Lake Como needs to be at the top of your travel bucket list! I went there with high expectations and was still blown away by the beauty of the region. It was perfect for a relaxing getaway.
The second part of our ten day Italian vacation was spent in Lake Como. We spent the first two days in Milan, which you can read about here, then we went to Lake Como, and our last stop was Tuscany. We went the first week of April to take advantage of the bank holidays (Good Friday and the Monday after Easter) here in Munich. There were pros and cons to going at this time. One main pro was that Lake Como was not nearly as crowded at this time, so we could really enjoy it without getting trampled. Another huge plus for going at this time is that the hotels were much less expensive than they are during peak season. The main con was that the weather was not so great…it was cold and rainy at times. Although, even in the cold and rain Lake Como was still the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.
Getting to Lake Como
To get to Como from Milan, we took a train and it couldn’t have been easier! The train ride was just under an hour and super easy to get tickets, find seats, etc. We stayed at the Hilton Lake Como in Como, so we got off at the Como Station. We thought about renting a car, but unfortunately we arrived on the Monday after Easter….which is a holiday in Italy. So most everything except for restaurants was closed, including car rental agencies.
The entire Lake Como area is pretty spread out and the only way to really get from town to town is by a cab or the water taxi. We only took a taxi to and from our hotel to the train station, and the first night to our dinner reservation in Cernobbio.
So anyways, we arrived on the morning of the Monday after Easter and took a cab to our hotel. We explored the town of Como and sat and had cappuccinos before heading back to the hotel. My friend and I had reservations at the spa inside the Hilton and the guys had a golf reservation. The Hilton Como recently opened in January 2018, so their spa was brand new. We each got a facial, salt scrub, and massage and it was so relaxing. After the dry Munich winter, my skin really needed it! Following our massages, we got to relax in the meditation room with some tea.
After our spa day, we got ready for our dinner reservation at Gatto Nero in Cernobbio. We had to take a taxi there, and this was when I was really glad we had not rented a car! The restaurant is at a really high point in the hilltops of the city, and the entire drive there was twists and turns on a very narrow road. But the drive was worth it, because the food and the views at Gatto Nero were incredible! I am still dreaming about their tiramisu.
Varenna and Bellagio
The next days we spent exploring Varenna and Bellagio. These are most likely the towns you see pictures of on Pinterest. They were so beautiful! The weather was rainy and cold, but we didn’t let that stop us. We figured out the taxi boat timetable and were able to see everything we wanted to. The views from the boat were amazing!
Villa del Balbianello
We also took a guided tour with Varenna Water Taxi on their famous villas tour. They pointed out a lot of celebs’ villas and we got off the boat and had a tour on the grounds of Villa del Balbianello, the most beautiful villa on Lake Como. Villa del Balbianello has been used as the setting for several movies, including A Month by the Lake, Casino Royale, and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
We had an absolutely amazing time, and Pat and I have plans to go back…It’s only a FIVE HOUR drive from Munich! Seriously, I can’t get over it. But this is why we moved to Europe 🙂