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One night in Lake Como - stay in Bellagio or Varenna?

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Hi CHers!
I have a short bit of time in Lombardy before I head down to Rome and wanted to spend a night and full day around Lake Como before I take an overnight train southbound.

I found a charming Agritouristic b&b in Varenna that's within my budget but wasn't sure what made sense in terms of accessibility to food and drink - wouldn't want to feel like I'm chasing ferries between 1 town and the next so it would be nice to know I can walk home after a nice dinner and maybe some drinks at a cute bar.

Would I be missing out, or inconveniencing myself if I didn't stay in Bellaggio for this one night?

thanks - you guys rule!

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  1. I spent a week at a meeting in Varenna once and found it very charming. While only visiting Bellagio once on that trip, I preferred Varenna as it was smaller and less touristy. Bellagio will likely have fancier restaurants but I think the area is better suited to small trattorias with honest food and more moderate prices and we didn't run out of such places in Varenna. The best fancy place I went to in the region was the restaurant at the villa d'Este.

    3 Replies
    1. re: gourmaniac

      aw, that's great to hear! the idea of fighting for a table at an overpriced tourist restaurant was also why i was leangin towrds varenna.

      small trattorias are a little more my style - which ones were your favorites?

      also, did you find other cheap/charming places to hang out and eat elsewhere on the lake? i figure i might as well schedule my ferry route based on this.

      thanks so much

      1. re: waxyjax

        Well, perhaps if you were spending a week, your focus would be different, but I did not find
        Bellagio terribly touristy, and I was there for 3 days (though this was in late September, not high season). We stayed at the Albergo Silvio, which is in the village of Loppia, just on the outskirts of Bellagio (within walking distance). We dined there 2 of the 3 nights, and the food was wonderful, not expensive, very popular with locals. The view over the lake is magnificent. If you do a search on this board for Bellagio, other recs will pop up.

        1. re: rrems

          thanks! looks like the place in Varenna fell through...might still look for a place there, but are exploring options in Bellagio and Cadenabbia.

          i already made a dinner reservation for Albergo Silvio :-D !