Logistics to Lake Como
The towns of Como and Lecco on the southern arms of Lake Como are about an hour's drive north of Milan, with Bellagio and Hotel Il Perlo on the promontory in the middle about another 30 minutes along the winding lakeside road. There are several options to arrive, from planes, trains, to automobiles.
Milan is directly south of Lake Como and is served by two airports: the larger Malpensa (MXP) and more regional Linate (LIN). Either is good to fly into, but in my experience LIN is very small and easy to navigate, making it much less stressful in the wee hours of the morning. MXP is far larger, with a lot of shopping and duty free options, but makes for a lot more walking when you're catching your flight in the early morning. Another option is to fly into the small city of Bergamo (BGY) to the southeast of Lake Como. Here is an idea of the drive from MXP to Hotel Il Perlo and from LIN to Hotel Il Perlo.
The fastest and most direct way to arrive to either Hotel Il Perlo in Bellagio or Hotel NH Pontevecchio in Lecco is by private transportation. You can pre-arrange the service for pickup at either Malpensa or Linate airports, but will need to contact about service from Bergamo. The shuttle driver will be waiting with a sign when you exit the baggage claim area. It takes about 90 minutes to drive from Malpensa or Linate to Bellagio, and less time to Lecco. The cost is typically around 125 euros and due at time of service.
Italian trains are phenomenal! You can get nearly anywhere in Italy just by train. The Trenitalia website has all you need to know about schedules and stops. If you have a paper ticket always remember to have it stamped by the small yellow or green machine before you board! Or if you are using a smartphone, the conductor can scan your ticket. Lake Como has 3 train stations to note:
- In Como
- In Lecco
- In Varenna - this is the easiest for arriving in Bellagio. The Varenna train station is a few blocks from the ferry, which you can take across the lake to Bellagio. A hotel shuttle can pick you up by request.
Hotel Il Perlo has guest parking for those driving for their holiday. Just note that the roads in the area are extremely narrow (think Roman chariots) and often only have room for one car, but the locals grew up driving these roads and will squeeze through anyway. Also, gas is about 4x the price in the U.S.