24 Hour Travel | Lake Como, Italy (Part 2)

Lake Como is often overlooked on most travels to Italy. Frankly for me, it took 6 trips before I found this gem. Nestled north of Milan among the Alps, this lake has sparkling blue water and snow frosted peaks. It’s easy to see why this has been a popular destination since Roman times. With Lake Como being only one stop on my journey, I had to make the most of the 24 hours I had to explore.

I arrived to Lake Como from Milan and rented a car to stop along the way at some of the smaller towns. I stayed at the perfect little Airbnb in Varenna at the Villa Monti. In the morning, I explored Varenna (if you missed Part 1 of the adventure, see here)

What to do in Lake Como ... Varenna City View from water, Lake Como Italy ... The Spectacular Adventurer

What to do …

Ferry Rides …

After exploring Varenna for most of the morning, I decided to take the ferry to explore the inner lake area. Getting to the ferry dock from downtown Varenna was easy. They have a walking trail along the lake that takes you from the downtown area to the terminal.

What to do Lake Como ... Lake Como ... The Spectacular Adventurer
Outfit Details: The North Face Apex Jacket, Maui Jim Punchbowl Sunglasses, Pashmina Wrap Scarf´╗┐

The ferry leaves about every 45 minutes (see the timetable here) and buying tickets was easy. Since I was planning to go to multiple different stops, I purchased a day pass for about 25 euros. This allowed me to go as I pleased and see as much of the lake as I wanted.

What to do in Lake Como ... Bellagio Ferry Dock, Lake Como Italy ... The Spectacular Adventurer

Bellagio …

My first stop was Bellagio. I took the ferry from Varenna to the town and it took about 45 minutes with a stop Menaggio on the way. Once I was in the town, I got off and explored all the cute little shops and grabbed a bite to eat at a waterfront cafe.

What to do in Lake Como ... Bellagio, Lake Como Italy ... The Spectacular Adventurer

Lenno …

My next stop was Lenno. This was a much longer journey, taking over an hour and half with multiple stops along the way. It was a beautiful ride with many colorful mansions and churches decorating the shoreline.

What to do in Lake Como ... Lenno Dock, Lake Como Italy ... The Spectacular Adventurer

Arriving in the town, I headed straight for the Villa del Balbianello. You may recognize the villa from Star Wars or James Bond’s Casino Royal, but the villa itself has a rich history to explore.

What to do in Lake Como ... Villa del Balbianello Water View, Lake Como Italy ... The Spectacular Adventurer

The villa itself was a 13th century monastery that was converted into a private residence in the late 1700s. In the late 1900s it was acquired by Guido Monzino, the Italian adventurer. It has extensive grounds with many of Monzino’s artifacts from his adventures and you are able to tour the villa to learn about it’s history (English & Italian tours are offered).

What to do in Lake Como ... Villa del Balbianello Tree, Lake Como Italy ... The Spectacular Adventurer

Evening in Varenna …

After a full day of exploring & adventure, I was ready to take the ferry back to Varenna. Hopping on, I enjoyed the scenic ride back. We passed many colorful mansions and castles along the way.

What to do in Lake Como ... Verenna Dock, Lake Como Italy ... The Spectacular Adventurer

Once we docked, the sun was still high in the sky. I decided to enjoy the last bit of rays enjoying the views of Varenna. Taking the walking trail from the dock into the city, I stopped at a little cafe to enjoy views of the lake while enjoying an espresso.

What to do Lake Como ... Cafe Varenna Lake Como ... The Spectacular Adventurer

After the sun set, I set out for my dinner reservation at Il Cavatappi. It was one of the best restaurants I experienced with authentic local cuisine in a cozy setting. Everything was made fresh to order and the wine was exquisite. It was a perfect end to an exciting day.

What to do in Lake Como ... Verenna Town, Lake Como Italy ... The Spectacular Adventurer

Also view: 24 hours in Kyoto, Japan (part 1) and Ferry Ride to Bainbridge Island

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