I knew going into my honeymoon there was a secret destination at the end. I truly had no idea where we were going but definitely gave it some thought. My husband (as we should all know by now) loves finding the logic in everything and with that in mind I had concluded (in my head) that we would be stopping in London or Paris on the way home. Because doesn’t it just make sense to go somewhere that’s on the way??? Well, turns out Italy is kinda on the way home but Lake Como is not. I was shocked to discover where we were going–I didn’t find out until after we landed in Milan!! Yeah, I’m that terrible at geography. So embarrassing.
Upon arriving on the lake (Lake Como isn’t actually a city/town) we checked into our beautiful hotel (The Royal Victoria) in Varenna, which overlooks the lake and some of the surrounding towns. Everything is absolutely stunning! No joke, every door, shutter, doorbell, planter, sidewalk, railing, awning, umbrella, chair, you get it, is b e a u t i f u l ! I couldn’t stop taking pics of EVERYTHING! Paul has a pretty good tolerance for taking my picture often, but after day 2 of stopping to shoot every wall he was getting a little sick of me.
If there is anything to note about Lake Como, it is the endless beauty attributed to the architecture and perfect natural lighting cascading down every alleyway, lighting everything up to that perfect shade of pink and green that you saw all over my Insta.
But, in case you were wondering what else this magical place has to offer, read on:
-There are 3 major towns to stay in or visit when coming to Lake Como–Varenna, Bellagio, & Menagio. Here are my thoughts on them:
–Varenna is where I stayed. It is the quietest of the 4 towns on the lake with really no shopping but lots of great food. I stayed at the Royal Victoria, which is right on the lake and has a very authentic European feel to the place.
–Bellagio is the most happening town on the lake, with lots of shopping (including a Missoni store–jackpot!) and great food as well. The town was much more crowded than the others, which is to be expected with little to do on the lake in general.
–Menagio was a cross between the other 2. Very small but had more shopping and a fabulous farmer’s market selling all sorts of fresh produce, candy, and truffles!
-There is a ferry system that takes you to all the towns and it takes about 10 minutes to get to the 3 listed above.
-A Spritz is my new favorite drink for summer. Rosé is my summer water but this drink kind of takes the cake. It is ice cold, refreshing, and fizzy. I pretty much needed to have these every 15 minutes to beat the heat. Recipe coming to the blog soon.
-Obviously I don’t need to convince you that the food in Italy is to die for. Fresh, homemade pasta, fresh cheeses, the best wines. Each meal is meant to be enjoyed at a slow pace with an entire bottle of wine. My kind of dining!
-We rented a boat one day to explore other parts of the lake and that was by far my favorite part of the trip. Cruising the coast and getting a closer look at some of the villas is just unreal.
-George Clooney has a villa on the lake and it is white with black shutters in Laglio–look at a map before getting on the water!
-Don’t forget to have a gelato like 3 times a day. You will want to try every flavor, but banana is the BEST!
-There is a “siesta” period from about 2:00pm-7:00pm where the restaurants are closed. So make sure you to eat lunch before you’re doomed. It happened to us a lot!
-There are hardly any tourists in Lake Como. You will hear tons of Italians greeting each other everywhere you go, and don’t be surprised if they stare you down a little when you first arrive. Everyone was extremely nice, but you get the feeling that everyone knows each other and will be wondering who the new people are who clearly don’t speak Italian.