Lake Como is a beautiful, relaxing environment and is perfect for a day trip if you don’t have time to stay there a few days.
I was staying in Milan for a few days and decided to take the train up to the lake for a day. It’s only about an hour train ride to the towns Varenna or Bellano and it’s exciting watching the landscape change from grassy hills to mountains (atleast it was for me).
Orrido di Bellano
The first stop was Orrido di Bellano located in the town Bellano which is the town above Varenna on the east side of Lake Como. It’s a short walk from the train station to Orrido di Bellano and really easy to find because there’s signs pointing you in the direction as soon as you get out of the train station. I got there as soon as it opened at 10 am so there were only a couple people and it was only a few euros! Win, Win!
There are bridges and a trail that allow you to walk over the canyon and stream that flows to the lake. If you have a little time while you’re at Lake Como, I’d suggest coming to see Orrido di Bellano.
I took the train to Varenna after spending a couple hours in Bellano, but you can certainly walk if you want! Since I was only spending the day there I didn’t want to waste any time.
The town of Varenna has a little more things to do than Bellano, but they’re equally beautiful.
- Castello di Vezio– I hiked up to see the castle, but if you have a car than it’s a fast drive up there. For some reason, google maps doesn’t acknowledge the path that cuts through the winding roads, but there is a sign to point you to the path instead of walking along the road. At some point the path does connect to the road and you’ll have to walk along it, but it’s not busy with cars. Once you get to this small town at the top, you’ll pass a ceramics shop “Le Ceramiche di Vezio” and continue along the street until you reach the Saint Anotonio Abate Church Square. You’ll see a green gate and a few steps which lead to the castle! If you get a little turned around, the locals will point you in the right direction. It’s four euros to see the castle and the overlook of the lake.
After you’re done wandering around the castle, take the “Scabium” path. It’ll be to your right as you’re exiting the gate and it doesn’t look like many people use it, but it leads you right back into Varenna!
- Villa Monastero Garden– You can go into the villa and the garden if you’d like to pay the extra money, but since I love anything botanical, I chose just to explore the garden and ITS HUGE. It probably took me close to an hour to finish wandering through the garden and admire the statues and greenery. The garden is right up along the lake too, so you get beautiful views of Bellagio and Lake Como.
Before I took the train back to Milan, I bought a gelato and sat under the trees in the main square next to the lake to admire the view. It was a great way to end the day. Next time I travel here, I’m planning on staying a few days because there are great hiking opportunities (as you can imagine) on the mountains bordering Lake Como!
If you have any favorites spots at Lake Como that weren’t listed feel free to leave a comment, its much appreciated! ♥