Our first stop inter railing in Italy was Lake Como. We stayed in the small town of Valmadrera that was a lot like the other small towns along the lake; really beautiful (possibly the most beautiful place you will ever see), but a little lacking in atmosphere. Think of a beautiful model who is sizzling hot but has no substance and zero bantz.
The first thing we fell in love with at Lake Como was the mountains. I bloody love mountains, they make even the most miserable of places look amazing, put a mountain in Peckham and I’m more likely to visit the place. Not that Lake Como needs anything additional to make it more beautiful of course; the lake, architecture and gorgeous countryside was so dream like it’s easy to see why George Clooney chose to get married here.
During our stay we hopped on a boat and sailed up the lake towards Bellagio (which I found out is not just the name of a hotel in Vegas). Bellagio is arguably one of the richest and most famous towns on Lake Como. When we arrived we noticed that a) it was bloody busy and b) there were more jewelry shops than supermarkets telling us that this was a place for the super rich and boy were we right! As we sat along the front enjoying an ice cream in the 32 degree heat two posh Eton boys came walking along carrying boxes of Prosecco whilst trying to flag down their yacht. I can’t imagine a more perfect representation of being well-off.
Bellagio is very pretty, did I mention that everywhere was very pretty? It really is a gorgeous place, even though the nearest place to swim is quite a walk from the front and the cafes and restaurants are on the pricey side.
The lake itself is very busy, full of boats, windsurfers and wake boarders but unfortunately the local public transport doesn’t reflect the lake’s popularity; there’s a boat every few hours and a bus every few days (it seemed like it!)
If you’re going to Lake Como I wouldn’t recommend staying in Valmadrera because although it’s lovely, it’s rather dull. There’s only three maybe four restaurants, you will definitely need a car and it lacks any sort of buzz. Of course, if you are travelling by car, don’t mind the limited restaurants and don’t want to feel any atmosphere let alone buzz, then I would definitely recommend this place!
The nearby town of Lecco (which is great for train links to and from Milan) has a lot more going on; shops, cafes, bars and such but don’t go on the Sabbath because everything apart from H&M is shut. Other towns I would recommend staying in are:
- Mandello – Gorgeous shore front to sunbath, swim and relax
- Bellagio – Lots going on and, if you can afford it, lots to see and do
- Varenna – Beautiful houses and just a gorgeous setting
- Como itself – So much to see, do and eat
The next part of our Italy Interrailing trip was Venice, now that was buzzing…