Easily the most picturesque place in the world, no wonder George Clooney lives there.
Last week, I poured my heart out describing the events that led up to us ending up in Lake Como and now I am about to pour my heart out again describing how breathtaking it was.
A quick half an hour after hopping on a train in Milan, we found ourselves in Como. The city located right at the southern end of the lake. We climbed out of the train, tired, dragging our luggage and Mikaeel looked up and said:
“Hey beb, look up”
I looked up to see pretty, little houses perched on a high hill, surrounded by green trees and shrubbery.
He whipped out his phone, took a photo and jokingly said, “Bet this will be the worst photo we take here”
He was right.
We rushed out of the station and followed our offline-maps (a life-saver, if like us, you won’t have any network signal). We were based in Cernobbio and according to my research, we would hop on a boat, that does not need to be pre-booked. Boats around the lake works as part of the public transport system and is one of the more popular choices of getting between the little towns.
We made our way towards the harbour and admired the sun dancing off the deep blue lake. The water was the most beautiful blue I had ever seen, which is due to its ridiculous depth of more than 400m, making it one of the deepest lakes in Europe.
The harbour welcomes you, surrounded by pretty parks, city gardens and REAL ITALIAN GELATO.
The queue for the big boat went on and on, with no shade, the 36 degree weather was starting to melt both our skin and our ice cream. A smaller boat pulled up and Miks walked over and asked them about getting to Cernobbio.
They gestured towards their boat, and with a combination of si si and prego prego, we bought tickets and got on board. In these smaller towns, English is not common, and why should it be? Yet, as English speakers, we tend to think everyone understands our language (no wonder we are seen as rude!)
We were the only ones on there and they didn’t bother waiting for any more people, so naturally, I ran to the front of the boat and took a million selfies.
We watched as Como disappeared and admired the views from the lake, pinching myself to make sure it was all real. How could a place this beautiful exist and I didn’t know much about it?
At Cernobbio, we hopped out. It was emptier than Como, the restaurants were smaller, and everything looked as though it had a story to tell. Later on someone told us that it was a popular town for the tourists who wanted to get away from Como. This explains the painful accommodation prices.
We sat on a bench facing the lake, underneath a tree and realized at that moment, that life was perfect. My husband leaned in and whispered, “Wife, I fear we have peaked too soon”.
We spent our days sleepily walking downstairs and having an Italian man, who speaks very little English, ask,
Which even now, is one of my favourite memories.
Wandering around the town, admiring its prettiness and cleanliness, we felt, if only for a moment, as if we were on a different planet. We took a boat up the lake and the weather turned, paranoid as we are, we hopped out about halfway up the lake and walked around the unique town.
Instead of taking a boat back, we took a bus. To our absolute surprise, the bus did not fully fit in the narrow roads, so the driver would hold down his hooter as he neared a bend, every bend, and any vehicle on the other side, would scramble! It was immensely entertaining and terrifying at the same moment.
Halfway through the town we came across another bus, both buses stopped and the drivers leaned out of the window to chat to each other. No one minded, because in this place, no one is stressed.
We had our meals (mostly, delicious pizzas and pastas) at the restaurants hugging the lake and spent each moment trying to physically photograph and mentally capture just about everything we saw.
So far, of all the places I have been, my heart yearns for Lake Como. The fresh breeze and the feeling of absolute serenity.
Sham, the giant! (look at how much taller I am than these wheely bins)
Planning a trip? Things you may need to know:
Ticket price from Milan to Como: €27 (2 people)
Travel Time from Milan to Como: 35 minutes
Ticket price from Como to Rome: €27 + €71.80 = €98.80 (2 people)
Travel Time from Como to Rome: 35 minutes + 3 hours = +- 3.5 hours (high speed! Yes!)
All tickets were booked through TrenItalia
We stayed at Albergo Ponte Vecchio, a basic accommodation near to Villa Erba with a wonderful owner.
Most places took cards, except buying bus/boat tickets.
Although the weather is amazing in summer (36+ degrees), locals warned of random rain that could occur. It rained further up the lake, but not in Cernobbio.