A Day Trip to Lake Como is easier than you might think from Milano, and a simply delightful experience. Hop on a train and head for the town of Como, and the overlooking Brunate with vast views over the lake.
On our last trip to Italy my husband and I flew in and out of Milan, so that he could visit old friends and stomping grounds from his studies there. We wanted to see the lake, and on our last day, a rainy mess looking at the forecast, we decided to chance it and purchased our tickets anyway.
The town of Como is a short train ride away, and you can easily find walking paths around the like in both directions. We first went to the left once we reached the lake, and enjoyed a lovely break in the rain, the scent of wisteria even stronger after passing showers.
Villas and gardens line the path. Wisteria, hydrangeas, scents, and colors immediately begin to melt your heart. From a lakeside bench, we spotted a funicular on the other side of the lake, and decided to head right this time and find out where it went. The views would have to be spectacular!
The funicular is surrounded in windows, so the view expands with each passing foot as you rise. Get a seat in the front if you can, and have your camera ready.
The sun was shining and it was lunchtime when we reached the top. We saw a charming garden, dripping with flowers and a few leftover rain drops. We didn’t care, we were sold. The waiter came right to us, told us we were welcome to sit outside, he would help us collect our things and move inside if the weather turned.
The rich bouquet of Nebbiolo had just reached our noses when the rain began to fall. This is where Italian people shine. Before we even noticed the rain, our waiter had our delicious plate of cheeses in one hand, wine bottle in the other and welcomed us inside.
Inside, the view was just as spectacular. Another group of quite loud, and somewhat obnoxious people had come in right behind us and asked for a table with the view. He told them he was sorry, but it was already taken, and marched us right to the picture window to watch the clouds and fog descend over the lake.
Did you know Nebbiolo gets its name for the fog in the area?
Menus in hand, we were reading over things we have never seen before or since. I ordered the exquisite “taglierini di mirtillo al profumo d’arancia”, in English pasta with blueberries and the perfume of oranges, their zest elegantly sprinkled on top. Perfect, of course with the Nebbiolo.
We must have sat there for hours, dining, drinking, enjoying, watching the clouds come and go, the lake appear and disappear in the distance.
When the weather cleared, we followed a path up with more incredible views, fountains and sculptures dotting the way. The next shower came stronger than the first and we found a little bed and breakfast to run into and hide. Another jewel.
The owner welcomed us and proceeded to show us his view, and tell us how they always look forward to New Years Eve here above the lake. You look down on the fireworks, he tells us, you see them twice, from above, and from below as they twinkle in their reflection on the water. We promised ourselves we must experience this someday.
You will never want to leave, but when you must, simply find your way back to the train station. Before you know it, you’re back in Milano, back to the city and it’s own treasures. We still had time to visit the Duomo, but that’s a story for another day!
So, if you find that flights are cheaper in and out of Milan, and are not sure what to do that last day, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us, and let us help you organize a day you will never forget. It just might end up being your favorite day in Italy.
Lindsay Sinko, PFI Travel, USA