Lazy Lake Days (Lake Como, Italy)

When planning this trip we created and re-created and re-created and re-created a list of places we wanted to go. There is so much we want to see in Europe and we know we will be back (many times). Cost was a major factor in planning this itinerary, and we took anything off this list that is impossible to do on a budget (Baltic cruise for example) or places where we feel need to spend to get the full experience (I’m looking at you south of France, with your delicious and costly food). Lake Como was one of those places that seemed improbable to make it through our rounds and rounds of cuts, and in fact it was off (and then on, and then off, then on…) the list countless times but after finding an affordable AirBnb overlooking the water we decided to keep in on permanently.

View from our balcony

View from our balcony

We both loved to idea of Como. Beautiful lake water, Italian food, sipping wine on our balcony at sunset with the snow capped mountains in the distance… what else could two mountain kids from Colorado ask for? To save on costs (and since we were staying in a town with only one restaurant) we decided to bring some groceries and cook all of our meals. We stayed outside the small town of Lezzeno, about 15 minutes by bus from Bellagio, 45 minutes from Como. Public transport around the lake is difficult unless you are staying in one of the major towns and although there is a bus system around the lake the times are erratic and the schedule hard to follow. So, we pretty much stayed put in our apartment, eating, drinking, reading, and enjoying the views and a break from sightseeing.

Not too shabby...

Not too shabby…

We did venture out for a couple hours one day to see Bellagio, vacation spot of the rich and famous (George Clooney owns a house there). The town was cute and small and filled with restaurants, shops and gelaterias, so pretty much like every small town we have been to in Italy.



Everything in Bellagio was expensive (we paid over double what we had been paying for a bottle of local wine) but I loved it anyway. I can see why people spend so money much to vacation around Como. It is stunningly beautiful and being there feels so classy and luxurious.

Lakeside cafe in Bellagio

Lakeside cafe in Bellagio

If we get the chance to go back (or if anyone reading ever goes) I would rent a car or stay in a town with a ferry dock. Getting around proved to be the most difficult and stressful part of visiting Como and our time there ended with the hardest day of travel so far, Central America included, where we missed our bus, missed our train and ended up spending 70 euros and 3 hours more than necessary to get to Venice.


6 thoughts on “Lazy Lake Days (Lake Como, Italy)

  1. My experience is that planning “lazy days” is the most difficult, the most necessary and the most overlooked part of travel planning. Good to hear you succeeded. Swiss lakes are excellent in that they have a well-developed network of connections on water and land between every village, but the Swiss currency is prohibitively expensive. Austria might be a great alternative for the budget-strained traveller.

    • We agree! It was easier in Central America because going to the beach and doing nothing go perfectly together, but here in Europe it is hard to fight the urge to sightsee from dusk till dawn (because there is SO much to see!). We looked at Switzerland (a lot actually) but as you said, so expensive!! Where in Austria do you suggest? Thanks for you comment and you suggestion!

      • Uhmmm… I am no specialist on Austria – haven’t been there that much. My general impression is that you get everything Switzerland has and cheaper, but then again the same goes for the Italian Alps, so if you can choose, I’d stay in Italy to save the hassle.

  2. Your post caught my eye because I’ve recently returned from Lake Como, I’m glad you enjoyed your stay and I hope you do get back there one day.
    You hit the nail on the head about staying in a town with a ferry stop. You can buy a day ticket valid for the boat to all the mid-lake towns from Lenno to Varenna, which is good value for sightseeing. I’ve often spent the day traversing the lake, then returned for an evening in Bellagio.
    Lugano in Switzerland is also only an hour away from Menaggio by bus as well. It’s a nice day out although as Michael pointed out it is very expensive.

    • I was just so happy to find a place in our price range that I didn’t even think about transportation! Oh, well. Live and learn right? Thanks for you suggestions! It sounds like we may just have to combine our return to Lake Como with a trip to Switzerland!

    • If we go back to Lake Como we will definitely be staying at one of the mid-lake towns. Thanks for commenting!!

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