Visit the exotic Lake Como on a day trip from Milan
Lake Como – A rich man’s paradise, a poor man’s dream!
The very first image that Lake Como conjures up is one of the extremely sexy George Clooney in a pastel linen shirt and white trousers 😍
On my Italian vacation, we decided to visit Lake Como on a day trip from Milan. (Read about our other day trip to St. Moritz in Switzerland). Catching the early morning train from Milano Centrale, we reached Varenna-Esino, the nearest station to reach the lake town of Bellagio. It takes about 1 hour to get to Varenna on a regional train from Milan. Tickets are approximately EUR 7 each way. With Lake Como’s increasing popularity, the trains stay pretty much crowded any time of the day!
How to Reach:
It’s nearly a 10-minute walk from Varenna station to the ferry. The road meanders along beautiful houses lined with colorful bougainvilleas. It might be a bit tricky but follow the hordes of tourists and you’re going to be all right! 😄
The ferry from Varenna runs to three towns in Como-Bellagio, Menaggio and Cadenabbia. . The Bellagio ferry starts from 6:50 am and the last one is at 23:05 pm. The ferry to Menaggio starts from 7:35 am and the last one is at 22:45 pm). There are only 3 ferries to Cadenabbia at 6:50 am, 21:25 pm and 23:05 pm. The ferries to Bellagio and Menaggio are available every 45 mins and also ferries vehicles. Each way to Bellagio costs approx. EUR 5 and takes 20 minutes.
Lake Como is a glacial lake in Italy’s Lombardy region. It is Italy’s third biggest lake (after Lake Garda & Lake Maggiore). It covers an area of 146 sq. km and a depth of 1300 ft. Lake Como is renowned for its landscapes, aristocratic decorative villas and frequent visits by the wealthy and famous (George Clooney 😉🤤 ). It is also renowned for the countless sporting activities that take place in and around the lake (such as windsurfing, sailing, kite surfing).
Bellagio is a picturesque small town on Lake Como. If you think Lake Como is an inverted Y, Bellagio sits just at the juncture of the two arms. Bellagio houses numerous exotic villas and churches. It draws visitors from distinct areas of the globe throughout the year.
The main road runs through the town, with fancy restaurants and stores on both sides selling porcelain dolls, exquisite jewelry and other trinkets . The restaurants offering magnificent view of the lake are usually the most expensive ones, with meals beginning from EUR 20. We were quite hungry but were not ready to burn that kinda hole in our pockets. So, we found a nice little place, that’s not OTT but serves the purpose. We ordered an oyster tray for EUR 20, EUR 10 for Spaghetti and EUR 15 for a bottle of Pinot Grigio.
After our sumptuous lunch, we came outside to people gathered on the streets and a lot of commotion. On asking, we saw a group of 5 men, all in their 50’s, were skydiving and landing right in the middle of the road. They were cheered on by the crowd. Bellagio’s energy was awesome and there’s a happy atmosphere around it!
Things To Do:
Now, if you’re searching for a luxurious manner to see the lake’s most popular places, you can rent one of the private water limousines or boat taxis. You can hire these for 1-2 hours or on a half-day/ full-day basis. You would be laid back by EUR 100 (1 hr)/EUR 175 (2 hrs)/EUR 700 (half day)/EUR 1500 (full day) for a trip on these. B But who cares if you see beautiful villas like Villa Carlotta, Vila d’Este, Villa del Balbionello, right?
You can hop-on and hop-off the Trombetta Express for a more touristy city trip – a bizarre and colorful train that would bring you around Bellagio for just EUR 5 for a 25-minute journey.
If you’re visiting Lake Como, there would be one word of advise– do not miss the sunset at any cost! ! It’s just MAGICAL!!! We were not very optimistic as it got cloudy to catch the sunset. But suddenly, as the clouds scattered, the sky was painted a feisty orange. The setting Sun turned the waters of Lake Como turned into a bright orange hue of gold. I had caught few of my life’s greatest sunset pics that day. . It was breathtakingly beautiful! (We also got a glimpse of Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan, who was shooting with Vaani Kapoor for one of his upcoming films).
Overpriced, overrated or overhyped – nything you might say, but your journey to Lombardy would be incomplete without a visit to Lago di Como.
Overwhelmed, we caught the ferry back to Varenna and waited for the train to Milano, but that’s another story!