When Cain and my grandparents mentioned Lake Como to me and said it was part of our Italian itinerary, my first thought was how the hell do I run into George Clooney?!
I’m sad to report that Mr. Clooney was nowhere to be seen, nor were any other celebrities. That’s okay though, Como was everything you could have imagined from the Instagram pictures and more.
ROOM AND BOARD
Cain has a special gift for finding hotels and flights and I’m totally not mad about it. He found this most amazing villa on Airbnb in Menaggio (which is on Lake Como). The lake is shaped like an upside down “Y” and we were to the west of where it splits. Airbnb isn’t for everyone, but we like to try it out if we don’t feel we are getting a good value for our reward points on hotel stays. We loved our Airbnb in Florence, and the Lake Como view was unbelievable. On our first night, Cain and I both fell asleep on the sectional just looking out at sparkling lights on the lake. I woke up while the sun was rising and it took my breath away.
To be fair, I was a little hesitant about using Airbnb in a foreign country, but it seriously exceeded my expectations. We enjoy cooking and put the villa’s kitchen to work. The roads were an absolute zig zag and I didn’t have enough Dramamine to go out to eat every night; therefore, dinner was usually ‘at home.’ We had an open floor plan, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that overlooked the lake, and an outdoor patio all to ourselves. This was all for less than $300 a night and it accommodated our entire party. I can’t help but believe that a hotel in Menaggio would have been a bit tighter on the purse strings.
WHAT TO DO (in my unofficial opinion)
Como was our final stop in Italy, and after the hustle and bustle of Venice, we wanted to Como and chill. We ate authentic, home-cooked meals overlooking the lake, drank bottles on bottles of wine (maybe I had some rosé, heyyy), and enjoyed each other’s company. My family and I live far away from one another in the States, so this time together was priceless.
As far as watching TV, it was all in Italian, except for BBC. Quite frankly, I didn’t care to watch the news on vaca, so the semi-digital detox was nice in itself.
2. Take a trip to Lugano, Switzerland
As it turns out, Lugano is only 45 minutes-ish away from Lake Como. Grab your passport and head for the border! Cain and I unexpectedly checked another country off of our list and it was the best.feeling.ever!
We had no idea Switzerland was so close, but indeed it is. The drive is gorgeous, and if you get carsick, just have Dramamine on hand; you’ll be good to go.
We stayed in Lugano for the day and had lunch. Walking around the downtown area was all we were able to really do because we went on a Sunday. Everything is closed on Sundays, so try to plan accordingly.
3. Explore Menaggio
Our Airbnb was actually in Menaggio and we loved it. The downtown area had lots of cute little shops, cafés, and restaurants.
The area was walkable and just plain beautiful. Definitely stroll over to a local cafe in the morning and grab a pastry and cappuccino.
We enjoyed Lake Como on a more ‘low key’ note, but I’m sure there’s more excitement around the lake if you look for it. We were just fine with a bottle or five of wine, lots of pasta and good company!