Lake Como, and a wonderful “decompression”…
It all seems so distant now. And these few postings have only just BARELY scratched the surface. But our time in Italy concluded with a most wonderful, two days at beautiful Lake Como, on the norther Italian border with Switzerland. The glacial-water fed lake is shaped like an upside-down “Y”, with lovely towns and villages rising from the water’s edge up steep hills, which are the foothills for the lofty Alps.
Our hotel, the Royal Victorian, was on the hillside above the town of Varenna. It was a beautiful old hotel that has been restored and updated, with comfy rooms, and a restaurant that overlooks the waters of the lake below. AND there are terraces below with a small swimming pool, and plenty of chairs and lounges from which you can admire the views.
We had no structured time while we were in Varenna, which was really nice because we could simply relax, or take the ferries to explore the towns along the lake. There were also some great hiking trails up behind the hotel, leading to a medieval castle at the top of the nearest hill, or to a cog railway that lead up to a small monastery perched precariously up another slope nearby. Most of our fellow travellers chose to explore the towns and gardens around the lake. Armed with our ferry passes, Don and I decided to cross the lake to the town of Menaggio. From there, we would try to catch a local bus to the town of Lugamo – just across the Swiss border.
It was incredibly easy! A short walk to the town center where we purchased our bus tickets, hopped the bus a short time later, and then before we knew it, we were in Switzerland! We were hungry by that time, so we found a nice lakeside trattoria for lunch, then afterwards walked around for just a little bit before boarding another bus for our return to Menaggio, and our return ferry to Varenna. It was an easy trip, and lots of fun simply to be able to say, “We went to Switzerland for the afternoon”. I know…silly tourists!
The remainder of our time in Varenna was spent exploring the steep streets and passageways of the town. It was the perfect way to end our trip. Just being able to stroll aimlessly, drinking in the lovely “atmosphere” was one of the best ways to experience “bella Italia”!
All too soon, it was time to leave! We had a lovely farewell dinner on our last evening together. The next morning, it was up bright and early to take our bus to the airport in Milan. As we rode along, we all seemed lost in thought. Perhaps, like me, each person was wondering – how long before we would return?