I first learned about this place after watching Gwen Stefani’s “Cool” music video. I found the view in the flashback scenes so gorgeous I just had to google where it was filmed. Nine years later, here I am at Lake Como, Italy.
- From Milan, the town of Varenna is just an hour train ride for €6.45 one way via Tirano. Take note that Tirano is the one displayed on the departure screen at the central station and not Varenna. Return tickets can be purchased on the train from the ticket inspectors.
- From Varenna, you can get a day pass to hop on/off boats around Varenna-Menaggio, Bellagio, Tremezzo/Villa Carlota and Lenno route for €15/ person. DO NOT rely on the boat schedule written at the port. It’s best to ask the people at the ticketing booth what time the next boat leaves.
- If you’re at Lake Como only for a day like us, do spend time at Varenna and Bellagio. These towns are really pretty.
July in Italy is pure madness with tourists so it’s a nice surprise how quiet it was here in Varenna. It’s a beautiful and laid back town , the kind of place I would love to explore more.
I love the concept of this little cafe/ restaurant. They have cushions on the steps as if inviting everyone to ” stop and talk a while.”
Menaggio is just across Varenna. You can reach it in five minutes by boat. It was hilarious how we had such a long prelude coming here. I can’t count the times Floe and Lillian went to ask someone behind the counter what time was the next boat for Menaggio and how we snubbed so many boats going to other towns because we didn’t want to miss this stop. Yet when we finally got here, we stayed for less than five minutes because we found the town so sleepy. Epic, just epic.
The entire town seemed to be having a siesta when we stopped by. The streets were empty and the big villas by the lake looked unoccupied. There are many of these villas and mansions scattered around the area. I can’t help but wonder about the people living here, who they are, and if they live a happy life.
Tremezzo/ Villa Carlotta
Top photo: Villa Carlotta has manicured gardens which one can admire for an entrance fee of €9. Middle photo: This scene reminded me of the Philippines where store owners and their friends gossip around while taking care of business at the same time. Bottom photo: Tremezzo from afar. That big building on the far right is Grand Hotel Tremezzo which really lives up to its name up close.
Even the crowd couldn’t take away the charm of this place. Bellagio is probably the most popular town in Lake Como and it’s not without a reason. It is picturesque yet unassuming.
This photo of a bride and groom walking is one of my favorite snaps of the day. Bellagio is exactly what the photo says. It’s happy to share what it has without frills.
You can’t mention Lake Como without also mentioning the magnificent villas that adorned the place. Here are a few the caught my attention:
I think the first three are private villas. The last one is called Villa Melzi which is a short walk from Bellagio. I read it’s owned by Gallarati Scotti family and this place is declared a national monument.
At school when I ask the kids what they’ll do for the weekend when the weather is nice, most of them would say they’ll go to their cottage. I can just imagine little Gallarati Scotti saying “I’ll go to our villa at Lake Como, Teacher M” if asked the same question. Ha.
I can’t end this post without thanking Lillian, Jane and Floe for being great travel buddies. In travelling, the company matters first, destination second. I’m thankful that this trip was blessed with both.
Thank you also, Gwen Stefani, for your video. Without it, this gorgeous place would probably be off my radar and that would have been such a shame.
a pretty piece for a beautiful place and company… 4 thumbs up
nice place…so relaxing..will include this when I visit Italy
the place is really nice and relaxing…will note this place in my list when I visit Italy
yes, it’s a really nice place. i wish we stayed longer than a day 🙂