^ above: View from the central western shore, above and north of Menaggio. Want to enjoy this view during your Italian vacation? You can rent the place where I took this photo
Lake Como, shaped like an upside-down Y, is easily reached from Milan by car or train. You can take the train to Lecco (on the eastern tip of the Y), Como (on the western tip), or Varenna (on the east side of the center of the lake, opposite Bellagio in the crotch of the Y). From any of these places you can take commuter boats all over the lake. Go here for video of the ferry ride.
FAQ: How to Reach Varenna from Malpensa Airport
- The Cheap Way: Airport bus to Milan Central Station (1 hour, depending on traffic, about 6 euros), then direct train to Varenna (about every hour, also around 6 euros)
- The Easy Way: hire a car, from e.g. Best Viaggi. Antonello is absolutely reliable, and speaks very good English.
Some places to visit on and near Lake Como:
- Places to eat
- Lake Como tourism & hospitality guide
- Guide to the center lake region of Lake Como
- Useful Fodor’s trip report on all three lakes
- The New York Times on Lake Como – leaving out, however, the entire southeastern branch of the lake!
My videos of Lake Como:
Got any great tips or sites for visits to Lake Como? Please share!
I visited Italy with my family for the first time this year (June 2007) and ended our vacation with a day trip from Milano to see Varenna and Bellagio on Lake Como. From the moment I saw the lake from the window of our train, I knew this was the highlight of the entire vacation, at least it was for me. We spent the day relaxing and taking in the most wonderful scenery I had seen. I know there are other lakes that are probably just as nice, and other towns that might be nicer, but for this first-timer I have to say that Varenna and Bellagio are tops. I wish I had the money to be able to afford a small cottage anywhere on this beautiful lake.
Really great post, well written, concise and comprehensive. Thank you.
This advice is really going to help, thanks.