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Old 08.02.2011, 13:52
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Lake Como town reviews

Am heading to Lake Como in May with some friends and we are looking to rent self catering accomodation. Dont want to go in the summer where its heaving plus its my birthday

A search gave me lots of towns around the lake - Bellagio, Varena, Menaggio, Tremezzo, San Siro blahblahblah till I am confused. So am looking to all you EFers who are familiar with the Como region for your reviews of the various towns you've stayed in / experienced during your trip. Tips like restaurants, accessibility, remoteness/how lively it is, etc will be helpful.

Fanks!
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Old 08.02.2011, 14:12
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

Varenna - much like the whole lake area - is a sleepy, slightly end of season village away from the crowds and recommended as an alternative to Como itself, which is no great shakes. From Varenna, you may take the ferry or water taxi to any point on the lake.

Watch out for George Clooney at Belaggio, where he has a house and is known to pop out for gelati. Do go when the weather is good, though, as alpine rains can limit activities and you really do want to be able to lounge about and swim amidst stunning scenery.

The gardens at Menaggio are lovely. The whole area is lovely! Just south east of Lecco is a wonderful mountain road which affords divine views and charming, ancient villages with Trattorias galore. Lucky you.
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Old 08.02.2011, 14:52
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

Contact Barry or Julie on this website http://www.italianapartments.co.uk/

We stayed in Argegno 18 months ago in one of their apartments, they manage many, they are an english couple, very friendly and helpful
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Old 08.02.2011, 15:04
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

Oh and DO NOT I repeat DO NOT stay in Bellagio! visit by all means but over priced and over rated serious bling place. We loved Argengo - very rustic and local, not touristy at all and has a boat stop so you can explore the lake daily. Oh and it has 2 great little local rustic wine bars in the little town square that serve free nibbles and snacks all evening so you can save money on eating out
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Old 08.02.2011, 15:14
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

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Oh and DO NOT I repeat DO NOT stay in Bellagio! visit by all means but over priced and over rated serious bling place. We loved Argengo - very rustic and local, not touristy at all and has a boat stop so you can explore the lake daily. Oh and it has 2 great little local rustic wine bars in the little town square that serve free nibbles and snacks all evening so you can save money on eating out
Cheers for the link too Nick. If Mr Nicky is ok with the price, I suspect that mine will be too

That site has properties that mainly dont welcome pets. Forgot if you brought Gem there. Were they flexible about the no-pets rule? We'll have at least one dog in the party, if not 3
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Old 08.02.2011, 15:48
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

You can't really go wrong with any of them. Sorry. I know that doesn't help. ;D

I would not pick Bellagio only because it's super touristy and you'll probably pay more for less there. I was going to suggest Lecco too. It's lovely. But a bit down south.

Pick somewhere sort of in the middle so you'll be strategically placed for day visiting the area.
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Old 09.02.2011, 13:56
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

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You can't really go wrong with any of them. Sorry. I know that doesn't help. ;D

I would not pick Bellagio only because it's super touristy and you'll probably pay more for less there. I was going to suggest Lecco too. It's lovely. But a bit down south.

Pick somewhere sort of in the middle so you'll be strategically placed for day visiting the area.
I had a look at Bellagio - its right smack in the middle of things and too crowded for my liking - even in the month of May.

Laglio sounds absolutely lovely. Small, centrally located yet near enough to the hustle and bustle.
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Old 09.02.2011, 14:30
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

We stayed for a week in San Siro and it was beautiful. However, the place we stayed had no air conditioning so it made the sleep a little difficult.

Enjoy the drive. The roads around that place were a little difficult. My arsehole was varying between a manhole cover and a 50cent piece
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Old 09.02.2011, 14:39
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

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Dont want to go in the summer where its heaving ...
I'm not sure about the heaving in the summer. I was there at the beginning of last August and found the area remarkably and pleasantly quiet.

It was explained to me that the Milanese, who keep the place busy most of the year with short breaks and weekends, prefer to take their long summer holiday by the sea. Don't know whether that is true, or if was the economy or luck, but it was very pleasant.
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Old 09.02.2011, 14:39
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

Hi
A few times I have visited Lake Como we stayed in Domaso. One time we stayed in a self serviced apartment in a camping ground on the waters edge.
The last couple of times an we had an apartment in the centre of the old part of town rented from a lovely old Italian lady. Nice restaurants, plenty of pizzarias and considerably cheaper than CH. It's a popular place for the windsurfers with a school to rent gear and lessons.
Both apartments cost around 75 Euros (2 people) and the dog was welcome.
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Old 10.02.2011, 01:50
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

Domaso and Dongo at the top of the lake I'd avoid. The towns and scenery aren't as pretty, they arent typically lake como. You want to be further down the lake. Mennagio is pretty but touristy. Laglio would be a good choice
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Old 10.02.2011, 08:21
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

We looked at the map and decided to stay in a place between Bellagio and Como. We stayed in Nesso, and it was definitely NOT the right decision. It was small, no restaurants at all, and our place was cramped up in the hills.

I go along with some others, Varenna, Mennagio, San Siro.. etc.

Also, we found it REALLY difficult to get groceries. There is an ALDI just over the border (Swiss side) near Como. We were stuck with these ridiculously small shops in Bellagio and Nesso. Maybe buy up a bit before you cross over.

Also, the ferry service around the lake is excellent. You can get to most of the towns that way. Leave your car as the last option. The roads are narrow and dangerous. The ferry is reliable, smooth, timely and the scenery is tip top.

All of the locals dive Fiat Panda's, and 500's as they are narrow little cars.
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Old 10.02.2011, 10:17
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

We stayed in Varenna & in my opinion it is the best village in the entire area. Sleepy, but not too sleepy and within all the sights. Honestly I could have not left Varenna and it would have been enough. So beautiful and tranquil.

Make sure you dine on the terrace at sunset at the Albergo Milano hotel. It's a meal & an experience you won't forget! http://www.varenna.net/
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Old 10.02.2011, 10:40
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

Thanks SR and Nicky, you've just given us ideas for annual hols
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Old 10.02.2011, 11:53
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

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Am heading to Lake Como in May with some friends and we are looking to rent self catering accomodation. Dont want to go in the summer where its heaving plus its my birthday

A search gave me lots of towns around the lake - Bellagio, Varena, Menaggio, Tremezzo, San Siro blahblahblah till I am confused. So am looking to all you EFers who are familiar with the Como region for your reviews of the various towns you've stayed in / experienced during your trip. Tips like restaurants, accessibility, remoteness/how lively it is, etc will be helpful.

Fanks!
As a child I lived, swam and surfed in lake Como, so I can say that I'm pretty familiar with the area :-)

Do you want to be *on* the lake or in the immediate vicinity? What kind of activities interest you? Hiking? Wind/kite surfing? Hanging out?
Will you be dependent on public transportation or are you driving?

Surfing activities: upper lake - Domaso, Colico, Cremia
Hiking: Valle d'Intelvi (above Argegno), Brunate (above Como)
Hanging out: as per previous posts you would want to be in the vicinity of the attractions - Bellagio, Menaggio, Tremezzo, Varenna, Isola Comacina - without sleeping there because of the associated higher costs...

Paul
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Old 10.02.2011, 12:39
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

Stayed in Colonno on the west side, if you are driving(in your own car) beware that the roads north of Argegno are *insane*.

If you are self catering, there are very few food shops, and not even that many restaurants in this area, and getting to them involves driving.

*If* I went back (not likely) I'd stay in Como itself and get a boat to travel anywere. Como has more than one supermarket, and one that is even *open on a Sunday* (car park full of TI plated cars!)
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Old 10.02.2011, 12:42
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

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Do you want to be *on* the lake or in the immediate vicinity? What kind of activities interest you? Hiking? Wind/kite surfing? Hanging out?
Will you be dependent on public transportation or are you driving?

Surfing activities: upper lake - Domaso, Colico, Cremia
Hiking: Valle d'Intelvi (above Argegno), Brunate (above Como)
Hanging out: as per previous posts you would want to be in the vicinity of the attractions - Bellagio, Menaggio, Tremezzo, Varenna, Isola Comacina - without sleeping there because of the associated higher costs...

Paul
Yes, the idea is to be near the lake or its immediate vicinity. It will be mostly just chilling, doing absolutely nothing but laze around and maybe explore some of the nearby villages/towns and what it has to offer when it comes to restaurants and sights.

On some days, we'll cook so it will be great if the town / village has amenities like a supermarket where we can get food!

PS: are dogs welcomed everywhere? boats? restaurants?
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Old 10.02.2011, 14:18
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

Save Como for a day / evening out. If you want a Northern Italian city bustle, there are *other* cities available. Chilling out, enjoying a five hour lunch and looking out on stunning views says stay lakeside away from the traffic of the town. Those little villages are very <yawn> sleepy.

Or you could go West and stay in Orta. It's a special little place, still maintaining a low profile on the tourist trail:

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Old 10.02.2011, 14:39
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

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beware that the roads north of Argegno are *insane*
How so?

I am rather fond of them.

Tom
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Old 10.02.2011, 15:33
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Re: Lake Como town reviews

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On some days, we'll cook so it will be great if the town / village has amenities like a supermarket where we can get food!
I remember Menaggio had a nice supermarket, and it is easily reached by boat/ferry from all the destinations. All of the apartment renters were stocking up for their vacation when I was there.
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