Where to stay in Lake Como area?

Jul 28th, 2010, 09:57 AM
  #1  
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Where to stay in Lake Como area?

I posted something similar but got no replies and some details have changed, so I am reposting. My husband, two year old daughter and I will be taking a last minute trip to Lake Como in mid-Sept. I just booked the tickets (two frequent flyer tix and one for $778 minus a $400 Delta voucher we had, not bad!). I am now scrambling to find a place to stay.

We need advice on which town(s) to look in. I've seen some notes about Varenna and Cernobbio being nice, but would love more feedback. We would prefer to rent a private apartment (i.e. from VRBO or Home Away) as we've found them more affordable than hotels and have a two year old daughter who appreciates a little more play space than the typical hotel room provides, but we would also consider hotels. Ideally we would like to be in a town so that we can walk to sights, shops and restaurants, but we could rent a car if necessary. We enjoy eating, moderate hikes/walks (I will be 6 months pregnant so nothing too difficult), interesting architecture and just generally absorbing the local culture. Somewhere with a park or bit of green space would be nice for our daughter. Thanks in advance for any advice!
audreyleigh99 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 10:23 AM
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Many people on Fodors like this group of apartments near Bellagio.

http://www.residencelalimonera.com/
ellenem is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 11:20 AM
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With you pregnant, and a toddler in tow, you may find Varenna to be too vertical for you. The same is true in Bellagio to a lesser degree, but still a ton of uphill walking. Look at Menaggio on the west shore opposite Bellagio and Varenna---the third part of the mid-lake triangle. Look at 2 3 start hotels in very convenient locations---The Hotel Du Lac and the Hotel Bellavista---the latter has a nice pool overlooking the lake. Good luck !
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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I stayed in Bellagio and thought it had more restaurants and shops to offer than Varenna or Mennagio or the other small towns in the area. What Bob says is true that Mennagio has more flatter ground but you can easily take ferries to any of the lake towns to walk around or have dinner. Watch the times of the last ferries back to wherever you're staying as they do not run late. I didn't find a car necessary in that area.
adrienne is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 12:49 PM
  #5  
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Wonderful, thanks so much for this information! I'd like to think I'll still be in shape enough to handle the hills . . . but fair point about maybe wanting something not quite so vertical
audreyleigh99 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 01:06 PM
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Cernobbio is lovely and as I remember, fairly flat.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 07:14 PM
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Alright, I've found several cute places that appear to be available for our dates, but (of course!) none in the suggested towns. Can anyone comment on the following towns:
Argegno
Tremezzo
Mezzegra

Also, can you be a little more specific on the ferries - what is "late"? Would we be able to eat dinner in another town and ferry back to ours, or would the ferries stop running too early for that?
audreyleigh99 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 02:45 AM
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I like the Tremezzo/Mezzegra area. (Mezzegra is a fraccione (sp?) of Tremezzo and is located a bit further up the hillside between Tremezzo and Lenno, both lovely towns)
There are at least two very good restaurants in the Mezzegra/Tremezzo area. Mezzegra is famous as the place where Il Duce met his end.

However, you probably need to take a bus to reach Mezzegra if you want to avoid uphill walks.

As far as I recall from my own trip, it is NOT possible to have dinner and return to your "home" town by ferry afterwards. But I was there in late September/early October, so perhaps summer schedules are more generous.


Tremezzo would be a great base; it is located mid lake south of Menaggio. But there will be less shopping options there than in Bellagio or Menaggio. It is easy, however, to take the bus from Tremezzo to Menaggio, where there are at least two supermarkets and a range of shops selling day to day articles as well as items of tourist interest.

I don't know Argegno; have only driven through it. It is in a good location for day trips by car into the mountains and valleys ringing the lake. (Ask if you want to know more about these) As long as there are good ferry connections, I think it would be a fine place to rent.

BTW: I would NOT rent in Bellagio is I wanted to avoid steep, uphill walking. That town is beautiful but it was far too touristy for me and I cannot imagine how crowded it would get in high season. Or, rather, perhaps I can imagine but would prefer not to!


NOw, Audrey, take a look at this possibility (!!!)



http://www.unusualvillarentals.com/italy/lake-como-1/
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 02:49 AM
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I neglected to mention that the Tremezzo or Mezzegra properties would put you within easy access of two of the most famous villas on the lake--Villa Carlotta and Villa Balbianello. Both towns are also close to Lenno which is charming in the extreme. Both villas are probably reachable easily by bus from Argegno, too.


But again, Mezzegra is not as centrally located as Tremezzo due to its location up the hillside.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 02:59 AM
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I found this:

http://www.my-lake-como-holiday.com/32/argegno/


And here are bus schedules from the winter season just to give you an idea; there will be more departures in high season, I would imagine; it looks as if Argegno is very well served by bus. The town looks lovely and seems to be large enough to offer all services you might need or want.

http://www.asfautolinee.it/Portals/5...nv%2009-10.pdf
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 03:10 AM
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Consider Lenno. There are semi-frequent ferries to other parts of the mid-lake and it's a lovely town. It's becoming the new home base for us, as much as I love Varenna and the Eremo Gaudio. Albergo Lenno is a wonderful hotel and it's directly in front of the ferry stop. It has a pool, too. A short walk up the quiet street will lead you to a restaurant (Albergo Plinio) which has pasta con burro e salvia to dream about. You can walk to the dock which will take you to Villa Balbianello, and from the ferry stop you are a quick ride to Villa Carlotta.
flygirl is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 03:15 AM
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Hi; We have used Villa Vacations. They are very good to work with and home base is in Pa. Richard www.villavacations.com
iris1745 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 04:31 AM
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Here's the site for the ferry schedules. It looks like the summer schedule runs until October 3.

http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/
adrienne is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 09:49 AM
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Although you prefer an apartment, I thought I'd mentioned the Hotel Garni Corona in Menaggio. We stayed there in late June and very much enjoyed it....especially for 100E/night. Granted, it's 2 star, no pool or AC, but the room was spacious (albeit a bit spare), the owners lovely, and the location superb, right on the piazza overlooking the lake. Just a five minute walk to the ferry and a variety of restaurants to enjoy close-by. You must email to check on booking, but they reply quickly and Michela speaks excellent English. http://www.hotelgarnicorona.com/hotel.html Just a thought.
snapdragon703 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 06:22 PM
  #15  
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Thought I would report back on this topic as we have just returned from our trip. The Lake Como area is breathtakingly beautiful and we enjoyed our time very much. However, I was NOT at all happy with our location in Mezzegra. It is very inconvenient, has no shopping at all and only a very few restaurants. More importantly, it is very difficult to get to other locations on the lake from Mezzegra. We had counted on being able to walk to Tremezzo for ferry service and/or taking the C10 bus to other towns on the west side of the lake. Both were a major pain in the butt to put it mildly. If I returned to Como I would absolutely not stay in a town without ferry service. The bus was horrible -- routinely was 30 minutes late, sometimes failed to show altogether and twice was too full to take additional passengers. While I did not expect transport in Italy to run with quite the level of perfection it did in Switzerland (where we were before Como), I did not expect it to be as bad as it was.

And walking was also quite difficult. You cannot walk along the main road as it is two ways, about wide enough for 1.5 cars, and has no shoulder whatsoever. You can walk along some of the higher roads and in particular the greenway between Mezzegra/Tremezzo (which is a glorified path in the road as well just marked with green granite, but it is a less busy road), but it is quite a climb up the hillside to do this.

So that is my .02 for those who may be considering where to stay in the Lake Como area in the future. We visited Lenno, Tremezzo, Bellagio, Menaggio and Como and I agree with Bob that Menaggio was my favorite. Note to self - always listen to Bob We also went through Aregano on the bus and the ferry and it looked very lovely, that would probably be my second choice after Menaggio.
audreyleigh99 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 06:56 PM
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Location location location !
I learned that lesson years ago. The same applies in Tuscany where many people " buy" a cute rental place without knowing much about location, and come to regret it.
bobthenavigator is offline  
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