When people think of the Italian Alps they typically think of the famously beautiful Lake Como. So renown is the area (and the fact that George Clooney owns a house there) that it was even mentioned in the Sasha Baron Cohen movie ‘The Dictator.’ When the evil Chinese businessman is asked what he’ll do with his new share of wealth, he remarks that he will buy the house next to George Clooney’s on Lake Como. And to be honest, if we were wealthy evil Chinese business people, we would do the same! Lake Como proved to be a fitting place to spend our last few days of our final trip as residents of Europe, as we were awe struck by its beauty.
The most famous town on Lake Como is Bellagio, given the Las Vegas casino and luxury hotel named after it is famous in its own right. Years ago we visited Las Vegas and strolled through the beautiful Bellagio hotel, one of the city’s finest, and at the time it was unbeknownst to us that Bellagio was a town in the Italian Alps. Fast forward nine years and we’re strolling through the beautiful narrow streets of Bellagio, taking in wonderful panoramic views of the town, lake and surrounding mountains. But as lovely as Bellagio is, we personally found Varenna even more beautiful.
During our time in Lake Como, we stayed in the town of Lecco, at a lovely hotel overlooking the lake and mountains. Lecco is the closest town on Lake Como from Milan and because accommodation is cheaper, it’s a great spot for budget conscious travelers. But if you’re looking for the picture perfect place to spend your honeymoon or a very special anniversary, we’d highly recommend
Varenna is like a quintessential Italian post card in real life. It’s stunningly gorgeous, romantic and quaint, with amazing views of the surrounding mountains and towns around Lake Como, including Bellagio and Menaggio, which are convenient to explore via frequent ferry boats. We enjoyed one of our favorite European strolls around Varenna and certainly one of the top five most picturesque lunches we’ve ever eaten. Varenna Caffe also featured the best pecorino and romano cheeses we’ve eaten in our lives, while being the tastiest lunch we ate on Lake Como.
We’ve traveled a lot and we don’t say this about too many places, but if you haven’t been to Lake Como or Varenna, you should add it to your bucket list. Whether you’re looking for a budget conscious few days or a high class experience, Lake Como will disappoint nobody looking for stunning beauty and charm. In a future post we’ll feature great photos we captured in world famous Bellagio!