Had I not tied the knot the year before, Lake Como would have been high on my short list for a dream destination to get married. Steeped in romance, Italy as a whole is a country that I love, for me, the combination of its food, climate and scenery all adds up to make it my top place to spend a holiday. Having been invited to a friend’s wedding in Lake Garda (the second time we have ventured to the wonderful Malcesine castle for a wedding in 3 years), my wife and I decided we wanted to explore a little more of the region and booked 3 nights in the wonderful Bellagio before we were due in Garda. We flew into Milan and picked up our Fiat 500 rental car (specially selected to add to the Italian charm) and made our way north to Como.
The motorway network in Italy, whilst unexciting and expensive (if you are used to toll free roads in the UK, it’s a bit of a shock to the system), are a reliable way to get from A-B with minimal fuss. We took the uninspiring A9 north from Milan and arrived in Como itself with little fuss. We were surprised just how developed Como was and much more of a city greeted us rather than the anticipated lake side town the pre-conceived images that had filled my head. Como wasn’t our final stop however, so we made our way onto the SS583 and continued north along the coast road from Como towards Bellagio. On the map, this may only be a 20 mile or so journey, but do not underestimate how long this can take. Luckily our Fiat 500 was the right car for the job as the narrow and windy road north would have been tricky in anything much larger. The odd run in with a campervan or truck made for interesting conversation in the car and although not used, the excess waiver protection we took out with our insurance settled my nerves somewhat! 2 hours later, we arrived in Bellagio to be greeted by the quaint lake side town that we had expected and more, a truly beautiful and romantic town with cobbled streets and views to die for. It’s no wonder Hollywood stars such as George Clooney have homes here! We spent 3 days exploring the town and taking in the atmosphere before making our way east to Malcesine, Lake Garda.