28 May 2017

#BreadLife Backpacking: Como Away with Me (Day Trip to Lake Como)

A place worthy of a day trip once you get bored in Milan would be: Lake Como (or Lago di Como if you like it Italian) Lake Como is near to the border where Italy shares with Switzerland and Austria. The weather there gets significantly cooler as it is near to the Italian Alps. We went there towards the end of summer and though it was a fine sunny day, when it got windy, we still felt a little chilly. 

Want to find out how to get to Como and what to do there? Read on to find out more!


Getting to Como
We started our trip from Milan Central Station by taking a train to Varenna. There is no need to pre-book your tickets online for this day trip. We just went directly to the train station and got the tickets from the ticketing machine there. Both cash and cards are accepted by the machine.

To get to Varenna, search for "Varenna-Esino" station on the "Arriving Station" box. If you are departing from Milan Central Station, your "Departing Station" should be "Milano Centrale". The whole journey there should take about 1 hour and tickets costs €6 to €8 depending on which day you go there. We almost missed the train to Varenna and I freaked out, big time. Because the time you arrive in Como messes with the ferry timings which I'm gonna touch on, next.

Protip: Sit on the left side of the train if you want good views of the lake as the train pulls into Varenna.

just some views from the train window

Getting around the Lake
I believe Como is like a hot summer destination as there are just so many hotels around. And food in general is more expensive than back in the cities. I can imagine people like the Kardashians coming here to chill and look cute, idk.

Kim K aside, the main modes of transportation in Como is the ferry, motorships and sometimes the hydrofoil. There are even private boat cruises but since we are on #BreadLife, ain't nobody haz money for boat cruises. So we ended up taking the ferry from Varenna to Bellagio for lunch, then Bellagio to Como for some afternoon explorations. P.S. Varenna, Bellagio and Como are all towns surrounding Lake Como.
You may find the ferry timings here. My advice is to plan your arrival and departure timings to and from Como according to the ferry timings. Ferries do not stop at Varenna all the time so if say, you miss the 1130 one, the next ferry to Bellagio would be at 1325. And then you will not be able to take the last connecting ferry from Bellagio to Como after. And tadah, stuck at Como for the night with Kim K and her big ass.

I kid. But yeah my experience with the European transport system has always been bumpy and it is really not fun missing any of your trains, buses as most of them I took are either intercity or inter-country so.... miss them and you may have to sleep on the streets! So be very, very punctual for your rides.

Here's a good website for the ferry timings. Click here to access it. I took the Colico to Como route.

all onboard the ferry, Bellagio bound.

It only takes 15 minutes from Varenna to Bellagio, and we had around an hour plus to play around with before we had to rush off to board our connecting ferry to Como. If Kim K was here I think she would hang around Bellagio. That place is pretty damn posh, and the prices are even more posh, with lots of frenchy frenchy, atas Italian named hotels and restaurants. Tourists here are mainly retirees dressed in a crisp blue buttoned down shirt and a cardigan draped over their shoulders, topped off with a pair of boat shoes.... You know what I mean. 

Cheapest thing we could find apart from bread (actually I really hate eating bread apart from having it for breakfast) would be pasta. If I remember correctly, this was €12.

We only had some handful of time left after lunch for a quick photo stop along the Bellagio waterfront before heading off on the ferry to Como.

Please Note: The cruise is not a straight service to Como from Bellagio. 

It stops at multiple points before reaching Como. I believe the journey took around more than an hour. It was REAAAAAALLY long, but the scenery was really great. However towards the end I got a little sick of seeing lakes and more lakes and houses by the lakes. Yup, you get what I mean.

We finally reached como after an eternity later and after Sheri finished her long food coma slumber. After walking around the waterfront of Como and locating the train station to take the train back to Milan, we noticed a funicular station from afar and decided to go on it! One-way costs €3 and a return ticket costs €5.50.

There is also a route to walk up but no way we were going to hike up because the sun was getting a bit glaring at 2-3 pm in Italy.

The funicular not only is for tourists, but services the residents living along the funicular line. There are stops along the way and residents do alight to get back home.

Upon reaching the top, there are multiple look-out points that you can go to. We picked a few to go, but eventually wound up at a restaurant to have some orange juice, use the washroom and hide from the sweltering afternoon heat that was getting a tad bit unbearable. 

Don't lose your funicular tickets if you bought a return one because you'll have to buy a new one if you lose it up the hill.

With that, this sums up my day at Como. We started our trip at around 10-ish, and left Como at around 5 and reached Milan at around 6, with some time to spare before I met Gen for dinner and gelatooooo (see my 24 hrs in Milan post if you are interested to know more). My next post would be on my time in Cornwall, UK, as most of the places I visited in Berlin were just me revisiting places I have already been 3420948324829 times in Berlin and I was just taking my friends who are new to that place around + we were in that city mainly for Lollapalooza. You know I'm not a fan of cliche touristy places so.... nehhhhh.

Till the next post!

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