Back in July, I spent a few days at Lake Como and I loved it so much, I felt it deserved its own post! I had spent the weekend in Zurich in Switzerland visiting a friend, and decided to spend a few days in Italy afterwards. So I booked a coach from Zurich to Como, through Flixbus, and it turned out to be really cheap, only about £10 for a three hour journey. Well it should have taken about three hours but my coach was unfortunately stuck behind a broken down lorry for ages, so it took about seven hours instead! Bit long, however there was so much amazing scenery travelling through Switzerland so that passed the time!
I finally arrived in Como around 8pm, and was dropped outside Como San Giovanni train station, which is the main station and luckily about a ten minute walk from my hostel. I checked in, had a quick shower and then headed straight out to explore my surroundings. I was staying at Ostello Bello hostel, and it was in the most amazing location, on the edge of a park right next to the lake. Couldn’t have been closer and for such a cheap price! As I walked around the lake taking photos of the sunset, I was amazed at how pretty it all was. The lake was huge, with mountains on each side and colourful houses built into the hills. When it got dark and the houses all lit up, it was even prettier. I walked back a long way round, so I could venture into Como City centre to see the old buildings. The city was really pretty too; lovely old buildings similar to Venice but a lot less busy which was nice. The only thing open at that time were restaurants, bars and gelato shops- it would have been rude not to! I treated myself to a chocolate gelato and it was delicious.
The following day I got up early, had my free breakfast at the hostel, and checked out. I then made my way to the funicular railway station which was about a fifteen min walk from my hostel, around the lake. It was even prettier in daylight! I bought my ticket on the ‘Funicolare’ train to Brunate, a pretty little town at the top of the mountain 800m above sea level. A return cost 7 euros which wasn’t bad! The journey up had the most incredible views of the city, and then the lake, getting better the higher up the train went. When I reached Brunate, I followed the signs to Faro Voltiano, a lighthouse with a viewpoint about another 150m above Brunate. The walk took about half an hour and it was unbelievably hot and sweaty, but when I got to the top it was so so worth it for the view. You could see the lake, all the surrounding cities, and as far as some snow capped mountains in the distance which must have been the Alps! I spent a much longer time than planned up there because it was genuinely amazing, one of the best views I’ve ever seen.
After a long walk all the way back down, and the return train journey, I joined the long queue for boat trips across the lake. Because I had my train to Milan booked for that evening, and I had taken much longer at the viewpoint than I had expected, I felt I was running out of time and bought a fast track ticket to Bellagio on the quick ferry which takes one hour, instead of the slow ferry which stops everywhere and takes two. Neither slow or fast ferry was due anytime soon so I queued up and once I bought my ticket I took a walk around Como city again, having a better look at Duomo di Como and the other old buildings in the light, and bought myself another yummy gelato!
When my fast ferry turned up, there was only indoor seating left and although I was sat next to the window, it was covered in splashes of water and I couldn’t see out. When I reached Bellagio, an hour later I was once again stunned by the scenery! It was just incredible, so many pretty buildings, nice villas and lake and mountain views. I first walked around the main town area which was so lovely and then to a couple of viewpoints, following my phone maps. It was like walking around a postcard. After some more exploring in the hot sun, I went on a hunt for somewhere I could swim, and found myself a ‘beach club’. I paid six euros entry and then proceeded spent the rest of the day sunbathing on a sunbed, and going for a swim in the lake with those incredible mountain views whenever I needed to cool off. It was so so nice! I was enjoying it so much, I made the executive decision to miss my train to Milan (and catch a later one) and had I not pre-booked accommodation I would have tried to stay there longer! When I finally did to leave to catch a ferry (they don’t run very late), at the beach club they were setting up a DJ booth and some other bits. It would literally be the most amazing setting to spend the night listening to music, I definitely would love to go back.
Getting the ferry back to Como proved to be a bit of a nightmare because everyone was leaving at the same time and there was one boat once an hour or so and the last one is about 7pm. The slow ferries were huge though, and fitted a ton of people on so not so bad. It made loads of stops but the views of the each of the pretty towns and cities were unbelievable so I didn’t mind a bit! I have included a few photos below but honestly I took thousands because everywhere I looked was another amazing sight. When I got back to Como, I ate dinner at the hostel, collected my stuff and walked to the train station to catch my later train to Milan.
I would absolutely recommend Como to anyone- it was one of the prettiest places I’ve been!