Italy Vacation on Lake Como

May 12, 2018 7:03 am22 commentsViews: 35

Lake Como’s pleasures are simple and memorable: a stroll through magnificent gardens; a candlelit dinner by the shore; wine sipped under a bougainvillea- wrapped arcade. Lingering on a balcony viewing the panorama of lake and mountains or curling up on a sofa in a grand drawing room might consume most of the day. The biggest decision might be which village, if any, to explore.

Lake Como’s Towns — Bellagio, Menaggio and Varenna

Mid-lake is the most beautiful part of the 30-mile-long Lake Como. Here, the beautiful towns of Bellagio, Menaggio and Varenna are just boat-rides apart.

With its pastel buildings and geraniums spilling from window boxes, Bellagio is the prettiest of the lake towns. Shops and cafes line the waterfront, and stepped streets thread up and down its hills. Walk ten minutes to the Punta Spartivento, where Lake Como’s two legs meet. When scoured by an overnight thunderstorm, the perfect blue sky is a backdrop for the full panorama of green hills rising to barren, rugged snow-capped Swiss Alps towering over the end of the lake.

Varenna is Lake Como’s best-preserved medieval town. The lakeside walk from the boat landing leads to Piazza San Giorgio, Varenna’s town center. After a stop for an espresso, continue to the gardens at Villa Cipressi and at the Villa Monastero. The reward for finishing the steep, 30-minute walk to the hilltop ruins of the Castello di Vezio is a stunning view from one of Lake Como’s most romantic spots.

From Mennagio’s appealing Piazza Garibaldi stroll along the lovely lakeside promenade, which passes some villas. A few hiking trails begin in Menaggio.

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