Lake Como, Italy
Our day trip from our home in Milan was a short and scenic train ride to Lake Como. With a few outdoor activities planned, we had our fingers crossed that the predicted showers in the beginning from the week would dissipate since everything at Lake Como is outdoors! Fortunately, the rain dissolved and we were granted a sunny day. Once we walked from the train station to the base of the lake, we were instantly breathless looking at the landscape that pictures do not do justice.
Our first activity of the day was at the Aero Club Como for our 9:30AM seaplane ride across Lake Como. I feel lucky to have stumbled upon this since it was not well advertised and many friends who have been to this area did not know it existed. We could not imagine what the view from above would look like since we were so impressed with the view from the ground already- huge mountains covered top to bottom with green, vibrant trees with little clusters of homes and buildings right above the vast blue water. Even with all the activity in the water (birds, fish, plains, ships, etc) it was so large that most of the water remained entirely still and glistened from the sun.
Our pilot, Matthew, gave us the all clear to get in the plane- I had to sit in the back and Kevin sat in the front- we had to keep the plane balanced! We “drove”/”sailed” on the water and taxed for a few minutes before taking off from the water. The views were nothing short of absolutely stunning. The lake was much more massive then I expected- every time we made a turn around an area, another valley appeared. We flew past two large villas (Balbenello and Carollota) along with several town that hugged the lake, until we hit Bellagio. At that point, you can look north and see the bare Alps and their rocky, pointy tops. After flying over Bellagio, we turned around to get a second glimpse at everything. While the way there was a lot of picture taking, the way back was focused on taking it all in. I am so happy we got the chance to experience this- the sea plane over Lake Como is one of the most memorable parts of the trip.
Our plan afterwards was to take an “express” (servizo rapido) boat to Bellagio and then see one of the Villas before returning to the train station in Como. We got to the boat ticket station around 10:40AM expecting to take a fast boat at 11AM to get us to Bellagio within an hour. Due to our inability to read the tiny symbols scattered through the timetable, the next fast boat wasn’t until 12:30PM. After a quick regroup knowing we had to make the 7PM train, we decided to skip the Villas and spent a few hours in Bellagio. Boarding the 11AM show boat, we took the (literal) scenic route that would get us to Bellagio at 1PM. It felt like an inefficient use of time since it was a two hour boat ride, but it ended up being like a two hour tour of the south side of the lakes. Gorgeous views from the boat that all looked familiar from our recent view from the plane.
Words really do not do the whole place justice. We finally made it to Bellagio which minus the huge allure for tourist, was quite beautiful. The store fronts and allies were as if they came from a painting- thought I am sure it is verse! We stopped by Enoteca Cava Turacciolo, a wine bar for wine and cheese, then Gelateria del Borgo for gelato, and finally grabbed more wine and food (spinach ricotta ravioli with butter sauce) at Apertivio et al.
After exploring the small town, we found a bench on the water and we sat there for over an hour, reflecting on the trip and life. We coordinated the timing to grab a fast boat that got us back to Como at 6PM for our 7PM train. We could have easily spent a week here as there are so many towns up and down the lake. It was a great day trip, even though we had to cut some sightseeing out, we still had a fantastic day at Lake Como.
For the full Italy itinerary, click here!