Small town of Lake Como, Italy – Part Two
Lake Como, Italy is full of small towns that are often missed by tourists who only have a few days and see the main locations: Como, Bellagio, Varenna, and Villa Balbianello (all of which you can read about on this blog). But if you have the time and enjoy seeing charming Italian villages then read on.
I have spent a lot of time exploring Lake Como, Italy and I have seen the main attractions and continue to explore the smaller, less-known areas as well. Continuing part two of the small towns to see in Lake Como with the area between Como and Bellagio.
The towns to see between Como and Bellagio on Lake Como, Italy
This past summer I made a point of finally exploring some of the smaller towns between Como and Bellagio. Most of the towns are right on the water as the mountains on that side of the lake are very steep. I did try to drive up to a town mid-way up the mountain but the road proved to be just too terrifying.
Blevio — The main road through Blevio is at the top of the town. The town scales the mountain right to the waters edge where you will find mostly large villas and hotels. I believe this town is more of a secluded resort town, perhaps for the rich and famous.
Torno –This is truly a lovely little town with a very nice square that is actually centered around the ferry stop and boat marina. Torno is pretty flat, other then one main path down to the square on the water.
Nesso is a picturesque town full of stone houses and colorful shudders. This is another town that scales the mountain right down to the water and involves very steep cobblestone paths. I made my way down to the bottom of the town, finding a local beach past the remains of a church (which appears to be a private home now) and a nice café/restaurant before the ferry dock. On my way back up the mountain I came upon two little boys with their grandmother, coming back from the beach; honestly, the elderly people in this town must be in great shape to go up and down that steep path everyday! The town looks to be benefitting from the investment of foreigners who are buying the old stone houses and fixing them up for vacations homes.
These were the towns the sparked my interest. I do recommend stopping in Torno and Nesso for sure!
How to get to these small towns:
Most of these small towns do have ferry stops but not frequently so you really have to check schedules, or you could be stranded in one very small town for hours. Renting a boat and seeing the towns from the water is another nice way to travel and see more of what the lake has to offer.
And of course you can always rent a car, but in order to rent a car and drive around Lake Como, let alone Italy, you have to be prepared for very narrow and very windy roads.
A note on driving around Lake Como, Italy
Driving along Lake Como is a unique and mostly teeth clenching experience. While driving along Lake Como you have to be extremely vigilant of motorcycles darting in and out of cars and the packs of bike riders in their sleek gear and colorful uniforms that you will encounter all throughout the day and on every road and at every turn. Not to mention that driving through the towns on Lake Como means narrow streets between houses where really only one car can fit.
If you get stuck behind a tour bus, you are in a for long and slow ride as that bus tries to scrape between buildings and by cars (literally). Note other driver’s expressions as they see a tour bus or truck coming towards them. In fact some cafes in these small towns open right onto the main street and if they can squeeze a few tables right by the road they do. I honestly think the road side cafes are for the locals to watch the traffic and look for the terrified expressions of the tourist drivers; local entertainment for sure!