LAKE COMO | THE TRAVEL GUIDE 2023
If you want to experience Italy’s most beautiful Italian treasure by the water, you must visit Lake Como. Wander-Lust flew to Milan to jump on the train and within 1,5 hours we found ourselves in paradise.
Getting to Lake Como
To get to lake Como from Milan you need to drive approximately for 1,5 hours or in our case, we took the train from Milan Central station (a better way to keep your CO² emissions on a low). Tickets cost approximately 5 euro’s for a one way and takes about 40 minutes to station S Giovanni. Once you get from the highway into Como, you see the landscape change into a green oasis with pretty flowers. Immediately you realise you’re in for a treat.
Often described as “not really worth it”, we actually enjoyed walking around in Como town. In particular the old part of Como. After a brief stop for lunch in the town of Como, we only had about 1 hour to walk around the historic part and it looked pretty amazing. Unfortunately we had no time to find the best coffee bars but I would always advise you to sit somewhere next to the water and you’re good. Besides topnotch Italian coffee, Como’s Old Town has a beautiful church which you can see from the inside, quite impressive. That being said, we wouldn’t advise you to stay in Como for the night but do stop by if you drive around the lake. If you stay here, you can find some budget friendly hotels.
Lake Como is surely one of the most celebrated, if not the most beautiful lake in the world
Grand Hotel Tremezzzo
During our stay at Lake Como we stayed in one of the most iconic hotels in Italy; Grand Hotel Tremezzo. In fact, the hotel currently celebrates its 112th year, so it’s safe to say it’s a piece of history you should definitely visit. By all means GHT is a luxury hotel, but offers so much more than just a place to stay. Therefore we want to give you a few good reasons why you should check it out.
- The outside heated pool of GHT is one of the most photographed spots at Lake Como (see header photo)
- Every detail of the hotel kept it’s original charm, taking you back to 1900’s but without any flaws
- Valentina de Santis is Grand Hotel Tremezzo’s current owner and the third generation of women that runs it (Girl Power!)
- They offer various activities in and around the hotel such as boat rides and visits to their owned villa’s
- Did you know Grand Hotel Tremezzo has it’s own little hiking path overlooking Lake Como?
- They offer 5 different restaurants including a Pizzaria and a fine dining restaurant overlooking the lake. Breakfast is a must and is included when you book a room at the hotel.
So whether you decide book a lavish stay at this iconic piece of history or you want to enjoy lunch by its stunning poolside along the lake, Grand Hotel Tremezzo is a must visit when you visit Lake Como.
Experience Lake Como from the water
Honestly, the best way possible to experience Lake Como in its full glory is by boat. A rather new experience that you can currently book, is a sailing tour with Bellagio Sailing. Skipper Carlo (and owner of this beautiful sailing boat) has been sailing since the age of twelve. He knows all the stories and places to visit and took us across the lake for about one hour. During this trip you will also visit Villa Balbianello (known as the movie set for Casino Royale and Star Wars). If you want you can also visit this villa by foot but we loved the sight from the water. Another villa we passed was the one owned by Sir Richard Brandson, what a beauty and jealous making to say the least! Tours with Bellagio Sailing are always private and bookable for up to 6 people and there are different boats available.
From Grand Hotel Tremezzo you can easily visit one of the cutest towns located around Lake Como. Bellagio is everything you expect from a traditional Italian village by the lake. Charming buildings, narrow streets, shops and cute restaurants – not to mention the park and pretty flowers. You can get there by ferry, a return ticket will cost you just €9,-. FOOD TIP: Walk to the tip of Bellagio and have lunch at La Punta (hence the name). They offer traditional Italian dishes that do well with their fine wines, but at reasonable prices. Find hotels in Bellagio.
Just about 150 meters from Grand Hotel Tremezzo you can find Villa Carlotta. Owned by GHT, this is a must visit if you love history, art and gardens. To enumerate the garden part; it has 70.000 m² of land where you can find more than 6000 trees, bamboo forests, stunning flowers beds and many different roses. Furthermore, the villa itself now functions as a museum with art by Canova and Thorvaldsen. You should spend at least 1,5 hours here to see everything and don’t forget to go to the top floor for the most amazing view of the lake.
Back in 2018 we visited the amazing Villa Leoni which is situated on the mid-westside of the lake where we enjoyed cakes and fruit during an event they hosted. This villa is available for rent, but also for guided tours, photoshoots and special dinner occasions. The backdrop here is enough reason to pay a quick visit.
Off Beaten in Lake Como
We love to tip you the less visited spots anywhere in the world and there is no exception here. Our captain at Ballagio Sailing tipped us two towns that you should visit; Santa Maria Rezzonico is a small authentic village with a castle. There is a restaurant that goes by a similar name and remains locally owned till this day. Another hidden gem is Corenno Plinio. To begin with, this village is medieval so full of history and charming spots by the water. It’s also home to Castello di Corenno Plinio, the 12th-century Church of San Tommaso di Canterbury. Both towns have a few restaurants, cafes and hotels but it’s not overrun by tourists.
If I had the time, I would have stayed a bit longer for a coffee with Mr. Clooney but hey, I’m a busy girl 😉 Meanwhile, check our reel about Lake Como here and visit our IG page for more tips!
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