Perfect Weekend: 48 Hours in Lake Como, ItalyBy Angelica Malin
Lake Como located at the foothills of the Alps has been a popular vacation destination for a long time now. However, in recent years, the city has quietly blossomed to become even a more enjoyable spot for tourists and visitors or all kinds and with different budgets and preferences. Although Lake Como enjoys a reputation as a playground for the wealthy, one can plan a great vacation here and hire Lake Como villas & vacation rentals based on their needs and pocket.
Lake Como is the gorgeous lake of Italy and is surrounded by gorgeous villas, pretty villages and quaint towns. One can easily spend a week here. However, if you have just 48 hours in Lake Como, here is how to spend those precious hours and enjoy the must-dos and make the most of it.
A good place to start the day is with the town itself. Explore the walled town with its lively squares, cafes and good restaurants. Visit the Church of San Giacomo that dates back to the 11th century and the cathedral. You can make a trip to the Silk Museum as silk is produced in the town of Como and learn about the entire silk-making process. Take a short walk to Volta and visit the 1927 neo-classical Temple. It is time to rest and enjoy a tasty lunch at one of the restaurants in the town.
In the afternoon, head towards the village of Brunate that is located above the lake and is known as “the balcony of the Alps. There are many paths and hiking trails, and one can see across the lake to the green hills and the rugged mountain peaks. The Funicular railway station will take you up to Brunate in just a few minutes. Before exploring the village, have some lunch, and there are plenty of good options. Cervo is a great place with a lakeside view and serves great pizzas. Trattoria dei Bracconieri offers vegetarian-friendly gluten-free options while Ristorante Bellavista is famous for Italian and Mediterranean options.
In the evening, you can rent paddle boats or take an excursion boat trip on the lake. You can enjoy concerts and special events held near the lake or in the town. Enjoy a cup of hot cappuccino at an outdoor table and watch the city streets.
You can head straight for Ristorante alle Darsene di Loppia, a popular restaurant. Take a seat on the pergola on the veranda or get seated inside the bright dining room. Enjoy fresh seafood here and cooked to perfection by the accomplished chefs. Some of the highlights include light seafood soup, homemade cavatelli, lardo di Colonnata and swordfish crudo with chicory salad.
The next day, you can set out to explore Bellagio another popular town in Lake Como. Take the ferry to the picturesque town, and you will pass several villas and small villages on the way. You will love walking on the narrow cobblestone streets lined with great restaurants and adorable shops. Walk on those stone staircases and go through the tiny lanes. sit in a café and soak in the atmosphere. Some of the key attractions include the Romanesque Church of San Giacomo and Villa Serbelloni Park from where one can get good views of the lake. All that walking is sure going to make you hungry and before you go down, grab some lunch at Bellagio that boasts of several friendly establishments. Some good options are Babayaga which is great for pizza lovers and chocoholics, Salice Blu for rustic creative cuisine and La Punta for fish and wine. Once you have finished with your lunch, you can head for the La Punta Ristorante which is right next to the town. This is a wide grassy area where you can relax under the sun or read a book.
In the afternoon, you can take a cruise on Lake Como and see some of the houses of famous residents and celebrities. A lake cruise is highly recommended as you can enjoy some of the best views of the lakeside towns and villages from the lake. One can depart from any of the lakeside towns like Bellagio, Como, and Varenna that offer various itineraries in different vessels. You can opt for public or private boat tours based on your needs, time and budget. Just remember to buy your tickets before you get on board.
Spend some time shopping at Lake Como, and one window that is sure to catch your eye is Arte e Moda with its unique, gorgeous designs and silk and leather items. Do not come back without tasting the local Bellagio Cheese and some of the shops have a wide selection of regional cheeses. Later in the evening, enjoy a great dinner at La Veranda Restaurant that overlooks Lake Como. Take an evening walk after dinner and explore the city or walk by the lake.
Do enjoy Lake Como’s night-life scene and the most popular hits are Fresco Cocktail Shop. Its cozy bar with exposed-brick walls and rough wood-beam ceilings looks timeworn and adds a character to the place. What is unique about the bar are its inventive drinks menu and seasonal fruits. Other popular names include Teatro Sociale, Opera, Lido di Bellagio, and Aperitivo et al Bar.
While it is not possible to cover all the attractions of Lake Como in two days, the above itinerary is designed to help you make the most of your stay.