Back ground Information – Lake Como can be found in a stunning location nestled in the foothills of the Swiss and Italian Alps. It is huge body of water surrounded by dozens of little villages, each offering its own beauty and charm. We were lucky enough to enjoy three adults only nights here on a romantic getaway. We chose to holiday in the charming village of Bellagio, with its gorgeous outlook of the lake and quaint stone streets. We chose this area as it came highly recommended by multiple friends who had visited Lake Como, and thei recommendation did not disappoint.
Getting too late Como Como – For our trip we hired a car and drove from Nice in France, choosing to stay for two nights in Monte Carlo in Monaco, before making the journey to Lake Como. This took at least 5 hours and took us via Milan. There is a closer airport in Milan that you opt to fly into and take a much shorter drive to Lake Como. The drive was absolutely spectacular, the Italians are ‘crazy’ but knowledgeable drivers, and the traffic moves really well. Many times we have been warned not to drive in Italy as it is dangerous however I have never seen this to be the case, and we have driven their multiple times there. I would however encourage you to have some knowledge of the tolls before setting off, as they can be quite confronting for first timers! When we arrived in Lake Como the outlook took my breathe away, and was viewed even better via our convertible rental car!
Accommodation – There are a number of absolutely beautiful hotels around Lake Como. In particular in Bellagio a stunning hotel located on the Lake with a swimming pool and jetty to jump into the water. Prices in this area can vary quite a lot. I would highly recommend doing some research on Airbnb, as we picked up a gorgeous apartment in the centre of town right on the lake, for a fraction of the price of a hotel room. We had a kitchen, bedroom and a private terrace with an insanely amazing view!
A note on the parking – Make sure that you read the street signs regarding parking legislation. You need to pay for parking, and can also only drive in and out of Bellagio at certain times of the day. This makes the area such a quiet and relaxing location.
Things to do and places to eat – We had two full days on the lake, so we had to map out our time and spend it very wisely. Below is a list of my favourite things to do and places to eat:
1. Take the local passenger ferry over to Varenna for an afternoon walk and dinner. This is another beautiful village located on the lake very close to Bellagio. We were able to enjoy delicious Italian pizza and pasta, right on the waters edge. Al Prato Restaurant was our choice for our evening there. You can also find a beautiful church in Varenna. (I always light a candle when I visit churches whilst travelling.)
2. Join a boat tour and head to Villa del Balbianello, which is located in the commune of Lenno. We highly recommend Bellagio Water Limousines which is run buy an Italian and his Australian wife, they have lots of great options for tours or private boat hire. The Villa del Balbianello is where James Bond Casino Royale was filmed, and one of the Star Wars movies. It is absolutely out of this world, and is steeped in history. It acts as a museum of pieces from all around the world and focused on exploration. Once owned by an adventurer called Count Guido Monzino, he used it as his summer house. After we toured the home we purchased a bottle of local sparkling wine from the gift store and enjoyed it in the gardens. The view from this area is probably the best of all.
3. Walk through the through the gardens of Giardini di Villa Melzi which sits right upon the lake. Once you get to the end of the garden have lunch at Ristorante Alle Darsene di Loppia. They have a beautiful garden on the lake to dine in.
4. Get a takeaway pizza and a bottle of processco to enjoy on your balcony.
5. Experience a wine tasting in the wine caves. We headed to Enoteca Cava Turacciolo.
6. Head to the local store to buy some fresh bread, cheese (and salami if you wish,) then walk over to Borgo di Pescallo. I recommend doing this for breakfast and sitting right on the edge of the lake. Where are some very pretty swans who will join you.
7. Take a kayak tour with Bellagio Water Sports. We did an early morning one where you paddle around the tip of Bellagio. It was so amazing to see the lake and Bellagio from the waters perspective.
8. You can’t do to Lake Como without jumping into the actual lake! If you are daring like me you will sneak into the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni and ‘borrow’ their jetty!
I found Lake Como to be incredibly romantic and I was really glad that I holiday there with only my husband. I did not see very many children there at all including older ones. That is not to say that you couldn’t do it, and I am sure that children would have a lovely time. It was very quiet and had a lovely relaxed feel. I would highly recommend this for a romantic getaway.