Getting to Lake Como

lake como, lago di como, map, lake como mapAnna Shetty’s friend who had just recently returned from an Italian holiday told us that we just had to visit Lake Como. So that’s what we decided to do.

Situated to the North of Milan ,which is currently sweltering under tropical temperatures the likes of which haven’t yet been seen in Mumbai , we decided to travel up to the mountains to this famous lake.
Getting to Lake Como was simple enough with train tickets bought on line via the Trenord website which is the site for booking local train tickets. Milan is very easy to navigate even with a baby in a pram so we put Wow Dinga in his pram and set off to the station. It took us an hour to get to Lake Como from Milan in a train which was distinctly filled with other holiday makers with similar intentions of escaping the heat of the plains. Unfortunately Lake Como wasn’t any cooler and the rains that were forecast were not even a cloud in the sky.

The Temple dedicated to Alexander Volta
Admission E 30 per person
The train station on the right and the town on the left

Lake Como as you can see from the map is a tripodal lake  with Como at the left leg, Bellagio in between the two legs and Lecco on the right leg.

Since we had Wow Dinga in  tow, we wanted to keep our trip simple and hadn’t made any plans on what we’d do once we reached Como. That I realised was a big mistake.

The dancing fountains in the public park
which provided so much relief
 from the pelting sun

Even if you are traveling with an infant, it would do you good to check out the stuff that one can do and how to go about doing it just incase everything falls into place. Because Como is not one of those places where you can ask anyone anything because no one understands English and all the information is available in Italian.

While all travel sites recommend several activities like visiting the Silk Museum, taking a boat ride, walking along the many treks, visiting the Cathedral, visiting the local museum, we did the most obvious and simplest which was walking around the lake side in a beautifully laid out park where we stopped for a hot dog and water. We then wandered around to the Volta Temple dedicated to a son of the soil Alexander Volta who invented the electric battery. We also walked through an interesting memorial dedicated to the resistance to WW2 and finally made our way to the Funicular on the other side of the lake. If you have limited time as we did, I would suggest you take take the road to the right as soon as you get out of the train station and walk into the town for a quick see of what Como is all about.

One of the pretty cafes around the lake side. Don’t get fooled by their “posh” look : meals here are more affordable than at the cafes on the top so it is worthwhile considering having a bite here. Some cafes also offer free wi-fi so that you can catch up with the world you left behind while downing some gelato

Also don’t think that the top of the mountain is all there is at Brunate. There is a fountain dedicated to the 6 time winner of the Tour de France winner from this region. Obviously worth seeing since it predates winning by doping. There are plenty of trails to walk down

We were the last to get onto the train and had no option
but to sit out front. It turned out the best view ever!
The famous funicular to Brunate which is a fantastic experience!
Tickets cost E5.25 for a return ride with rides starting from 6 am

Then make your way down the waterfront to the Funicular, go up for a ride, have lunch , wander a bit before coming down and taking a boat ride to Bellagio. This is a two hour ride one way so make sure you have four hours to spare for this trip. For details on how to get there, do visit this website.

Unfortunately we had to cut short our visit to Lake Como and forgo the boat ride because it was beastly hot. Since two gelatos each did nothing to cool us down we decided to take an earlier train back home.

We went to the station prepared to give a long explanation and ready  to beg for a seat but were pleasantly surprised when a young girl behind us in the queue offered to translate our problem to the obdurate ticket vendor and were even more shocked when we found that we could use those same tickets for an earlier train ride! 

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A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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