How to Spend 2 Days on Lake Como

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Lake Como

After flying in and spending two nights in Venice, my mom and I took a fast train from San Lucia station in Venice to Milano Centrale which took about 2.5 hours. We rode business class, and for 20 euros extra, it was completely worth it. From Milano Centrale, we hopped on a train to Varenna on Lake Como. Our train had zero air conditioning and we thought we were going to sweat to death. Luckily the windows do open and it was only an hour and a half long journey. During the last 45 minutes of the ride, we were surprised with stunning views on the left side of the train if you are facing forward, as the train travels right alongside Lake Como.

Varenna

We stayed at Hotel Montecodeno in Varenna. Although the hotel did not have picturesque views of the lake, it was a 5 minute walk from the train station, a 1 minute walk to the ferries, and a 5-8 minute walk to the shops and restaurants which makes it an ideal location for the price. Our room was simple with a spacious bathroom and excellent water pressure in the shower! It’s the little things! Oh, and it had complimentary wifi. Breakfast was provided in the mornings and included a selection of meats, cheeses, yogurt, cereals, biscuits and a variety of pastries. The chocolate croissant was absolutely delicious, and specialty coffees were brought right to our table.

Once we were all checked in and had a chance to change (like I said we were literally sweating), we strolled around the quaint picturesque town of Varenna. With so many lakeside dining options to choose from, we decided to dine at Bar Il Molo which apart from a breathtaking view had a large selection of pizzas, pastas, insalates, and more, all at a reasonable price.Varenna, Lake Como, Italy, Where to eat in Varenna, Things to do in Varenna, Things to do on Lake Como, What to see on Lake Como, Where to stay on Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Italy ItineraryVarenna, Lake Como, Italy, Where to eat in Varenna, Things to do in Varenna, Things to do on Lake Como, What to see on Lake Como, Where to stay on Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Italy ItineraryVarenna, Lake Como, Italy, Where to eat in Varenna, Things to do in Varenna, Things to do on Lake Como, What to see on Lake Como, Where to stay on Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Italy Itinerary Varenna, Lake Como, Italy, Where to eat in Varenna, Things to do in Varenna, Things to do on Lake Como, What to see on Lake Como, Where to stay on Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Italy Itinerary

Touring Lake Como

The pretty little towns nestled on the cliff side around the lake are accessible by boat, ferry, car and some are connected by train, which gives you an abundance of transportation and sightseeing options. We started off the day by hopping on the ferry and taking a 20 minute ride from Varenna to Bellagio.

Bellagio

Stroll the streets and take in the views of this postcard perfect town. You’ll find high end boutiques at every corner, and cute little shops in each corridor. Lakeside restaurants line the shores and there are no shortages of gelato to get your fill. After all, how often will you be touring the lakes of Italy?!

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Menaggio

From Bellagio we ferried over to Menaggio. I was completely enamoured with the terra cotta coloured rooftops. In Menaggio there is a line up of jet boats waiting to be hired to take you on a private tour of the lake for an hour or two. If you are traveling with other people, then this is a great option because you can split the cost! Apart from Menaggio’s beauty, I personally preferred Varenna and Bellagio. Varenna might not be as fast paced as Bellagio, however it is truly charming and much less touristy, which was a big draw for me.Menaggio, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accomodation in Lake ComoMenaggio, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accomodation in Lake Como

How to pack

We arrived in Varenna on Lake Como in the early afternoon on June 14th. The weather was overcast the following morning which was a nice break from the hot sun, but by afternoon the sun had emerged and I luckily had brought a change of clothes and changed on the ferry between Bellagio and Menaggio.

I packed:

  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 2 black bodysuits
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 top
  • 1 sweater that I also wore on the plane
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 denim jacket
  • 1 comfy pair of walking sandals
  • 1 brimmed hat
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 zip up purse
  • 1 pair of joggers (for on the train)Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accommodation in Lake Como, What to pack for Lake Como

Recommendations

I really enjoyed the laid back vibe of Varenna. This lake side town is relaxing, beautiful, and like I mentioned, much less touristy than it’s rival Bellagio. Lake como is somewhere that I would love to vacation longer than just two nights, because it really is a holiday in itself! With that being said:

  • Make Varenna your home base. The hotels are reasonable, it is accessible by train, car and boat making it the most convenient to get in and out of
  • Check the ferry timetable. The ferries run pretty frequently, but it will help you to plan and maximize your time accordingly as well as ensure that you do not miss the last ferry back to your hotel
  • Dine lake side! There are some really afford restaurants right along the lake which make for a perfect evening

Varenna, Lake Como, Italy, Touring Lake Como, Visiting Lake Como, Italy Travel Guide, Places to see in Italy, Italy Itinerary, Getting around Lake Como, Where to stay in Lake Como, Accommodation in Lake Como

Websites for planning your stay

I loved Lake Como. It is the perfect spot for a lakeside vacation. If you are planning to stay a while I would highly recommend renting a car! You’ll see a lot more and make the most of your time there.

You may also want to check out my Italy Outfit Round Up, where I rounded up all of my favourite outfits from my stay in Italy!

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24 Comments

  1. August 11, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    Looks like you had a great trip. Good to know about sitting on the left side of the train for the best views.

    • Lauren Dumonceau
      September 13, 2017 / 10:40 am

      I am all about the view! I really appreciate helpful travel tips, so I knew I had to share this one! Thank you for stopping by Sally!

  2. August 12, 2017 / 1:51 pm

    I love this! We went to Stresa, but I really want to visit Lake Como!

    Alix | apintsizedlifeblog.com

    • Lauren Dumonceau
      September 13, 2017 / 10:39 am

      I would have loved to have had more time to see Stresa!! Hopefully we will both make it back someday!

  3. August 13, 2017 / 8:34 pm

    This is great! Your pictures were so fun to look through and it sounds like you had a great trip!

    • Lauren Dumonceau
      September 13, 2017 / 10:38 am

      Thank you so much Erica, you are so kind!! I appreciate you stopping by! 🙂

  4. August 14, 2017 / 10:48 am

    Never heard of it but the pictures look amazing

    • Lauren Dumonceau
      September 13, 2017 / 10:36 am

      You must google it! It is a beautiful spot to visit! Thank you for stopping by!

  5. August 14, 2017 / 10:51 am

    Wow! No wonder George Clooney loves it there. Thanks for the great tips. This is a bucket list trip for us!

    • Lauren Dumonceau
      September 13, 2017 / 10:36 am

      I am sure you will love it as much as I did! It is really a relaxing and beautiful place to visit! Thank you for stopping by Kim!! I hope you will have an incredible time!

  6. August 14, 2017 / 11:57 am

    This looks like an awesome trip! So beautiful

    • Lauren Dumonceau
      September 13, 2017 / 10:35 am

      Thank you so much Ashleigh! It really was!! Thank you for stopping by 🙂

    • Lauren Dumonceau
      September 13, 2017 / 10:34 am

      Thank you so much Liddy! I appreciate you stopping by! xo

  7. August 14, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    My wife plans trips meticulously. I’m going to make sure she knows about where to sit on the train when we go there!

    • Lauren Dumonceau
      September 13, 2017 / 10:34 am

      On the way to Lake Como we were not sitting in the right side, but on the way back to Milan, we made sure we had a lake side view!! I love reading about and hearing helpful tips from people, especially when it comes to travel. I hope you two will have an amazing time! Thank you for stopping by Ashish!

  8. August 14, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    Italy will always have my heart! I haven’t visited the Lake Como area, but it’s def on my top 10 list. I loved your pictures and the outfits are real cute. Thank you for the great information!

    • Lauren Dumonceau
      September 13, 2017 / 10:32 am

      Thank you so much Carissa, that is so kind of you! Italy is such a beautiful country to visit. I am sure you will love Lake Como as much as I did!

  9. August 14, 2017 / 11:54 pm

    This is absolutely my favorite city in the world! It’s so relaxing.

    • Lauren Dumonceau
      September 13, 2017 / 10:31 am

      It was definitely hard to leave! Lake Como really took my breath away! Thank you for stopping by Marissa!!

    • Lauren Dumonceau
      September 13, 2017 / 10:30 am

      It was honestly such a beautiful spot! I hope to make it back someday. Thank you so much for stopping by Sami!

    • Lauren Dumonceau
      September 13, 2017 / 10:26 am

      Thank you so much Lourdes! It was such a beautiful spot! It honestly took my breath away and I didn’t want to leave!!

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