Frequently and Not-So-Frequently Asked Questions
In this section of our site you’ll find a list of common and not-so-common questions are readers have asked us and our responses to their concerns, frustrations, complaints, etc. Please read through the following questions and answers before contacting us as we get too many emails each day which would allow us to write back to everyone (as much as we’d love to)!
Q: How do I get to…?
A: The following page is regularly updated to help you learn everything you need to know about ferry and bus travel around Lake Como:
http://www.comoguide.com/milan-transportation and scroll down to “Travel within Lake Como”.
Q: How can I get from Varenna to Bellagio?
A: You can only take a boat from Varenna to Bellagio. Taking a bus would mean having to go all around the lake! You can get bus schedules at http://sptlinea.it and boat schedules at http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/
Q: How do I get to the famous Villa D’Este?
A: Villa D’este is located in Cernobbio. The best way to get there is to take a train from Milan’s central station to Como S. Giovanni Station. From there take the C10 bus to Cernobbio. Simply ask the driver to let you off at Villa D’Este.
Q: I have not had any luck in finding a bus that goes from the Malpensa airport to Lake Como…?
A: Unfortunately, this direct bus service was canceled years ago. 🙁 You can either take a "Le Nord" train with 1 stop OR a shuttle bus to Milan and then a train from there. Please see http://www.comoguide.com/milan-transportation for more details.
Q: Can we get from Milan to Como by train…and then ferry up to another village where we would stay? ?
A: Yes, there is a direct train from the central station to Como’s S. Giovanni Station. See http://www.comoguide.com/milan-transportation for more details. However, the ferry is 10 minutes walk from Como’s S. Giovanni station or you can take the C10 bus.
Q: Can you please mail me maps of Lake Como?
A: The best way to get free maps is to visit the closest tourist office upon your arrival into Lake Como. Or you can contact them directly (addresses and numbers listed below), and they may be able to send you brochures/maps.
You can also print maps directly from our site using the following link:
If you are interested in a very high quality German map (scale 1:50000) for detailed hiking trails, wind directions, small rural towns, you can purchase one online. http://www.comoguide.com/map-shop.html
A.P.T. Azienda Promozione Turistica del Comasco
Office for the provinces of Como and Lecco
Piazza Cavour, 17 (Como)
Tel. +39/031/3300111 – 269712 Fax +39/031/240111
Ufficio turistico di Bellagio
P.zza della Chiesa, 14 – Tel. e Fax +39/031/950204
Or, for a complete list of tourist information offices, please visit the bottom of this page: http://www.comoguide.com/lake-como-holiday
Q: Where can I buy train tickets?
A: You can purchase train tickets at the train station or at various "Tabacchi" shops (if you require short-distance journeys). One of the most convenient places to purchase tickets is online at trenitalia.it. You can purchase them online, and then just bring the confirmation number with you onboard.
Q: Is my Eurail Pass valid in Italy?
A: Your eurail pass should be fine for travel from Lake Como to Rome but be sure to check in the train station in Milan to see if you don’t have to pay a supplement for the fast Eurostar train from Milan to Rome.
Trains only travel on the east ‘leg’ of the lake in Lake Como, that is from Colico in the north, through to Lecco and finally into Milan. There is also a train from the town of Como itself to Milan (most popular route).
Como to Milan is about 40 minutes.
Milan to Rome is about 4:30 hours.
Q: Do you know if there are any trains (or buses) leaving como for milan early in the morning?
A: I’m showing the earliest train leaves at 8:12 in the morning from Como San Giovanni to Milano Centrale. Try www.trenitalia.it.
Q: Do trains travel between Como and Varenna regularly in the morning?
A: Yes, they do! The earliest train leaves Varenna around 5:30 am. Please see trenitalia.it for details.
Q: Do you know if we can leave our luggage in Stazione San Giovanni ( Deposito di valigla)and go to Bellagio with just a carry on?
A: Yes, they have a “left-luggage office” in the bar of the Como San Giovanni station which costs around 3.50 per day. But, please call them in advance to be sure:
Bar Stazione S. Giovanni
22100 Como (CO)
PIAZZALE S. GOTTARDO
phone +39 031 271045
Q: I’m actually staying in Milan. Is it worthwile to take a day-trip to Lake Como?
A: It is very common for tourists to take day-trips from Milan to Lake Como. The nearest town to Milan is “Como” and it is only a 40-minute train ride away from Milan’s central station. Trains are very frequent and run at least every hour.
If you leave early, you may also wish to visit “Bellagio” which is another 40 minutes north of “Como” by boat. It is one of the most beautiful and charming cities in all of Europe!
You can use our transportation page to get more details. http://www.comoguide.com/milan-transportation
Q: I am in love with Bellagio but it is out of my budget, do you have any suggestions for me?
A: Bellagio is a wonderfully charming, fancy place and it is very expensive to stay in the center. But if you’ll have a car you can stay for much cheaper up the hill near Bellagio – about 3km from the town center. For example Il Perlo Panorama has beautiful, romantic, panoramic views. (They also provide a shuttle bus).
Or if you prefer to be close to the lake you can stay in the nearby town of Lezzeno 6km from Bellagio and have a private beach for a fraction of the cost of hotels in Bellagio. Check out our hotel directory for Bellagio and see what sparks your interest.
Q: Can you tell me more about the town of Lezzeno?
A: Lezzeno is very rural so having a car is highly recommended as buses travel infrequently. We’ve updated the Lezzeno hotels page. http://www.comoguide.com/lezzeno-hotels-lake-como
Hotel Aurora in Lezzeno is the most popular and the only hotel offering online booking that has a small beach area for its guests (Lake Como beaches are generally very small, and are pebble-stoned). Many people have told me that they prefer the forest-view rooms instead of the lake view rooms, because the lake view rooms face the main road and can get noisy in the day…something to keep in mind.
The other two hotels are also both located right on the lake and also have friendly owners. But you’ll have to call them directly to make a reservation.
You can check what the current car rates are going for at our sister site: comoguide.net. In Milan, there is also sixti.com which also offers good rates and specializes in Smart cars, but be sure to read the fine print, as they love to add on many fees when you return their car!
Q: I am interested in renting one of the beautiful villas listed on your site but all of the dates available are fixed to one week periods or weekends starting on a Saturday. However, I’m interested in arriving on a Wednesday, can you still rent one out to me?
A: Indeed, the properties found at http://www.comoguide.com/lake-como-apartments have fixed dates due to the changing rental rates of different holiday seasons. However, exceptions can be made! Simply choose your desired apartment/villa and then click on the "Reserve by Telephone" button found at the right-hand corner of the page and a receptionist will do everything to help accommodate your needs.
Q: Can you help me find an apartment (not hotel) for my entire family as close to the town of Como as possible?
A: Here is one apartment near the city of Como which may meet your needs:
Also, visit our Apartments/Villa page found at http://www.comoguide.com/lake-como-apartments and do a search using the keyword "Como."
Q: Could you please recommend a simple accomodation for bikers?
The accomodation should be located in the triangle between Lake Como and Lecco, and be close to the lakes and nature.
A: You can try the towns of Lecco and Mandello del Lario for hotel accomodations.
But if there will be many of you, it may be more cost-effective to rent an apartment in Lierna.
Visit http://www.comoguide.com/lake-como-apartments and type in “Lierna” in the “Search by Keyword” box.
At the lower end, there is also a great dormitory located in Menaggio that is very affordable and has great views but Menaggio is located more North of Lecco. It is called La Primula near Menaggio (Via 4 Novembre 106, +39-0344-32356).
Q: We are seeking a villa/appartment/hotel near a lively town. Can you recommend anywhere?
A: The most lively towns are Como, Bellagio, Menaggio and Varenna but they have the fewest number of villas/apartments. You can try our hotel directory to search for alternatives.
http://www.comoguide.com/lake-como-hotels There are also a few apartments listed on this page.
For villas, you are best off checking out the northern towns such as Gravedona and Colico. The harbor and lakeside areas are still quite lively (though not as much as the towns mentioned above) with great restaurants and views. Try this page and choose the “search by map” function. http://www.comoguide.com/lake-como-apartments
Q: One of the villas listed on your site says the ‘garden is not suitable for children due to water.’ Does this mean children are NOT allowed to stay in the villa or are they just not allowed in the garden?
A: Children are certainly allowed to stay at the villa but extra precaution should be taken when they are in the garden/terrace areas, as the villa is located close to a steep bank right next to the lake. The owner is simply stating “use the outdoor areas at your own risk”.
Q: Can you recommend the best hotel for me in Como?
A: Unfortunately, we have to remain neutral in terms of recommending an exact hotel. We invite you to browse through the Como hotels page http://www.comoguide.com/como-hotels and see which one you ‘click’ with the most. They are in order of popularity and I can only assure you that if we ever received many complaints about a particular hotel it would be removed from our site immediately.
In general, you can expect to pay 50-100 euros extra per night to have a lakefront/lakeview room.
Q: Is there a website that lists all of the camping sites in Lake Como?
A: Unfortunately, I don’t know of a site that lists all of the camping sites in Lake Como. Most of the camping sites are located in the north of the lake past Menaggio. So the best thing to do would be to contact one of the northern tourist offices so that they can send you a detailed map of all the camping sites in the area.
Here is the contact information for one of the towns very popular with campers:
Ufficio turistico di Domaso
Via Garibaldi, 81 – Tel. +39/0344/96322
Q: How is the nightlife in Lake Como?
A: In general, you won’t find nightlife as spectacular as Milan for the 20s crowd anywhere on the lake. But for a good balance of relaxation and fun your best bets in order of preference would be Como, Bellagio and Menaggio.
Como is the largest city on the lake, so it runs later at night, has a wide choice of restaurants and bars and is more cosmopolitan, yet still has lakeside charm. Bellagio is far more intimate and glamorous with everything just a walking distance away. Menaggio also has some nightlife in the town center (live jazz/rock/classical concerts) but seems to tailor more to the senior crowd.
Q: I want to get married in Lake Como, can you tell me the best way to go about arranging this?
A: How wonderful and inspiring that you’ll be exchanging vows on our enchanted lake!
I can’t think of the best church on the lake as they are all so charming!
There are 3 options that come to mind…
1. Use a wedding agent such as http://www.italianweddingevent.com. I would contact them anyway to get ideas.
2. Research and call the various churches on your own by using http://www.paginegialle.it/index_ing and type “Churches” in your desired city. A handy little map will show you the ones by the lake.
3. Contact the local tourist offices of the town you would be most interested in. They are listed on the bottom of http://www.comoguide.com/lake-como-holiday
We would best recommend towns such as Cernobbio, Bellagio, Gravedona, and Argegno.
Q: Do you know of any cooking schools on the Como Lake?
A: The most luxurious one is in Villa D’este…
Then there’s the Gianni Brera in Como…http://www.centrocasnati.eu/
There used to be a huge school near Bellagio that was undergoing refurbishment but I’m not sure if they are open or ever plan to be back in business. You can contact the tourist office in Bellagio for more details.
Q: Can I rent kayaks in the town of Como?
A: Unfortunately the town of Como does not rent kayaks and not even motorboats. The only have small pedal-boats which won’t take you far! The closest town that rents boats is Cernobbio not too far away, but last time I was there I couldn’t find any kayak rentals, only motorboat rentals…although one of the hotels in Cernobbio “La Vignetta” claims to have kayak rentals. You may wish to contact them directly to confirm this… http://www.lavignetta.it/uk_4
I’m afraid that kayak rentals are primarily located along the northern shores of the lake, that is Domaso, Gera Lario, Colico as well as Bellagio.
Sounds like you have quite a wonderful adventure ahead of you!
Q: Will the villas and museums be open in November?
A: It depends. However, as a general rule of thumb, most of Lake Como starts to shut down in late October/early November.
Q: What is it like to visit Lake Como during the winter months?
A: I’m afraid Lake Como really shuts down during the winter months. Also, because Italy is a very Catholic country, most of the shop owners will be on holiday during the dates you specified. Transportation is also very limited around Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Perhaps a larger city like Milan may be a better choice for you as it has better nightlife and shopping experiences.
Q: Can you guarantee that the weather will be dry in the month of…?
A: Unfortunately, with Switzerland right around the corner, there is no such thing as a guaranteed, dry weather season. Early October and late May are the most notorious months.
Q: Is there a shipping company in Como that I can use to send a package to the US?
A: Yes, there are many of the same services you would find in the US. Check out the yellow pages link:
Q: I’m trying to contact a shop in Como called…?
A: Anytime you want to locate a particular store or business establishment anywhere in Italy, you can use paginegialle.it (Yellow Pages) to help you find them.
Q: Could you please supply me with a list of all the silk tie makers and manufacturers in your region?
A: Try the Italian Yellow Pages. Silk is “Seta” in Italian. http://www.paginegialle.it/pgol/4-seta/3-lago%20di%20como/l-2?
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