A self-drive holiday is the perfect way to explore Lake Como. Enjoy the many impressive sights that will be revealed along the way when you drive around Lake Como. Here you find one charming village after the other lined up along the lakeshore, while combining a background of wild mountain landscapes with a romantic abundance of fragrant flowers.
Lake Como was a period on everyone's lips when celebrity couple George and Amal Clooney lived in a luxury villa here in this delightful area, which has long been a favorite destination among the rich and famous. Lake Como is beautiful, peaceful and adorned with such a wide range of fabulous restaurants and gorgeous hotels that one would think you had to be a movie star or wealthy CEO to celebrate you holiday here.
The many opulent villas that lie scattered along the lakeshore also testify that Lake Como for several centuries has been chosen by the people with the means, to choose freely where they want to go, which gives an indication of how beautiful and attractive lake and its surroundings are.
Though, you do not need to be a billionaire to get the most out of a road trip on Lake Como. Here, at the foot of the snowy northern Italian Alps, there are plenty of opportunities for holiday makers who do not have a budget in size of George Clooney's to spend. On a self-drive holiday on Lake Como you can spend a relaxed time with the family in a wonderful setting, with perfect food and exciting activities.
Remember to set aside plenty of time to drive on the roads around the lake. In many cases there is not much elbow room in high season, so you drive relatively slowly in the column on the central sections. But there are continuously doing renovation at underground stretches.
When visiting village Bellagio, which is surrounded by water in the middle of the, Y Lake Como is shaped like, it is virtually impossible not to fall in love with this idyllic and charming village. You"re going to fall in love with the many boats that cradle the water"s edge, for the labyrinth of steep stone stairs and the picturesque houses with red roofs and green shutters. Not to talk about Bellagio"s lush gardens and meadows bursting with cypress trees.
When you climbed the steep stairs that go up from the lake towards Bellagio"s central streets, you may want a delicious meal at a reasonable price. In this case, for example, have a breakfast at Ristorante Bilacus. The family-run restaurant serves local specialties on a pretty, private terrace surrounded by flowers. After lunch you hardly had enough of Lake Como lavish flower petal, so what about a stroll in the Villa Melzi"s magnificent gardens?
Bellagio"s beauty is definitely not a secret, and at times there can be quite a lot of visitors here. So if you want to explore the city in a bit of tranquility we recommend to try to adapt your visit to Bellagio for a weekday.
Bellagio is not only worth a visit in itself, but also works very well as a starting point for ferry trips to other towns around Lake Como, as Varenna on the eastern shore.
The city of Varenna on Lake Como"s eastern shores and it seems that the pastel-colored houses disproves the laws of physics where they cling to the steep slopes. In the midst of the dramatic mountain scenery competes the aroma of exotic perfumes from the lush plant life with the sound of birdsongs. Varenna is a true gem and a village on the eastern shore, and it is Bellagio"s strongest competitor in terms of scenic beauty.
In Varenna there are several interesting sights, such as the former convent Villa Monastero. Her function ceased in the 1500s, when it turned out that a large part of the nuns had become pregnant from the local priests. Even priests and nuns could apparently not resist Lake Como romantic mood! Today Villa Monastero is owned by a research center and you can stroll along the panoramic terrace shaded by palm trees, cypresses, roses and magnolias. You can also visit a greenhouse where they grow citrus trees. Wiht the ticket to Villa Monastero you can also have access to Olivedo and its quaint garden.
You can easily drive to Varenna by car and find car parking facilities. Ferries go all day respectively to Bellagio and Lake Como"s west bank, and the car can also join in. Even though Lake Como is very long and the roads are twisting it can save hours of driving, so even if the ferries are not exactly cheap, it is worth it.