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I liked Lake Como, perhaps more than I expected to. It’s very lush – a tropical climate in the Alps, the highest point north where olive trees thrive. Palms galore.

We booked at the very last minute, and didn’t make all the right choices. I think you either go full-five star experience, or skip the bigger hotels entirely and treat it like a casual destination. Everything in between is not great. Expect crowds, and ridiculous prices.

Bellagio

I’m not sure if you’re supposed to like Bellagio, but we had a great time wandering the streets & around the island. It wasn’t particularly crowded, likely due to Covid and an early start to the day. I’d consider staying in the area next time. If you stop by the TI, they have good recommendations for 1 and 2 hour walks. **Giardini di Villa Melzi is worth a peaceful stroll.

Lunch at **Ristorante Bilacus was fine. I’ve had better meals, but the service is good and they’re very accommodating for picky eaters.

A few potential options from our walk: Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni was the super big bucks lodging option and looked very elegant. Residence La Limonera was a very central and affordable apartment option. Pescallo was appealing, including Hotel Ristorante La Pergola.


Cadenabbia

We stayed at *Grand Hotel Cadenabbia – skip it. Very tired and understaffed, a loud location on the main road. Terrible breakfast. Nearby, we had a very casual, but not bad meal at **Rodrigo Ristorante Pizzeria.


Como

Como is quite cute. I wouldn’t stay there – very crowded, no view of the lake from within the town – but it’s packed with shopping and great restaurants. ***Numeronove was a standout, elegant patio and amazing pizza.

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