A day trip to Lake Como is absolutely compulsory, if you are planning to visit Milan.
Lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy and one of the deepest in Europe. It is located 80 km away from Milan, so it is a perfect option for a day trip from Milan.
Getting to Lake Como
Getting to Lake Como is extremely easy. There are many little towns around the lake, but one of the easiest and fastest ways to get there is by train from Milano Centrale to Varenna Esino.
Trains run every hour and you can buy tickets from the ticket machine at Milano Centrale. The return ticket is 13 euro and it is certainly worth it. Something you should remember about travelling by train in Italy is that you need to validate your tickets once on the platform before getting on the train.
The train ride is approximately one hour with a few stops along the way. Make sure you get yourself some coffee and stay awake, as during the second half of the ride you will be able to enjoy some spectacular views from the train. Lake Como lies at the foothills of the Alps and it is surrounded by mountains.
Ferry from Varenna to Bellagio
Once you get to Varenna, you have two options. The first one is to stay and explore Varenna further, or get the ferry to Bellagio. We decided to go with the second option and after stopping for a few pictures, we found ourselves at the docks trying to buy tickets for the next ferry in a very broken Italian. I advise getting a return ticket as it is much cheaper and will cost you only 9 euro.
The boat ride was approximately 15 minutes. I have to admit that when we were visiting the weather was not great and it was quite cloudy and windy. Despite the cold wind, though, we decided that we will be sitting outside on the deck to enjoy the breathtaking views of the lake.
Our trip to Lake Como was in the middle of April. The combination of snowy peaks in the distance, the calm blue water and the layers of pastel colored houses was truly outstanding.
Once we got to Bellagio, we first wanted to warm up with a cup of traditional Italian coffee. We didn’t look for a place too long. We saw Cafe Rossi as we were getting off the Ferry and we got attracted by the restaurant’s patio heaters, which were heating the area around the tables outside. Once we had a glance at the menu and realized it is lunch time, we quickly decided this will be more than a coffee break. We ordered delicious omelets and paninis. The food was tasty, the view was spectacular, the atmosphere was relaxed. I would certainly recommend the place as you are starting your visit to Bellagio.
Bellagio is relatively small so we did not have a plan what to see or do. So we decided we will roam through the narrow cobblestone streets. The colourful houses, the little shops and the steep staircases add unique atmosphere and charm to Bellagio.
Take a deep breath of fresh air, take many photos, get some gelato, sip traditional Italian espresso, admire the outstanding views of the Italian Alps and Lake Como in the distance while wandering through the narrow alleys. If you are travelling to Milan, I strongly recommend taking a day trip to Lake Como. You will not be disappointed!