Lake Como Travel Diary: Part 1

by - 12:30

Last week, I was lucky enough to spend some time in the beautiful area of Lake Como, Italy. Surrounded by towering, haze-covered mountains, the lake is one of the largest in Italy and covers an area of 56 square miles. My family and I stayed in one of its many beautiful towns called Menaggio and spent the week exploring many more beautiful places around and across Lake Como.

Our first day was spent driving along the the lakeside road to reach our apartment which was on the west coast of the lake: we went through so many beautiful towns on the way and also learnt that our driving experience would be about as typically 'Italian' as you could get! The roads were narrow, winding and other vehicles travelling on it included cars that were mostly on your side of the road and motorcyclists who HAD to overtake you, no matter the consequence. Let's just say, I was glad I wasn't the one driving!

After checking into our apartment we went down to the shared pool (with a view to die for: right across the lake with a beautiful vista of mountains that made for the perfect sunrise shot) and spent the evening catching some of the last rays of sunshine. 

The next day was spent at Menaggio's Lido, which features a couple of swimming pools and an artificial beach on the lake front which allows you access into the lake itself. The water was seriously cold but we still all ventured in a couple of times! There were a quite a few people swimming and I thought it must have been lovely to live locally and go in every day - I'm assuming you'd get used to the cold?

We also had our first experience of Italian coffee at the Lido restaurant, and although we all enjoyed our hot drinks we found that if you ask for a Caffe Latte you will literally get exactly what it translates to - coffee and milk (separately for some reason?). If you ask for a Latte Macchiato however you get what we would consider to be a Latte I guess; a tall, creamy coffee with plenty of milk foam on top - delish! 

I think there's two things I could say for certain about Lake Como, 1: You could point your camera in any direction and get a stunning picture and 2: You will never have a bad coffee or pizza experience while you are there. For our first meal out, I had a Margherita pizza (of course) and it was beyond delicious. Usually I can't eat a whole pizza to myself but I had no trouble finishing this one off, and at 6 euro it was definitely an affordable way of getting my fix of Italian food!

On our third day, we purchased a day-ferry pass which allowed us to travel between the different towns around and across the lake. Our first stop was Varenna, a compact town with cute pedestrian streets and a stunning promenade along the lake. There was a watercolour class taking place while we there (the perfect location for one I'd say!) and also a beautiful old church with marble flooring in which my sister and I lit a candle. 

We spent about an hour in Varenna just exploring before boarding the ferry again to visit Bellagio, a larger town which sits on a peninsula which cuts the lake into two, making Lake Como into the shape of a wishbone. Bellagio had even more winding streets which took us up and down the many hills as we searched for a good lunch spot. It was very busy, but we managed to squeeze into a little restaurant which served (surprise surprise) amazing pizzas. I think I had pizza about 5 or 6 times on this trip...and if it wasn't pizza I was eating, it was pasta.

After lunch we strolled down the olliander-lined promenade to the gardens of Villa Melzi. One of the main attractions of the area are the large number of public villas around the lake which you can visit. Most of the villas are uninhabited and act as museums but some, like Villa Melzi, are used for private activities, though you can still visit their stunning gardens.

The gardens of Villa Melzi contained a wide variety of plants, with everything from Bamboo to Sycamore and Japanese Maple Trees. The designated route around the garden takes you through a series of stepped green areas with plenty of picture-perfect places to sit and take it all in. After a couple of hours in the gardens, we ventured back into town to get some gelato before catching our ferry home. It had been a long day spent exploring but it was a really easy way to see more of the lake area! 

That concludes part 1 of this travel diary, I took so many photos (like I said, everywhere is picturesque!) and didn't want to make this post too photo-heavy. Part 2 will be live this time next week so check back in then to see even more beautiful photos, including my visit to the wedding location of Anakin Skywalker and Queen Amadala...

Have you ever visited Lake Como/Italy? What did you think?

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  1. Wow, this place looks gorgeous and I love Italy. The food, the culture and the architecture always amaze me.

    Love Amber - xx

    1. It was a beautiful place all round - and the food was to die for! They put so much effort into making everything very picturesque, which is great for Instagram snaps haha.

      Georgie xo

  2. Gorgeous photos!! Italy has always been on my want to visit list, also love that you can get highly affordable pizza haha! x

    1. Thanks Sophie! The pizza was so cheap but so good every time - I couldn't believe it! To be honest, I think you could go anywhere in Italy and get the same amazing experience :)

      Georgie xo