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.
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.
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.
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.