Michael and Pam's Travels

Como, Italy. 2018.

Date:  29-30th September 2018

Travelled:  48 kms from Milan to Como. Region of Lombardy, Italy.

Visited:  Como, Lake Como, Bellagio and Varenna.

Stayed:  Como municipal sosta, €12 per 24h, sevices at €4. N45.83498, E09.06071

Budget:  119 days @ €91 per day.

 

Cannot say it was a quiet evening in the sosta in Bollate.  Despite being tired after our full day in Milan, it was a noisy night.  No problems, just traffic noise that continued all night.  It was a Friday night, but we were surprised by the passing traffic.

We had already decided not to spend another day in Milan, it was time to move on.  Frankly we enjoy the small towns or mountain villages more than big cities these days.  After 4 months on the road you get a little jadded.

As Bollate is a northern suburb of Milan it’s a relatively short run on the E35 north to Como.

Another passing comment.  As we leave Bollate we find another cheap servo with GPL, no problems this time and we are full of LPG and diesel as we roll off the forecourt.

 

Get Directions

 

We roll down of the freeway into Como, it doesn’t look spectacular so far.

 

The sosta looks reasonably new.  No water views but its only €12 a night.  Obviously the scooter is off and we ride off to explore Lake Como.

 

We find a free parking space for scooters down by the lake and take in the famous Lake Como vista.  According to the guide Lake Como is the least visited of Italy’s northern lakes.  Garda and Isola being the others.

 

Pam strikes a pose.

 

Villa Olmo is our first find.  It stands on the foreshore of the lake.  Completed in 1812, it has had many many uses.  Currently it’s owned by the regional government and leased as a hotel and function centre.

 

Walking along the lakeside promonade toward the centro.  Yes it ends up being a long walk.

 

The township of Como circles the bay at this (southern) end of the lake.  On top of the hill is the village of Brunate connected to Como below by a funicular.  You can see the line it creates.

 

Villa Gallia, built in 1615.  Another grand house now owned by the regional government.

 

 

The marina and aero club.  As I said it ends up being a long walk, but there’s lots to see.

 

Finally into Como’s historic centro.  Como’s Duomo was originally constructed in the 14th century, but wasn’t finally completed in this style until the 18th century.  We thought it one of the most beautiful we have seen during our travels this year.

 

And best of all it’s free.  Looking forward from the naive to the alter and apse.

 

The Duomo currently has a series of tapestries on display.  This one would be a little disturbing hanging in the lounge room.

 

Standing at the cross-over.  A picture of the Duomo’s central dome.  I notice after the latest OIS12 update a small cross overlays on the screen to help centre this type of picture exactly vertically.

 

The Altar of the Assunta (Our Lady of the Assumption) and the Blessed Sacrament, in the right transcept.  I thought too much bling, but Pam loved it.

 

Enough churches, back out on the Piazza del Duomo.

 

We wander some of the shops before making our way back to the scooter and late lunch in the Hymer.  Then we have a rest for an hour or so.  We plan on doing the funicular (funicolare) and drinks in Brunate.  However this time we ride the scooter all the way around the bay, leaving ourselves a short walk to the funicular

 

We purchase our tickets (€5.50pp return) and just miss one leaving, so wait 15 minutes for the next funicular.

 

 

Off the funicular we have a walk around Brunate which really only takes a few minutes.  This time of the evening the restuarants only offer seating for dinner, but luckily we find one with a couple of ‘drinks only’ picnic tables on the side with wonderful views.

 

Como on sunset, something to remember.

 

Just what we needed after Milan, a quiet night in the sosta.  The morning is overcast unfortunately, but no rain is predicted.  We are up and about at a reasonable time, as our ferry departs at 10.03am from Cernobbio.  Whilst the sosta is in Como the nearest ferry terminal is Cernobbio.  After breakfast we scooter down finding a parking spot just up from the ferry terminal and our second day in Como begins.  We get an all stops ferry ticket for €28pp but find the ferry is 20 minutes late (as were all ferries to some degree).

 

The piazza in Cernobbio, stylish and much less toursity than Como.

 

Noticed this lovely little summer house whilst waiting for the ferry.

 

Our ferry arrives.  We find some good seats and settle in.  The Como ferry is an all stops arrangement and it’s 23 stops to Bellagio which is only half way up the lake.  Tip… get on in the first few stops as it was soon standing room only.

 

Even though it was a dull day we still enjoyed some wonderful scenery making our way up the lake.

 

It seems the big villas are down near the lake but many of the villages are further up the hills.

 

We were somewhat taken by this asian lady, who spent considerable time taking selfies of herself.  Is there an Instagram folder for ‘Best rollers in my hair on Lake Como’ ?

 

George Clooney’s place !

 

Just another random but beautiful village.

 

More than two hours later we arrive in Bellagio.  Apparently the most popular stop on the lake (surprising recommended by the Lonely Planet).

 

Almost everyone gets off the ferry.  So it’s a busy and touristy place.  Then again it has some lovely little laneways to explore and plenty of photo opportunities.

 

Another lovely laneway with my lovely wife, Pam.

 

Our explorations lead us to the church (and lots more tourists).

 

Just a quick look inside, simple but elegant.  The stonework inside is a much darker granite.  Contrast beautifully against the golden altar piece.

 

Another passing ferry.  Lake Como has an old world charm.

 

Bellagio is very touristy and expensive so we jump a ferry (this one) across the lake to Varenna to look at the lunch options.

 

It’s a few hundred metres from the ferry terminal to the village of Varenna.  It’s much quieter over here we get a table at a little restuarant and while away 90 minutes just enjoying the view.  Pam tells me it’s the best soup, since Scotland.  The beer a blonde is a fruity little drop as well.

 

From Varenna it’s the slow ferry back to Como (well Cernobbio in our case).  There are less stops on the way back but it still takes 2 hours.

 

Just a random photo of an upmarket hotel in Isola.  I should add we meet an Australian family, who live near the South Australian/Victorian border travelling on the ferry.  Nice to chat for a while with some other Aussie’s enjoying Italy.

 

Anyway our second day in Como is done.  The weather has held and we enjoyed the vista the cuise offerred.  Off the ferry we are back at the Hymer shortly after.  Most of our neighbours have changed during the day, but that’s the camper-car lifestyle.  We enjoy another wine and beer talking about our day and the people we met as the remainder of the day slides by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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