Monday, June 4, 2018

A Daydreamer's Guide To Visiting Lake Como, Italy

I dream of traveling the world. My greatest yearning is to be able to go to places I only read about in books. I have a modest travel bucket list of 15 places I would like to see and visit in this lifetime. Having ticked off only two in the list, I know have a long way to go.

Italy owns the top spot on my list. The primary reason I would love to visit Italy is that I would love to have a luxury vacation in one of those rental homes in Lake Como. This is written in big, bold, red font on my travel bucket list.


The other reasons I chose Italy is because I would like to visit the Vatican City, the seat of my Catholic faith. I would want to see St. Peter's Basilica, The Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican museum. I want to have a chance to marvel at the structures built by the ancient Romans. Of course, no vacation would be complete without having a chance to dine with the locals and experience authentic Italian cuisine. 

I was born, raised, and still living in a busy city. I dream of living far away from an urban jungle, where I can indulge in a laid-back lifestyle close to nature. This is why I am filled with the wanderlust of Lake Como.

Well, since Lake Como, Italy is on the top of my bucket list, I have done my research on the place. So if and when my dream becomes a reality, I will be well prepared. In this post, I will be sharing what I have learned so far. So here goes.

Where is Lake Como?

Lake Como is located approximately 31 miles north of Milan, near the border with Switzerland. Oddly shaped like an inverted Y, with depths of up to 1,300 feet, it is one of the deepest lakes in Europe, The serene waters, the rich and perfectly maintained gardens and luxurious villas with a view of the Alps make it the most idyllic destination for total relaxation. It has also been the favorite vacation place of the noblemen and wealthy since the Roman times.

For centuries, the lake's majestic views have drawn artists, musicians, even royalty to this place. The beauty of Lake Como is the inspiration behind countless works of art and musical masterpieces. If I were to get a chance to visit Lake Como, I would probably be so inspired I could write a book!

Getting to Lake Como is an hour and a half to two hours drive from Milan if you have a rental car. Another way is to take a train that from the Milan Central Railway station to Lake Como. Travel time through this route would be close to three hours. I am determined to get there someday so I have researched transportation, fare, and routes. I think I would choose a train ride and enjoy the scenic countryside.

Well, since Lake Como is on the top of my bucket list, I have done my research on the place, if and when my dream becomes a reality.

Where to stay and Best times to visit

There are several cities and villages on Lake Como so finding a place to stay would not be difficult. The major tourist destinations are the towns of Como, Argegno, Bellagio, Gravedona, and Tremezzina. You can choose to stay in a lakeshore villa or you can opt for a place in a higher elevation that would offer a view of the lake. Of course, deciding where to stay would depend on your budget.


Summers in Lake Como run from July to September and is the peak tourist season. Temperatures reach a high of 30C (86F) during this time. Many outdoor activities become available, like swimming in the lake, playing golf, and kite surfing. Since these months draw in the most number of tourists, expect high rates too.

The month of May is generally considered the wettest month, so if you don't like rain, avoid going there during that time. Autumn is always a pleasant time to visit too. The changing colors of the leaves on the trees and the serene waters of the lake give you that dreamy, romantic vibe!

If you love winter activities then the months of December to February would be the best time for you to visit. Not only will it give you the chance to try out the ski resorts, you'd also benefit from exploring the place with fewer crowds. It would be nice to spend a Christmas holiday there, wouldn't it?

Things to do and Places to See

There are various activities to do while in Lake Como. For the nature lovers, you can always choose to go hiking. A popular choice is the 45-kilometer long Sentiero del Viandante located on the east coast of the town of Como. It offers fantastic views and historical landmarks along the path. If you are looking for more thrills, you may want to try zip lining or bungee jumping. Yes, they have those too at Lake Como.

Water sports are widely popular in the warmer months. Aside from swimming in the lake's refreshing waters, one can also engage in sailing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing. If you'd rather opt for easy activities, you may go fishing or take a relaxing boat ride. There are ferries that offer scenic trips throughout the length of the lake. Tour guides on board will be introducing you to grandiose lakeside villas, and even point you to the villa owned by no other than George Clooney!

Lake Como offers its visitors a chance to take a walk in picturesque gardens. You will be surrounded by perfectly manicured lawns, trees, and shrubs and be awed by the beautiful flowers blooming everywhere. What a romantic place for a leisurely walk hand in hand with your loved one! If you are still looking for unique places to visit, try going to some olive groves and purchase authetic olive oil right from the source. A wine tour would be an exciting activity too.


Take advantage of visiting centuries-old churches and museums. The Basilica of Sant’Abbondio is one of the oldest churches in Como. Construction started in the 5th century AD. Renovations and extensions were finally completed in the 14th century! Another place worth visiting is the Como Cathedral or Duomo di Como. It is a beautiful, massive church dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, built between the 14th and 18th century. Its facade boasts of intricately carved statues, representing the gothic style architecture of the period.

As I mentioned earlier, any vacation would not be complete if you don't indulge in the local cuisine and experience the delicacies native to the region. Forget those diets for the moment and enjoy good food, good wine, great coffee and dine al fresco!

The plan

I believe I have done enough research. Here is my simple 5 step plan to make this dream into reality:

1. Create a vision board
2. Use that as a motivation to save money for the trip
3. Set a target date and check the cost of airfare from here to Milan
4. Check availability and room rates for accommodation.
5. Save. Save. Save!

I am determined to be in Lake Como someday soon.

I will create my vision board today and pin it on my office wall. One day, I know, Lake Como will no longer be a dream but a beautiful memory of a once in a lifetime trip.


0 comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you too.