While in Venice, I told a bunch of people that I was going to Milan and many of them (read 3) recommended I make a day trip to Lake Como. I wasn’t sure it was something I wanted to do as I only had 1 full day in Milan, but after my not very exciting venture through Milan, I decided that perhaps getting away from the city wouldn’t be a bad idea. So on my way back from the Duomo, I stopped in the train station and bought my ticket for the next day (Thursday) at 11am.
Lake Como is about 30 mins (by Eurocity Train) north of Milan. It is a lake, shaped like an upside-down Y, surrounded by mountains and it’s where the Milanese go on weekends in the summer to escape the heat. I think George Clooney has a house there too. Anyway, when I got off the train in Como (at the bottom of the left-hand fork of the lake), I knew I had made the right decision. This post contains a lot of pictures of mountains, it was just too pretty for me to not take about a million pictures.
I got a map, walked to the ferry stop, and realized that I had just missed the next ferry so I had to wait. I had decided to spend the day in Verrano(?) which is a tiny little village on the right bank of the lake and has a castle and an old abbey. I also wanted to avoid the crowds in Bellagio, which was the main tourist part of the lake sitting where the two southern forks meet. While I was waiting for the 1:30 ferry, I had an ice cream with a shot of espresso in it, it was delicious! Finally, 1:30 rolled around and I got on the boat. I met a nice couple from Wisconsin and a mother/daughter originally from Cedar Rapids, IA. The scenery was amazing but the weather was a bit crappy. I took what pictures I could from the boat and hoped that things would clear up at some point, especially as I didn’t have an umbrella.
On the boat, everyone convinced me I should to go Bellagio instead of Verrano because there was no way I could spend an entire day in Verrano; it was just too small of a village. So I took their advice and Bellagio is a lovely little town. It’s built on a hillside so there are all sorts of steps leading but to the mountain. I explored the town a bit, did a bit of window shopping, looked into an old church, and really had a lovely time. By this point, the weather had turned gorgeous, it was sunny, breezy, and the perfect temperature, so I was in no hurry to get moving.
So I got a map and set off to find lunch. The woman at the information office recommended the restaurant on the very tip of the town, so I headed north. Unfortunately, it was closed until dinner so I had to find somewhere else. Luckily, there were amazing views of the lake. Totally worth the 15 minute walk!
I walked back into town and bought a purse that I had looked at on my way out. It might be the most beautiful purse I’ve ever seen. It was made in Tuscany and is lovely and shiny. I’ll take a picture of it later and post.
By this point, I was REALLY hungry so I went down to the lake to find a place to get some pasta and fish. I ended up going to a place which was part of a hotel and my meal was nice, not as great as the last pasta dish but definitely not terrible. but the views were amazing. The pink building on the water in the pictures above are of the restaurant where I ate dinner.
After lunch, I walked around a bit just looking at the amazing scenery and taking about a million pictures, and enjoying the fine weather. I had to catch an 8:00 train back to Milan so I caught the 6:20 boat back to Como and decided to walk around the town a bit. They had some nice buildings and a medieval tower that was nothing to write home about, but I took some pictures anyway (the digital camera age has ruined any image conservation I might have had). Here are some pictures of the boat ride back and of Como.
I got to the train station and our train was late… in fact it didn’t come. I ended up having to take a regional train, which took an hour and went to a different station. Luckily I met a nice family from Utah on the train so we worked together to figure things out. By the time we got to Milan it was dark, I was exhausted, and I still had no idea where I was in the city, add to the fact that the neighborhood that my hotel is in is not very nice at night, and I thought it best to just take a taxi. Boy am I glad I did. It was a 5 minute ride and cost about 10 euros. Totally worth it! Overall, it was an amazing day trip. I would love to go back and stay longer there is a castle and an abbey that I didn’t have time to see. I’d also like to spend more time on the water. Awesome!