What’s the best way to say good-bye to winter? Purchase a flight to Bergamo at a discounted price and in just 3 hours’ sip aromatic Italian cappuccino in a cosy cafe with a view of the famous lake Como.
What can you visit there and how to organize this trip on budget?
As a short introduction, there’s a lot to see, because Lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy, right after lake Garda and Maggiore. What’s more is one of the most deepest lakes in Europe, in some places its depth reaches over 400 m.
One can say that size matters, but in my humble opinion the sights play crucial role here… 😉 This place is located very close to Swiss border in the beautiful scenery of the Alps. Taking a ferry is a must, unforgettable experience is guaranteed!
It’s the best to start the trip from Lecco, which is about 50 km north of Milan or Bergamo. Lake Como is shaped like revesed letter Y. Lecco is the gateway to this lake from eastern side while from western side is Como town.
Lecco is a rather compact town, but incredibly charming. The main point in the city centre is the promenade of Lungolago Isonzo with a view of the nearby mountains and the characteristic high belfry of St. Nicolas church, which is the symbol of the city.
The must – see is also the main square – Piazza XX Septembre, surrounded by colourful houses and arches with a tower – Torre Viscontea in the background.
Lake Como has been a popular holiday resort since the oldest times reaching back as far as Roman Empire times. In fact, it is possible to say that the wealthy Romans started the trend of building luxury villas along the coastline of lake Como.
Indeed, Roman times are gone but the lake has become a popular destination for numerous stars such as Madonna, George Clooney, Gianni Versace, Sylvester Stallone or Richard Branson.
Towns located on the Lake Como are well-communicated. There are numerous ferries, boats and water taxis. It’s worth taking a cruise on the lake to see some of the luxury properties and the beautiful countryside.
The most popular is by far Villa Serbelloni located in the small town of Bellagio. Who has watched Ocean’s Eleven film for sure reminds this name of a luxury hotel/casino located in Las Vegas. The inspiration for its creation was Bellagio town.
Villa Serbelloni, as a matter of fact, the prestigious Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, is located close to the Bellagio tiny harbor, on the flowerful promenade. Villa from the inside is only available for hotel guests, but you can visit the hotel’s garden.
The Bellagio is also called as the Pearl of the Lake Como and is located in its centre in close proximity to the most beautiful city in Lombardy – Varenna (here’s the post).
In addition to Villa Serbelloni, it is worth taking a stroll and visiting historic old town with numerous colourful houses and upmarket boutiques.
Getting to farry in the direction of Como, you can see the famous Villa Del Balbinello, well known form Casino Royale film, surrounded by a lush garden form the one side and from the other by the waters of the Lake Como.
From Caravaggio Orio al Serio airport take a bus to Bergamo train station. Tickets can be bought at the tourist infomation desk at the airport or in the vending machine at the bus stop. Timetable, price and route can be found here.
The route from the airport to the train station takes about 15-20 minutes, and the stop is located right in front of the station.
Train tickets to Lecco can be bought at checkout or in a vending machine at the station. Tickets can also be purchased via the internet on this site. Trains run practically every hour, and travel to Lecco takes about 40 minutes. The ticket costs € 3,60 (data from 2018).
From Lecco to Varrena – Esino run trains, the cost of the ticket is about € 2,90 (data from 2018 ), and a journey takes form 20 to 40 minutes depending from the train type. The timetable can be checked on the same page as the connection between Bergamo and Lecco.
Below is the map with marked train station in Varenna and harbors in Varenna and Bellagio.
Form Varenna take the ferry to Bellagio. Ticket costs 4,60 € (data from 2018), timetable you’ll find here.
To get from Bellagio to Como, it’s best to get on the ferry. The schedule is available on the above mentioned site of Navigazione Laghi and the ticket costs 10,40 € (data from 2018).
From Como S. Giovanni station catch a train to Bergamo. Ticket costs 6,70€, and the timetable is available on before mentioned Tren Italia site.
What’s the total cost?
– return flight tickets from Warsaw – 20 €
– bus from Caravaggio Orio al Serio to Bergamo Bergamo train station – 2,30 € x 2
– train from Bergamo to Lecco – 3,60 €
– train from Lecco to Varenna Essino – 2,90 €
– ferry from Varenna to Bellagio – 4,6 €
– ferry from Bellagio to Como – 10,40 €
– train from Como do Bergamo – 6,70 €
Total cost: 53 €
As for one day it’s quite a lot to do, I did this trip in 2 days with a one – night stay in Lecco. The accomodation cost 25€, but there’s also possibilty to vist for example only Lecco, Varrenna and Bellagio, which in my opinion are the most beautuful.