*I wrote this post on Aug. 14th, 4 days before my eye surgery.
And then forgot all about it.
Better late than never, right?
On one of my days off, I thought it would be fun to cruise around the lake, visiting some of the popular towns and attractions on my way.
I decided to start the day off in Bellagio and work my way down the left leg of the lake (also known as the “Como” branch, the other leg is referred to as the Lecco branch). Instead of riding on the lake all day, I took the bus from Como to Bellagio, which only cost me €2.50 and took about an hour and a half. It was a fun ride with great views of the lake.
Once I arrived, I took some time to take photos of the beautiful scenery and flowers.
From there I just walked around (mainly looking for a place to grab lunch). There were lots of little side streets and restaurants could be found all over. I wanted something light and inexpensive so I chose to grab a panini at Cafe Vecchio Borgo (which translates to Old Village). They were only €5 and delicious!
Of course, after lunch I had to have dessert! Instead of the usual gelato, I decided to go with my new favorite: an Affogato! What is an affogato you ask? Well it’s the perfect combination of vanilla ice cream topped with un cafe (aka a shot of expresso). Affogato literally translates to “drowned”.
As you can see, it looks amazing! We made this at the house, minus the whip cream and biscuit, regularly and it tastes good every time! If you decide to make it at home, try and find a “gelato” or creamier ice cream so that it doesn’t all melt the second you pour the coffee on it.
And finally, after my affogato, I walked up to the very tip of Bellagio, where you can see down all three branches of the lake.
After snapping some photos, I went back down to the dock where I hopped on the ferry to my next location: Leno.
There are many villas around Lake Como, but one of the most famous is Villa del Balbianello. The villa has been used as a filming location in Casino Royale and Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, and after visiting it, I can believe more films haven’t use it.
The villa is only accessible by foot on Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday. It is a 20-30 minute hike from the dock, most of the roads are unpaved too so it is crucial to wear proper shoes. The villa has it’s own dock and visitors can hire a water taxi from one of the towns near by to take them to the villa every day of the week (except Monday and Wednesday when the villa is closed). This makes the villa very secluded and helps with preservation.
I did not take a tour of the inside, just walked the gardens which cost around 8 euros.
After walking around for a bit, I walked back to the dock, and hopped on the next ferry to Como. On the way, we passed by the home of Lake Como’s most famous resident: George Clooney.
Yes, it was an amazing day on the lake and I was able to see just about everything I wanted to see.
I highly recommend doing this if you are ever near Lake Como. Another option is to just buy a ticket and ride the boat around the lake (not getting off at any stops).