We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Dawn, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Dawn is from Scotland, and submitted the following report about her trip to Lake Como. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Italian, English
Costs at Destination: Reasonable (local transportation, dining, tours, events, and attractions)
Reasons to Visit Lake Como
I recently returned from a short trip to Lake Como. I spent the first four nights around the lake and the final one in Milan.
I had intended to visit the Amalfi Coast but as the flights to Milan were so much cheaper I bought those instead. Initially, I thought I'd get an overnight bus south but in the end decided visiting one of the lakes would be a sensible choice, as I had never seen the north of Italy. I opted for Lake Como for no particular reason but it was definitely a great choice.
As has become my usual style, this trip was booked over a number of months and changed along the way. I spent the first night in Como. I really liked the city, but unfortunately it was raining when I arrived and got heavier, though it did ease up by the time I arrived at the first ferry the next day. It's a typical Italian town, which after a couple of visits is now familiar to me. After arriving at my central apartment and getting settled in, I decided to have a look around. I took a trip on the funicular railway which goes above the town. It would have been fantastic on a clear day!
The next morning I walked to the ferry terminal and boarded the ferry for my next destination which was Nesso for two nights. The weather had started to clear at this point so I did get to enjoy the view from the inside of the boat, which was a lovely way to travel.
Nesso is a small village located on the east side of the lake, about an hour by ferry. Arriving at the ferry terminal I was glad I only had light hand luggage as there were a lot of steps to get up to the main road. Right at the top of the steps I found a lovely cafe/restaurant where I had the breakfast of a cornetto and cappuccino which I had missed earlier due to having a lie in. Nesso was lovely and worth a visit but there was not much there. There was a good bus service going in both directions so it would make a good base for exploration, but I wanted to see Lake Como from the lake itself. With that in mind I ended up looking for a different location for the next night instead of staying in Nesso as planned.
The next morning I boarded the ferry again, this time heading to Tremezzina, about an hour further up the lake on the west side. As the sun was now well and truly out, it was an amazing journey on the top of the boat. The views on both sides were just stunning.
I arrived in Tremezzina three hours before my hotel room would be ready (it was a last-minute booking so I didn't like to ask for an early check-in) so I looked for somewhere to eat and found a place overlooking the lake. I really liked Tremezzina, it was my kind of place. It was small but with with a choice of several shops to look at and several places to eat. I had a leisurely lunch then wandered along to my hotel at the other end of the village, taking in what I was passing along the way. I went back to one of the local restaurants for my dinner and really enjoyed the experience.
The next day I took the fast boat to my next destination. By ferry, it would have taken two and a half hours, but the hydrofoil took just an hour. All along the lake I could see snow-capped mountains far in the distance. As I arrived in Colico they were much, much closer.
Colico is simply stunning. As I arrived at the ferry dock I looked in the direction I believed my hotel to be only to realize it was right opposite the terminal. It was also right beside the center square of the town. From my room I could see the lake and the mountains. It was another lovely town but this one was less touristy. There were a lot of Italians there who had arrived on motorbikes, enjoying the local restaurants overlooking the lake, as was I.
After one night in Colico my view of the lake was nearly over, other than my train journey to Lecco and then into Milan. Lake Como is the shape of an upside down Y and the train journey to Lecco took me along the part I hadn't seen by boat. Lecco was another place I enjoyed seeing. I found a coffee shop and then a restaurant where I had another wonderful meal.
Sadly, by the time I got to Milan it was a washout and I only got to see one street outside of the train station as it was so wet. It was disappointing but I had enjoyed my journey around Lake Como. Would I recommend it? Oh yes, and seeing the view from the lake itself was amazing.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)