48 Hours in Lake Como
Blog post by: @patrisjo on behalf of Checkout.note by Famous Hostels.
Known for its glamour and natural beauty, Como is a bucket list destination you won’t want to miss!
Are you travelling in northern Italy? Why not take 48 hours out of your itinerary and head to Lake Como?! This bucket list destination makes it to several travel itineraries, and for good reason. With its pastel-coloured villages, snow capped Alps, and 200 days of sunshine per year, it’s clear why A-listers and tourists flock to the region year after year. And unlike most popular destinations in Italy, Lake Como is less about the sightseeing and more about the relaxing. So rather than scurry between landmarks, you can take in the beautiful region and landscape!
Are you ready to spend some time in one of Italy’s most charming destinations? Read on to discover how you can spend 48 hours in Lake Como!
Getting around Lake Como
Lake Como is essentially a region with lots of smaller towns within. Its biggest city Como makes a great base to explore all the lake has to offer. Its practical location makes it easy to access the other towns and boasts an amazing food scene, as well as great nightlife. And since all the towns are located on the shores of the lake, you won’t need a car to get around! Whether you want to travel by land or water, getting from town to town is easy in Como. And each town is perfect for wandering around on foot. But if you’re coming from Milan, you can take a 40 minute train ride to Como San Giovanni station, bringing you directly into the heart of Como.
The Towns of Como
Upon your arrival in the main town of Como, take some time to get lost in the cobblestone streets filled with historical architecture. Located in the plaza square, Piazza del Duomo, is the ethereal cathedral inspired by Gothic and Renaissance styles, and an absolute must-see. Afterwards, have an Aperol spritz by the waterfront and watch the boats pass by. Once you’re done daydreaming on the waterfront, take the seven-minute funicular ride up to the town of Brunate for some seriously beautiful panoramic views of the area. After exploring Brunate, come back to Como and choose from several amazing restaurants and trattorias. Whether you want pasta or fresh seafood, you’ll be spoiled for choice here.
Brunate is a cozy village perched high up on a mountain overlooking the lake and the Alps beyond. Numerous villas makes for a great stop, or you could pack a picnic and relax at the top. Take a stroll through the promenade at Villa Olmo, which is an exclusive pedestrian path suitable for families with younger children or people with reduced mobility. This walk is roughly 1 kilometre long, and is a great way to see the town.
You can’t go to Lake Como without checking out Bellagio! Also known as the ‘pearl of the lake’, this quaint town looks like it’s straight out of a postcard and is brimming with Italian character and charm. Set aside some time to stroll through the scenic promenade and check out the breathtaking botanical gardens in Villa Melzi. While you make your way over to Punta Spartivento, an observation deck at the tip of the peninsula, don’t miss out on browsing through the numerous shops selling local gifts and souvenirs.
Varenna sits on the eastern side of the lake and is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Northern Italy. So if you consider yourself a history buff or just have a general appreciation for the topic, this place will mesmerise you. Make sure your camera is well charged, because you’ll get pictures unlike any other in this gorgeous fisherman’s village. And if you’re feeling adventurous, hike 30 minutes up to Castello di Vezio for panoramic views of the mountains. Alternatively, you can have a leisurely day at Villa Cipressi, which is located on the waterfront. You can purchase entrance tickets for just the gardens, or the museum of this remarkable villa.
Take the ferry over to the glamorous village of Tremezzo, and be sure to explore my favourite villa in Lake Como! Not only does Villa Carlotta have a vibrant botanical garden, but it’s also home to a museum with a renowned art collection. And depending on the time you’ve allotted yourself to explore, you can choose whatever route through the Villa to ensure you see as much as possible. In addition, Villa Carlotta often hosts artistic events and exhibitions, so make sure to check their website to see what they have planned before you go!
Sitting on a bustling port is Menaggio, beloved for its vast amount of cafes, restaurants, and boutiques along the promenade. Surrounded by hills, Menaggio is perfect for fitness enthusiasts because of the hiking and cycling opportunities. Architecturally stunning buildings are located all throughout the village and it’s certainly worth seeing during your 48 hours in Lake Como.
Other Things to Do in Como
As stated earlier, Lake Como is less about the sightseeing and more about the relaxing. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing else to do here. Whether you’re in Como itself, or one of the lake’s charming towns, there’s a few things you shouldn’t miss out on!
Visit some Silk Shops
If you’re looking for a great souvenir for yourself or someone back home, then head to one of the many silk shops! Silk scarves are a long time tradition of the region, dating back to 1400 when the Duke of Milan planted mulberry trees here to attract silkworms. The silk in the area is of the highest quality and the craftsmanship has a worldwide reputation. Fashion lovers especially will appreciate browsing through Como’s many silk shops.
Take a Boat Tour
You shouldn’t leave Lake Como without taking a ride a speedboat! It’s the best way to get a glimpse of the luxurious villas and lush scenery the lake is so well known for. And if you only have 48 hours in Lake Como, it’s truly one of the top things you should do. Tours are common in most towns, and typically provide a classic Italian aperitif, or a welcome drink with purchase of a ticket. The skippers will often take you to exclusive swimming spots and tell stories of the lake’s most notorious residents, so you’d be missing out if you opted out of this activity!
Where to Stay in Como
While Lake Como might have an expensive reputation, staying here doesn’t have to break the bank! Ostello Bello Lake Como is one of the top hostels in this gorgeous town, and will more than exceed your expectations. Offering a range of rooms, guests are greeted with a welcome drink, and are invited to take advantage of its incredible amenities. Whether you want to hang out in the bar, play some table tennis or boardgames, or simply relax in the cosy courtyard, there’s always something to do here. Guests can also take advantage of their hearty breakfast before starting a day of activities! Ostello Bello will make your stay in Lake Como a memorable one.
48 Hours in Como
And just like that, your itinerary for 48 hours in Lake Como is all set! Whether you’re after a food and drink experience, a day on the water, or a day exploring Como’s charming towns, you’ll find it all in this bucket list destination.
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