A must visit on our list of countries to visit while in Europe. I, the Italian, have been a few times prior to this trip but there was plenty I had never experienced. Starting with Lake Como.
If this doesn’t sound familiar you may recall it is home to George Clooney and many movie sets like Star Wars and James Bond.
The first day of our trip required an early wake up call and 3 trains down to the Lake region. Following the trains we picked up some cheap pizza from a bar and got on a bus headed for Bellagio. A town that sits in the middle of Lake Como.
Like most streets in Italy the road to Bellagio was built for only one car but we journeyed there on a bus. Often passing cars and cliffs by only a hair.
When we finally arrived we started walking towards our hotel; only a brisk 16 min walk up a hill in the 100F Mediterranean heat. We checked in, took a nap, then walked to the city center.
Our first stop was a lovely outside bar parked right under a bunch of trees. We enjoyed some beers, a Bellini, and the famous melon prosciutto appetizer.
We continued to walk around the town of Bellagio until we came to a small mom and pop restaurant, on the window they proudly advertised air conditioning. Sold!
Wine, Spaghetti Carbonara, and Ravioli for two.
Then gelato to end night one of our Italy trip.
The second day was a bit of an adjustment, after waking up and enjoying breakfast we eagerly went back to our room for a nap. Eventually we woke up and headed down the street to where there was supposedly a beach. Which really was just a small area between two buildings where the ocean slid in.
We continued to downtown Bellagio looking at stores and the scenery. While also searching for a place to rent a boat. There were advertisements all along the shores but we were unable to find any available rentals. Apparently it is common for them to be fully booked as far as 3 days out!
We stopped for a bite to eat. Some wine and Caprese to hold me over until dinner. The restaurant was beautiful and was right on the peninsula of Bellagio, but we had an unfortunate experience with the waitstaff. Often we find waitstaff expecting tips when they realize we are Americans, despite tipping not being customary in their country.
Meanwhile, M continued to call various boat rentals around the lake. Finally he came across one rental that had an hour free during the last slot of the day, 6:00PM – 7:00PM, perfect! We booked our reservation and got gelato.
Our reservation was out of a town called Verena, located across the lake. So we boarded a ferry and quickly arrived at the charming town nearby. We had a bit of time to kill and were feeling dehydrated. So we solved the issue with some fancy frozen drinks with fruit in them from a lovely little restaurant on the water called Il Molo.
We went swimming in a more established beach just off the restaurant and M cut his foot on a rock.
At the same beach we were due to pick up our boat. Since we were there so early we checked in and were able to get another 30 minutes of time.
If you do hope to visit Lake Como and rent a boat it will most likely cost $60 per hour. This includes everything (gas, fees, insurance, etc.) and typically can hold up to 6 people. We also suggest booking ASAP.
We boarded the boat and set off to see the two James Bond and Star Wars locations…
We swam around a bit, looked at other beautiful villas along the coast and some cool churches.
We took the boat back in then hoped on the ferry to Bellagio. For dinner we enjoyed two large pizzas from La Bellagina, a mom and pop pizzeria with wonderful views overlooking the lake.
Our Hotel: The Miralago B&B and Apartments.
Review: We loved our hotel. On the website it said they did not have air conditioning but we were given the option when we checked in. The location wasn’t the greatest. In the hotel sun it feels like forever to reach any public transportation or restaurants. But it was very clean, updated, and the breakfast was great. The typical meats, cheeses, and breads you see in Europe. But their pastry selection was amazing! So good. Our only real complaint was the hotel front desk. It is often not maned and when we checked out we had to search for someone to help us. Made us a bit nervous with a bus to catch.
The view from our hotel room…