When You Go:
Lake Como, Italy
|Getting There: Lake Como is 25 miles north
of Milan and 388 miles north of Rome. Depending on your U.S. departure city, airlines
which service Milans Malpensa airport are: American, Delta, TWA, Continental,
United, Alitalia, British Airways, Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Scandinavian, Swissair and
Iberia Lineas. The 1-800 phone numbers and Web links are listed in this magazines Airlines page.
The train to Varenna is the quickest Milan connection to any mid-lake point. Trains run between Milan Centrale train station and Varenna every two hours. The Milan train schedules list Sondrio and Lecco, but not Varenna. Since Varenna is a small stop, you must ask directions so you dont miss it. Check out the Italian Train Timetable Web link below for connecting trains between Milan and Varenna.
The A8 and A9 motorways link Milan to the Italian Lake Region. If you drive, we recommend you rent a car from the United States before traveling. Most major car rental agencies service the Malpensa Airport. The 1-800 phone numbers and Web links are listed in this magazines Autos page.
|Staying There: Boats and hydrofoils service
Lake Como. The lake is divided into three areas of service: north-south from Como to
Colico; mid-lake between Varenna, Bellagio, Menaggio, and Cadenabbia; and the
south-eastern arm to Lecco. Boats go about every hour between Varenna, Menaggio, and
Bellagio. There is a one-day mid-lake pass that saves you money if you make three rides,
otherwise, just purchase a ticket for each ride.
Villa Carlotta is one of the best of Lake Comos famous landmarks. Located between Cadenabbia and Tremezzo, Carlotta offers a beautiful Neoclassical interior along with a famous Canova statue of Cupid and Psyche. The villa was built between 1690 and 1743. Its gardens are magnificent with over 14 acres and more than 500 species of exotic vegetation including: palms, banana trees, cactus, azaleas, orchids, and camellias. Take the ferry to Cadenabbia and then walk or taxi one mile south to the villa.
|There is a variety of lodging choices in all three towns.
Many hotels close during the winter months. Request "camera con vista," to
request a room with a view. Rick Steves' Italy contains
good travel, lodging, and restaurant recommendations. This and other books on Lake Como
and Italy are available via the amazon.com ad link below.
Fast Facts: Lake Como is a pre-alpine basin formed by the ancient glacier of the River Adda. It is 30 miles long, measured from north to south. It is Europes deepest lake (1,350 feet) and has a 106-mile shoreline. Lake Como spans 2 1/2 miles at its widest point. The city of Como lies at the southwestern leg, while Lecco occupies the southeastern end.
|Useful WWW links:
Travel Europe: Info on Lake Como and the Lombard Alps, hotel reservations
Italian Tourist Web Guide: Comprehensive guide for traveling in Italy (click on Lombardia map, then Lago di Como)