Travel // Lake Como

September 25, 2019

When we thought about booking our trip to the Italian Lakes, we couldn't decide between Como or Garda, so decided to visit them both! By flying into Milan, you could connect easily by train to visit them and Como is just over an hour's train ride outside of Milan towards the Swiss alps. In fact, if you stay on the train, the next stop is in Switzerland!

We didn't realise quite how big Como would be, it's a long thin lake with Como down one end and then other towns to the north. We decided to stay in Varenna, because of the fact it had a train stop there so we didn't have to haul our luggage across on a ferry. And we'd read that Varenna was meant to be one of the prettiest towns. Varenna was indeed super pretty, but it was actually our least favourite town and wasn't that great with a baby compared to the others we visited. It also didn't have a good supermarket so wasn't great for self-catering - we turned up on a Saturday afternoon and suddenly realised there was only one tiny shop to buy fresh groceries, and that would be shut all day on a Sunday. 

Again, I'm letting the photos doing the talking with this post. Partly because I'm lacking in mental energy right now but also partly because I have a million photos to share and partly because other than getting the ferry across to some other towns, it was such a simple trip not really doing that much, just soaking up the views of the lake with this little baby so I feel bad if you're here for tonnes of restaurant recommendations or the like. I'm a bad travel blogger right now but I hope this post all about travel tips with a newborn will make up for it?

This is the airbnb we booked {and if you'd like £25 off your first airbnb booking anywhere in the world, you can use this link to sign up and I'll receive £15 in credit}, very traditional in style but did the job well and was literally a 5 minute walk from the train station and the ferries. {we just won't talk about the fact that Ben had to get rescued from the elevator by firefighters one morning!}

The kitchen made me feel like I was an Italian Nonna.

Lake Como definitely grew on me. I think on the first day, we were really missing Lake Garda - we'd loved it so much and how easy it was to get around with the buggy, the ease of the supermarkets, the beautiful sunny lake that felt like the sea. Como had a really different feel, and look, to it which took some getting used to. I mean, don't get me wrong, it was incredible but just a different holiday vibe - Como I'd say is perhaps more for couples, that romantic, boutique hotel kind of feel?

Varenna is fairly small but totally stunning. With 'lovers walk' running around the lake shore from the ferry port to the town.

And dreamy, coloured houses.

There's not that much to it, just a couple of small pebbly beaches and a few restaurants, and gelato shops.

But then you'll see a view like this. *heart eyes*.

And lots of yellow walls...

A rainbow after waking up to a storm on our first morning.

Hashtag I got these photos straight from my phone without editing/straightening them...

But look at that view! There were two famous villas with gardens you could visit in Varenna, and a castle to walk up to.

Cutest town square in Varenna.

The way she grips onto our t-shirts when snoozing!

We used Varenna as a base to visit the other towns around the middle of the lake on the ferries - Bellagio and Menaggio being the best known.

Little miss chops ready for a new adventure.

The day trip to Bellagio was I think my favourite day. A picture perfect classic Italian town on the middle of the lake.

We arrived early and found it to be quiet, but then when we came back in the afternoon it was heaving! Definitely the most popular out of the lake towns.

Our favourite part was a little beachy area away from the hustle & bustle of the main town at a part called Pescallo. 

Suddenly, I got Lake Como.

We stayed in this little spot, on that bench for almost the whole morning feeding Freya and soaking in that view and the last warm sunshine before we headed home. 

Obsessed with that vine covered building.

We took a walk up to a supermarket to pick up a picnic lunch and came back to that same spot to eat it! This holiday was one of the simplest we've had in a way, not really ever doing that much but just enjoying being out, eating good Italian food and taking in the views with Freya.

The best gelato place we found was in Bellagio called Del Borgo. You know how we're obsessed with it and judge a place on it.

Bellagio had a gorgeous promenade along the lakeshore where we spent the afternoon on the grass before taking the ferry back to Varenna.

Back in Varenna.

We took Freya out to dinner one night, the only dinner we had out of the whole trip. The restaurants were surprisingly good value considering what an amazing spot they were in.

On our last day, we took the ferry over to Lenno for the farmer's market {and bought the most delicious figs!}, with the idea that we'd walk around to Villa del Balbianello for the morning - the views looked incredible and it had been highly recommended {they filmed some of James Bond there} but then we got there, and decided to just walk all the way along the lake to Menaggio instead to get the ferry back from there.

I think it was around 6 miles? But if you didn't know us by now, you'll know that we LOVE walking and it meant we saw so much more of the lake. Stopping for lunch, and feeding breaks, with Freya.

Mennagio was again, a beautiful town, which had so much more to it than Varenna. We realised we probably would have been better staying in Mennagio or Bellagio but we were a little restricted with needing the train link from Milan. Anyway, yes definitely visit Mennagio. It was the spot where you'd most likely want to swim from too.

Overcast and dramatic but still totally incredible.

I miss those carefree days hanging out by the lake.

One last dinner with all our favourite things - ham & melon and spinach gnocchi. - we'd gone to the supermarket in Mennagio to bring this back to Varenna with us.

One final walk around Varenna on our last morning.

And a quick little dip of Freya's toes in the lake. {top tip - the dog beach in Varenna is the best place to sit by the water!}

Before we started our journey back home. Quite literally, planes, trains and automobiles. 

We loved you soo much Lake Garda & Como! Thank you for the best first holiday memories with our baby girl.

Have you been?

R <3 xx 

You Might Also Like


@rvk_loves on Instagram