italy travel tip: if you’re looking for a chill day, book an excursion to lake como

When I booked this tour, I didn’t know much about Lake Como, other than it was beautiful and George Clooney owned a house there (i.e., only the rich can afford houses there), which seems to be really all that anyone knows about Lake Como. If you’re looking for a relatively chill day, this Lake Como day trip from Milan excursion is the one for you.

We took a bus ride out to Como, where our guide showed us the basilica and told us where we could buy affordable silk scarves (my mom bought two!). Me, I bought a sweet pair of sunglasses, like the ones I’d been eyeing pretty much the entire time we were in Italy (horn-rimmed with sweet mirrored lenses, because I love cool vintagey-looking things). We also grabbed a light breakfast there before heading to the meeting place for the two-hour ferry ride around the lake.

TIP: Don’t lose your ferry ticket. The guide will get very stern with you if you lose it. You’ll need it for the two-hour ferry ride and then another short boat ride later to get back to the bus.

TIP: When you get on the first ferry, don’t bother going to the open area in the back. You’re not going to get the best view that way, unless you’re in, like the first or second row. Otherwise, your view will be obstructed. Aim for seats on the port (left) side of the boat when looking toward the bow (front) of the boat. A lovely couple allowed us to share a table (and the accompanying awesome views).

Lake Como, Italy

Now, I am a lover of boat rides, which you know if you read my post on Gianni’s Capri private boat tours. The boat ride on Lake Como was, however, a little bit boring, if I’m being 100% honest with you. Perhaps it was just a bit too chill and serene for me. Or maybe I was just really tired because we were nearing the end of our whirlwind Italian adventure. Who’s to say?

Lake Como, Italy

But I will also tell you that the “big attraction of the day,” George Clooney’s house, was, as my friend Amanda put it, “the biggest disappointment of the trip.” I think I was expecting something grander, I’m not sure. The house probably is pretty grand—I think it’s all a matter of perspective—but it looked kinda tiny from the water. And as Amanda also astutely noticed, “Homeboy needs a new roof.” But I suppose that’s neither here nor there. (I didn’t even take a picture of homeboy’s house. That’s how unimpressed I was.)

Gazebo in Lake Como, Italy

We were equipped with little radio things and earbuds so we could listen to our guide’s fun facts while we motored around the lake; the earbuds were not so comfortable for me, however, so I took them out, but from what the others told me, I didn’t miss much. I think she may have pointed out Versace’s home at one point? Hard to say—after a while it all started to kind of blend together.

Lake Como, Italy

By the time we reached Bellagio, we were all a bit hungry (and I was a tiny bit sleepy). We lunched at a restaurant recommended to us by our guide, which took up pretty much the entire time we had there. (TIP: It takes a million years to get served and to receive a check at an Italian restaurant—that’s just the way it is.) But I can’t deny the place was freaking beautiful.

After the aforementioned quick jaunt along the water to our bus, we were on our way back to Milan!

I will admit to you, this was not my favorite excursion or even my favorite place in Italy. It’s worth visiting once—I snapped some beautiful pictures—but I don’t feel the need to ever go back. But if you’re obsessed with George Clooney or just want a really chill day away from the hustle and bustle of Milan, then this excursion is definitely for you.

Italy Travel Tip | Lake Como Travel Guide

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