Lake Como is worth discovering, experience a different pace of living
A beautiful lake surrounded by charming towns and smaller or larger mountains, spectacular views and a quiet pace of life – Lago di Como really has a lot to offer to tourists. No wonder that it was there, at the western shore of the lake, that George Clooney bought a villa, and that his estate has become one of those eagerly visited by the actor’s American friends.
Como is captivating, however, as explained by our Italian friend from nearby Milan, a few years ago it was even more of an attractive place. The locals are mostly disturbed by the refugees, who during the warmer evenings take advantage of the park surrounding Tempio Voltiano, beloved both by the tourists and by the locals, located right on the shore. “No one goes there during the night, because no one feels neither comfortable nor safe there. Those people have changed Como, which still is a beautiful place, but not as beautiful as it used to be”, Gianni told us with sadness.
During the day, however, it is worth going to Tempio Voltiano, that is the museum dedicated to the inventor of the battery, Alessandro Volta, all the more that it’s no longer possible to admire the building on the banknotes – it used to adorn the ITL 10,000 banknote that is no longer in circulation. The park itself is also very charming, and due to the fact that it is located near the city centre and the marina, it is a perfect place to relax. We also recommend the great ice cream parlour near the very lake – you can easily see it from the marina, because there usually is
a queue. However, it is worth spending a few minutes of your time in the queue – the service is very efficient, so it all goes quite quickly, and their ice creams have a really unique taste. Especially while eaten during a walk along the shore, or during a five-minute stroll towards the very city centre and Piazza Cavour, next to which there is a Gothic cathedral, the main point on the city map, with a unique atmosphere.
While arriving in Como itself, it’s worth remembering that car parks there aren’t cheap, their cost is EUR 3 per hour. Gianni recommended us the car park along Via Innocenzo XI; surprisingly, it is free of charge, all it takes is a five-minute walk, actually. This is significant while travelling with children, although not that significant.
While staying in the vicinity Como, but still by the very Lago di Como or near it, it’s worth finding out what the marina nearest to your place of stay is and to travel to the city by a ferry or a little ship. Such travel costs a few euros for a return ticket, depending on the distance and the number of stops. Note: there are express boats, too, and they only stop at certain stops. This is a good option if you want to circumnavigate the whole lake, but also a trap if you’re returning from the very Como to your place of stay and it suddenly turns out that your marina is not in the timetable. The service should, however, notice that you have
a ticket for a different ship and guide you properly.
The best option for tourists is the so-called battello, that is a little ship with open foredeck and rear deck, often also with a bar located in its middle part. For a quicker aliscafo you have to pay a bit more, but it’s
a good option if you want to travel to the northern parts of the lake faster. The charming village of Bellagio with its foreland and the nearby Lezzeno Province – not so well-known, not fully discovered, yet extremely beautiful – are certainly worth seeing. The latter stretches over 7 kilometres, each house by the lake is different, and the original Devil’s Bridge is without doubt the number one tourist attraction in the area.
In the very Como, you can’t miss out on a walk along the coastal promenade as well as a visit to Brunate, that is a small town located north-east of Como. The views from the height of over 1,000 metres are amazing, and there are at least few options of hiking in the mountains:
- when the soil is dry, the most avid tourists choose a well-marked hiking trail, which, however, is slippery after rainfall;
- those who prefer comfort cover some distance by car, although we don’t recommend it, because when you’re already up there in the mountains, you can perfectly see how much time is wasted on the narrow road and how hard it is to find a parking spot;
- the Funicolare Como – Brunate cable car is, therefore, the most popular choice. Its disadvantage are long queues during periods of greater tourist traffic, but it is worth waiting and paying EUR 5.50 for
a return ticket (children up to 110 centimetres tall ride them free of charge). While entering the cable car platform, resembling the one to Polish Gubałówka, we recommend that you choose the first or the last compartment of the long cable car, as those offer the best views. If, however, you fail to do so, the views from the top will make it all up for you. Even a short stroll in Brunate, along the main road will let you find a place from which Lago di Como and the surrounding mountains will be best visible. If you have more time, it’s worth considering taking a cable car both during the day and during the night (in the summer, the cable car is in operation until 10.30 p.m., and on Saturdays – until midnight), or going on a longer hiking trip to see the sunset. A well-spent evening guaranteed. Just like the satisfaction with the time spent in this part of Italy – maybe less popular in Poland than other Italian regions, but owing to that, in our opinion, ever more attractive. At Como, time really passes by at a different pace.
Recently, rumours have been spread that George Clooney is thinking about selling both of his bridge-connected estates – also to earn a lot of money, because following the renovation works and the parties attended by famous personalities the two villas have become several times more expensive. We, however, don’t want to believe those rumours – anyone who has once visited Lago di Como will definitely come back to Lago di Como. For example, to discover its numerous areas less popular than the very Como, and then to see what attractions are still awaiting you. And you can find a lot of those in the area – coming soon to our blog: a story from Lago di Maggiore and Laveno-Mombello. Even the name itself encourages you to go there, doesn’t it?