Bonjourno! It’s been a few weeks since we returned home from exploring Lake Como in Italy. I’ve wanted to visit Como for absolutely ages, I pitched the idea to Rob and Jude one evening back in March, they were both instantly sold on the idea of eating pizza whilst over looking a beautiful lake, so we booked our trip for school half term, which also coincides with out wedding anniversary. 8 years this year! Yikes, I’m actually pretty impressed with that.
We arrived in Milan and then drove from Malpensa Airport, north to Lake Como. The views on the drive were absolutely breath taking. The beautiful blue lake runs between dramatic green mountains. The route from the airport takes about ninety minutes. We arrived in Sant’Abbondio, to begin our Italian adventure.
We had never been to Lake Como before but I’d done a bit of research before our trip. I also searched the location tags on Instagram, so I had a good idea about what to expect. Now after visiting, I can honestly say that no photograph can really do justice to the relaxed, beautiful atmosphere of the lake.
We love traveling to new countries and although it’s really nice to just go on holiday and chill out, we also wanted to experience the place, soak up the vibe and learn about the lifestyle, the people and the language. So we set Jude (and ourselves) two challenges. First, was to find out ten interesting facts about Lake Como. Second, was to learn a new Italian word everyday. We tried to remember the words around the dinner table at night, the locals must have thought we were mad! Jude’s favourite was ‘Cane, means dog’.
Each day we drove or sailed to a new part of the lake. We visited the city of Como, home to Como Cathedral. I’d definitely recommend a visit to the Cathedral, it was one of the trips highlights for me. We took a ferry to Bellagio, a beautiful village known for it’s cobbled streets and elegant architecture. I spotted a lot of well dressed and super chic Italian women in Belaggio. Outfit goals!
Our favourite place, and where we spent the most time, was Menaggio, a small town on the western side of the lake. We ate so much pasta, pizza and gelato there! (FYI, they have dairy free! Hooray!)
I am currently marathon training, so most mornings, I got up and went out running whist Rob and Jude were having breakfast. I discovered a cycling path that ran along the side the lake. Every mile or so I had to stop, just to look around and take it all in.
I took advantage of the mountains too, by attempting a hill training session. Man, it was tough! I thought that my route at home had some undulation, but the hills along the lake are intense. Cycling is hugely popular in Italy. We saw lots of cycling teams racing along the roads. I’m not sure that I’d be able to take on those hills on a bike!
So, if you’re tempted to visit Lake Como this summer, here’s what you need to know…
Do – Hire a car. There are buses and trains around the lake but our trip was made much easier by having a car. We were able to visit the small provincial towns as well as driving up to the mountains. We hadn’t pre booked, we just hired a car on arrival in the airport. (€300 / 6 days)
Eat – Italian food is my favourite! Who doesn’t love pizza!? Most of the menu’s we’re written in both Italian and English. I noticed that lots of restaurants offered gluten free pizza and most places had dairy free options, including sorbet and gelato too 🙂
Drink – The local wine. I don’t usually drink at home, but when in Rome! Plus, when we arrived at our apartment, our host gave us a bottle of wine as a welcome gift. It would have been rude to not drink it. 🙂 I’m not a wine expert so I’ll just say this… it was GREAT.
Buy – Fresh fruit and veg. There are lots of shops that sell fresh fruits and vegetables. Jude made friends with the shop keeper and we tried to learn some new words. On the last day we bought five jars of his homemade jam to bring back home to the UK as gifts.
Explore – The lake via ferry or speed boat! There are boat rental places along the harbour. Rob’s highlight of the trip was definitely taking us out in a speed boat. (The speed boat hire was €60 per hour, the ferry was €28 for 2 adults & 1 Child)
Our week in Como reminded me that the world is wide, life is short, and there are so many beautiful places that I’d love to visit. I’m so glad that I got to explore Lake Como with Rob and Jude.
As always you can hit me up on Instagram & Twitter @adrienne_ldn