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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Menaggio, Lake Como, Italy


Sailing, I am sailing. (Well riding a ferry!)

I was flying out of Malpensa (Milan) so I thought I would have a few days at Lake Como, and rather than deal with trudging around a hot city, a beautiful lake and high mountain scenery seemed a lot more appealing!

For convenience’s sake I decided to stay in Como, it’s quite large and easy to get to from Milan. It’s linked by 2 different rail lines, from Milano Centrale you arrive at the Como San Giovanni station which is also the one the trains for the rest of Europe stop at. It’s just a little bit further out from the town centre. The closest station is the local Como Nord where you can get to by catching a train from Milan Cadorna Nord station. (Just a bit of pro tip info for those wanting to visit Lake Como!)

The nicest thing to do is actually take a trip out on the lake. Pick a town and then find what ferry will get you there. Most people choose Bellagio and it’s the most well known and well loved by tourists. My advice avoid it like the plague!!! Not that it isn’t pretty, it is, just that it’s loved to death by tourists, international as well as Italian, and if you particularly enjoy large crowds on hot days then it’s the place for you. If not there are other towns.

Bellagio across the lake, that small mount is the tip where the lake divides into its 2 branches, the Como branch and the Lecco branch.

I opted for Menaggio, choice based on, it was a fair way up the lake so a nice long boat trip, the fast ferry stopped there so it meant that you weren’t stopping in every town along the way. I had already been to Varena and Villa Carlota, both worth visiting. (Bellagio too I’ve been to several times)

Waterfront path looking back at ferry landing.


Menaggio proved to be an inspired choice! The stop before was Bellagio and practically the whole boatload of people got out! Three got out at Menaggio!
It’s small, pretty and very few people wandering about! I walked along the waterfront and ended up at a small bar with outdoor seating, perfect place to have lunch and cheap too! Back in closer to the ferry terminal there’s a piazza with some restaurants and a small street leading to the church with some shops for those who are interested.

Piazza

From the piazza going up to the major church, another nice little church on the right.

Where I had lunch, it was a bar called "Il gabbiano" which means seagull. The bar was actually across the road and down a bit, this was the outdoor seating area.

View from the table, that's Varena across the lake.

It was a lovely place to enjoy the lake, have a peaceful lunch and then catch the ferry back to Como and watch as the hordes all tried to get on at Bellagio. So many infact tried to board that the ones in the back were held back for the next boat.

 This is just a portion of the crowd getting on the ferry at Bellagio. Most had boarded, it took me a while to think to get my camera out.

A couple more gratuitous pictures as I thought Menaggio was pretty.

Looking up the lake towards Colico which is the town at the northern tip.


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