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Things to see in Lake Como region

Things to see in Lake Como region

Old Jul 28, 19, 12:49 pm
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Things to see in Lake Como region

We'll be heading to Lake Como in a couple days and looking for some help with things to see and do. We're staying at Villa D'Este for 4 nights. See below for tentative itinerary and questions:

Day 1: Drive from Milan (any sights to see along the way)?
Day 2: Planning to drive to Bellagio (any must see sights? any restaurant recs for lunch?) in the morning and spend the morning/early afternoon there.
Day 3: Doing a boat trip in the afternoon
Day 4: Open day considering driving to Lugano (is it worth it? are there any other towns worth exploring)?

As mentioned above we'll have a car and have driven before in Italy so don't mind driving. Are there any good hiking trails in the area? What are the other can't miss towns in the Lake Como region? How's the parking situation in some of these smaller towns? Is taking the cable car to Brunate worth it?

Any insight would be much appreciated.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by kajonesbu View Post
We'll be heading to Lake Como in a couple days and looking for some help with things to see and do. We're staying at Villa D'Este for 4 nights. See below for tentative itinerary and questions:

Day 1: Drive from Milan (any sights to see along the way)?
Day 2: Planning to drive to Bellagio (any must see sights? any restaurant recs for lunch?) in the morning and spend the morning/early afternoon there.
Day 3: Doing a boat trip in the afternoon
Day 4: Open day considering driving to Lugano (is it worth it? are there any other towns worth exploring)?

As mentioned above we'll have a car and have driven before in Italy so don't mind driving. Are there any good hiking trails in the area? What are the other can't miss towns in the Lake Como region? How's the parking situation in some of these smaller towns? Is taking the cable car to Brunate worth it?

Any insight would be much appreciated.
Two lesser known sites worth a visit:
Castello di Vezio above Varenna. Park in Varenna and take a taxi up to the Castle (actually drops you in a hamlet near the Castle) and hike back down (steep but lovely footpath). Check the website and if you can schedule your visit to coincide with a Falconry demonstration at the Castle. It's a ruined castle that you can climb all over.
You'll pass La Ceramiche di Vezio on your way to the Castle. If she's open there are some very nice one-off pieces on offer.
Orrido di Bellano. A remarkable gorge and waterfall. You can drive right up to the entrance. There are walkways throughout the gorge. Extra advantage- it's always much cooler in the gorge.

Castello di Vezio overlooking Varenna.

Orrido di Bellano
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Last edited by rickg523; Jul 28, 19 at 2:20 pm
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Old Sep 1, 19, 6:54 pm
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I should have been reading this forum more closely! My wife and I were in the Como area for a few days last year. We were at a wedding, so we didn't have a ton of free time. However, we had a fantastic hike up to Monte Resegone. A bit strenuous, but there were gorgeous views of Lecco the whole time. There is a refugio at the top where my wife and I had a very cheap pasta dish to refuel for the descent. For the route we went (which was on the southern side), there was some scrambling at the top - so I would recommend it mainly if you are sure-footed and an experienced hiker. You can go along the inner edge by the valley as well, but the view is simply not the same (we did that on the descent).
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Old Sep 30, 19, 3:29 am
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I highly recommend Isola Comacina. (https://www.comacina.it/en/restaurant.php)

I would suggest an alternative itinerary. The drive to Bellagio is difficult and the village itself is overrun with tourists and quite small.

There is a fast train from Milano Centrale to Varenna. Varenna is a small place with much less crowds and would make a great place to stay a night with fantastic views of the lake. Then you can get a ferry to Isola Comacina that will give you an hour or two at Bellagio. For me that is more than enough. After all those stairs you will feel like your lunch on the island. After lunch rejoin the ferry to take you to Como stopping along the way at several small townships on the "wealthy" side of the lake. From Como there are trains that will take you back to Milano. Of course you could choose to stay there overnight and there are several nice sites to see around Como. The old centre itself is rather nice.

Enjoy.
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