malpensa and want to immediately head to Como for three nights of relaxation, hiking, kayaking, jet lag recovery, etc. We've been looking in to staying in Varenna but wanted to see what everyone else thinks.

Does anyone have any suggestions on other convenient towns to stay in? I've stayed in Como before, just there two days, but I want to be on a different part of the lake this time. My husband has never been at all.

I was looking at Varenna because it's an easy shot by train from Milan Centrale. Are there other options that would be convenient that I'm not thinking about? Bellagio sounds a bit too touristy and expensive to me so I've kind of ruled that out. What does everyone else think?

Any apartment/B&B suggestions? We're looking at staying under 100 euros a night. Thanks so much!!
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Apr 19th, 2009, 09:04 PM
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Stay in Varenna. It is small but has good restaurants, a real real passerella, a beautiful garden and a short boat ride to the charm and beautiful gardens of Bellagio, a much more expensive resort across the lake.

Consider splurging on a taxi from Malpensa straight to Varenna; it will avoid the city (not to mention the VERY busy Stazione Centrale) and take you right there. Your hotel can tell you. I would reccomend Albergo Milano but it will not be under 100 euros. The only place I think you have a shot at those prices would be a youth hostel-it's in Menaggio I think and has a reputation for serving very good meals. Every room at Albergo Milano has a beautiful view of the lake and a balcony.

Buon viaggio!
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Apr 19th, 2009, 09:12 PM
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We stayed in Bellagio and liked it a lot more than Varenna. Try http://www.residencelalimonera.com for reasonable accommodation. Ask for an apartment with lakeview.
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Apr 19th, 2009, 10:30 PM
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Varenna is wonderful. It's so beautiful you can't help but feel relaxed.

Would you be willing to rent a car? A few years ago, I stayed here:

http://www.homelidays.com/varenna/ap...at24034en1.htm

and paid about €450 for a week. But it's about a mile south of Varenna so it would be much easier with a car.
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Apr 20th, 2009, 03:49 AM
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I also stayed in Varenna and was happy with it. Bellagio was nice too and had a little more to do. But you can easily hop over there on the ferry. Varenna pretty much closed up after dark. I'm not talking night life, I'm taking not even any shops or gelato open. But relaxing it was. I got a deal on the Hotel du Lac for 95 euro a night but I think it's normally much more than that. Nice hotel though. Hike up to the castle for fabulous views. Also visit the villas (there are two) that are within walking distance of the town.

If the timing works, there are direct buses (I think only 3 a day) from MXP to the town of Como from which you can take the boat to Varenna and not mess with going into Milan itself. But as I said, the timing has to work.

Here are some photos of Varenna - www.pbase.com/annforcier/image/102060822
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Apr 20th, 2009, 03:42 PM
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Another recommendation for the apartments at Residence LaLimonera in Bellagio. However, there are many hiking options out of Varenna, and it is a more relaxing town overall.

http://www.varennaitaly.com/english.html

http://www.roadandtravel.com/travel%...rr/varenna.htm
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Apr 20th, 2009, 04:30 PM
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Well, if you decide to stay in Bellagio, here is another recommendation for La Limonera.

Johanna
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Apr 20th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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I prefer Bellagio but of course Varenna is lovely.

Another vote for La Limonera where I stayed last summer for my 4th trip to Lake Como.
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Apr 20th, 2009, 07:28 PM
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wug
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thanks so much for the great suggestions. LaLimonera does look really nice. And Isabel, those pictures are wonderful. Thanks so much.

Jean, great site for Varenna. I'm enjoying learning more about Varenna. I hadn't run across that site yet. Thanks for that.

It's interesting that no one has suggested any other towns besides Varenna and Bellagio. I guess those are the most convenient from Malpensa?
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Apr 20th, 2009, 10:01 PM
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We just spent 5 nights in an apt in Menaggio. We had stayed in Varenna before, but in the off season for a longer period thought it better to stay in Menaggio. We loved it, even if there was a bit more traffic than the other two towns. Not sure the min nights for the apt or if it fits your budget but it was right on the water and very convenient. There are lots of hikes to do above Menaggio - but be sure to do the one to the castle in Varenna as well.

http://www.holidaylets.net/properties/22616
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Apr 21st, 2009, 12:57 PM
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wug, people tend to recommend the three mid-lake towns because of the frequent ferry service and because Varenna is easy to reach by train from Milan. If you just want to park yourself in a town on the lake, there are other options but the logistics of arriving and departing might involve an additional step or two.

One of those options is Lecco which is only 40 minutes by train from Milano Centrale. Parts of the city are industrial, but the historical center is nice and there are some nice hiking opportunities at that end of the lake.

http://www.naturallyitaly.com/?page=...ons&city=lecco
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Apr 21st, 2009, 01:30 PM
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Menaggio, Cadenabbia, and Tremezzo are all nice resort towns on the west shore of Lake Como. They all have accommodations, but you will find less of them in Cadenabbia. There's also an agriturismo that is pretty nice, called Al-Mamich, not too far inland, in case you would like the country atmosphere near the lake.
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Apr 21st, 2009, 10:11 PM
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We loved Lenno ... it's much quieter and less touristy than some of the other towns, many of which we visited & enjoyed as day trips. We stayed at the Albergo Lenno in October 2006, and fell in love with the place.
http://www.albergolenno.com/inglese/
Bellaggio was our least favorite of the towns on Como...it is beautiful, of course, but we found it to be a bit too busy and more commercial than the slightly less-famous towns.
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Apr 22nd, 2009, 09:53 AM
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On our last trip to Lake Como we stayed in Bellano on the east side and an apartment in Aqua Seria on the west side.
I would not consider Aqua Seria without a rental car. The hotels in Bellano tend to be one-star or four-star with very little in between.

For the mid-lake area, in addition to the car ferry service (Menaggio, Bellagio, Varenna, occasionally Cadenabbia) there is an hourly boat that also adds Bellano, Tremezzo/Carlotta, and Lenno.

As far as your budget goes, we have stayed at the Albergo Olivedo at the Varenna ferry stop. When we were there it was mandatory half-board but I think its 'all-in' cost might be close to your budget. I think that all rooms have lake-view but check with the owner on that.

We have never stayed there but the Garni Carona on the Menaggio square should fit your budget. There are two three places with a few (very few) rooms above some of the hotels in Menaggio, I think that Vecchio Menaggio is one of those.

I have heard that the Malpensa to Como bus does not run anymore but that might not be right.

The Albergo Lenno looks good and I like the town and the hotel's location. I have no idea of cost.
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Apr 22nd, 2009, 11:35 AM
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The Malpensa-Varenna and Malpensa-Como bus services no longer exist.
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Apr 23rd, 2009, 09:21 AM
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Should read - There are two or three places with a few (very few) rooms above some of the restaurants in Menaggio, I think that Vecchio Menaggio is one of those.
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Apr 23rd, 2009, 01:51 PM
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We stayed in Bellagio at Residence Il Borgo. It was very nice - room was clean and modern, with kitchenette.
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