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Stuart Messham
Airlines and routes, Blog, Entertainment,
Lake Como is picture postcard perfect and a high society hotspot making it the ideal destination for some old-fashioned nosing/tourism. Here’s three blissful bases from which to work…
Bellagio: The Pearl of Lake Como

Perfect for: The full Lake Como experience

The inspiration for the name of a certain hotel on Las Vegas’ famous Strip, Bellagio is a sure-fire bet when it comes to boat trips, lakeside luncheons and visual splendour.

Even just a short walk in Bellagio rewards you for making the trip.

There’s picturesque steep winding paths aplenty and pastel-scented domiciles splashing the streets with colour.

The main road – Via Giuseppe Garibaldi – presents dozens of shops and boutiques where you can buy local delicacies, leather goods, chich clothing, perfumes and lots more.

Tables spill outside of voguish cafes and restaurants with sun-kissed locals sipping the latest vintage and several alleys leading to the heavenly lakefront (facing the Como branch).

An absolute jewel in the region’s crown, Bellagio isn’t called ‘The Pearl of Lake Como’ for nothing.

Varenna: tranquil and romantic

Perfect for: Romance and relaxation

Located on the eastern shore of Lake Como – an hour from Milan and 15 minutes by ferry from Bellagio – Varenna is so tranquil and serene it feels like time itself stands still.

At the town’s centre lies the Romanesque-Gothic Church of San Giorgio where you tread pavements made entirely of local marble.

Picturesque, narrow streets off the main throughfare – Piazza San Giorgio – lead down to another of Lake Como’s most irresistible waterfronts known as Riva Grande.

You’ll need to be fit to negotiate the winding passages and gnarly cobblestones to get there and back, but there’s plenty of rewards on offer on arrival. Riva Grande is home to stylish cafes, vibrant restaurants, local artisan stores and some of the most terrific ice cream parlours in the region.

Romantics should make sure take a stroll down the Passeggiata degli innamorati, or ‘Walk of Lovers’, the promenade that connects Riva Grande to the boat landing.

Whatever you decide to do, you'll certainly leave a piece of your heart in Varenna on departure.

Lecco: Alpine Town of the Year 2013

Perfect for: Those seeking romance, adventure – and gelato!

Awarded Alpine Town of the Year 2013, Lecco is a vibrant outpost that heartily welcomes barrages of tourists off the back of this rather prestigious honour.

Watersports are a big draw during the warmer months with sailing, swimming, diving, kitesurfing and kayaking all very popular. Hiking and cycling are also recommended.

Skiing takes over during the winter when tourists arrive to traverse the flawless 35km of slopes of Piani di Bobbio.

There’s plenty of the usual charming architecture and dramatic alpine backdrops in Lecco, but it feels a little more action-packed than its more tranquil neighbours.

Make sure you try the local restaurants’ ample meat stews and lake-fish dishes and do not leave without sampling the phenomenal gelato. It’s not specific to the town or the town’s rich history, but it’ll live long in the memory nonetheless.

Lecco: another unforgettable gem of Lake Como.


You can fly from Heathrow to Milan with British Airways.
Then the beautiful towns of Lake Como are only a 1-hour train ride away.