How to Do Lake Como in a Day

A daytrip travel guide on the famous Lake Como – how to get there from Milan, and what to do in Lake Como.

  1. Getting to Como

We used Milan as a base to do the daytrip to Lake Como. From Milano Centrale, we took a direct train to Varenna station. The super comfortable train ride will take about an hour. You know you’re reaching when the train passes by the scenic Lake Como.

  1. Hop on a Ferry

Since this was just a day trip, we didn’t have much time in Lake Como. We had to be strategic and chose to go straight to Bellagio. To get to Bellagio, you take the ferry from the Varenna pier. There will be signs leading you towards the pier from the train station, if the horde of fellow travelers on the train do not already steer you there.

Purchasing the ferry ticket is straightforward enough. Join the queue with others and let the ticket master know where you want to go. They have printed guides for ferry timings available as well. It looks like therre’s only one pier, but fret not, with each ferry that docks, the staff will scream out the destination. And I mean, they really scream it out. They’ll also check your tickets to make sure you’re going to the right destination. Straightforward really.

  1. Visit Bellagio

We went straight to Bellagio from Varenna, since we read that Bellagio is the prettiest city in the lake, earning it the name: Crotch of Como. Or maybe it was pearl… I don’t know, either way, prettiest city in the lake.

As the main tourist hub in Como, Bellagio is very well taken care of. It is also probably the most crowded town, teeming with tourists. Against the backdrop of the stunning lake, the town features old-school buildings and cobblestoned walkways.

We explored the town of Bellagio, and window shopped. Silks are a famous Como commodity. Or as I’d like to call it, Como-dity. #killingit. They’re gorgeous to look, but they are expensive. I’m not a fancy silk aficionado, so I was more than happy to admire them from afar.

  1. Have a meal by the Lake

We wanted to visited a restaurant for apparently spectacular cheese platter boards but it was closed. On a Wednesday. In case you have more luck than us, the establishment is  Enoteca Cava turacciolo, they close Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Not a big deal, since we ended up having a nice lunch at on of the many restaurants by the lake.

  1. Have a Gelato by the Lake

Because 1. Gelatos are awesome. 2. When in Italy, Gelato. 3. The lake is gorgeous to look at. Think mesmerizing, glittery waters.

  1. Visit Varenna

We spent a couple hours in Bellagio before boarding the scheduled ferry back to Varenna. I find Varenna more enjoyable because it was less crowded. We also had a lot more photos taken here.

Speaking of which…

  1. Take plenty of pretty photos

Lake Como is VERY PICTURESQUE. You get photo opportunities in every corner.  If it’s instagram-worthy locations that you’re looking for, Como is it.

  1. There is nothing to DO here. But plenty to SEE.

For the restless, the lack of activities here, might put you off. I still say it’s worth the daytrip, if you’re staying in Milan. I get bored easily, but in the one day that I had here, I loved it. It was an experience to just walk about, taking in the 360 scenic views, the serene lake and wallow in the general relaxed atmosphere. Bonus if you spot ducks and their trail of cute ducklings.

 

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