It wouldn’t be right to visit Lake Como and fail to see it from the water. I really do think it’s best appreciated from there, particularly the sheer size of it. There are regular ferries which cross at various points and these are fairly inexpensive to take (a return fare was about 30 euros for all five of us) If you can jostle your way to one of the outside seats (or even one of the inside ones close to a window!) it’s not difficult to catch a glimpse of the little towns and villages that cling to the lake shore. Whilst practical, and speedy too, the main ferry line can get extremely busy and in typical Italian style, queueing is nonexistent. We concluded that we are far too polite for our own good after a group of American girls asked us for directions and then proceeded to queue jump in front of us. The key is to have your elbows at the ready, especially if you have littles that you’re not keen to lose!
Boat hire is very common on Como and everything we had read in advance encouraged us to spend a few hours on our own hired boat if at all possible. It is pricey (around 60 euros an hour) but we honestly felt that it was totally worth it, The kids are still talking about it as one of the best parts of our travels so far! Andrew is very confident with boats, but you don’t need a special licence to hire one and all the rental stations speak excellent English and will run you through the basics before you head out.
Some pictures of our day on the water, before I chat more about Bellagio!
The girls were absolutely loving the speed and if you watched my Snapchat you’ll have had an idea of just how fast we were motoring! Noah and I definitely prefer a slower pace. I’m quite happy to have Captain Noah at the helm! 😉
Bellagio is a little town which occupies the promontory right in the middle of the two legs of Lake Como. In its heyday it was the place to see and be seen, and its extravagant past is definitely alluded to still here in the present. Designer boutiques, jewellers and fancy restaurants are mixed with the usual pizzerias and snack bars and, despite the tourists, it has retained much of it’s old-world charm. We took the tourist train on our first visit over – a hop-on, hop-off 20 minute ride. To be honest it misses out much of the main appeal of Bellagio, taking you inland, rather than along the lake shore, Still, the kids enjoyed it for the quaint little train and for the rickety journey too!
On our second visit we headed to the beautiful Villa Melzi, a stately home and gardens that occupies a stretch along the lake. It was stunning, and amazingly shady and cool too – perfect for the soaring temperatures. We’re all about a stately home, and frequently visit Villa Rothschild when we’re in the South of France. Melzi reminded me of it so much – in its sheer scale and the stunning landscaping. I always have a real sense of history when I visit places like this and imagine who walked these paths before us. The kids were just happy to have an hour to dodge the sun! Ha! 🙂
See what I mean about those gardens? Now if we could just craft something like that at Little Wood! 😉
We had the best few days on Lake Como and are so glad that we built it into our trip. I think we’ll definitely visit again in the future – we all were totally smitten from those first glimpses!
We arrived in Venice yesterday after spending the day in Verona, but that’s a story for another post! Back soon!