Sunday, 20 August 2017

Come Away With Me - Milan & Lake Como

Lake Como
When it came to deciding where to go on holiday this year, we umm'ed and ahh'ed between Spain, Croatia, Madeira, before reading an article where our favourite Chrissy Teigen raved about the glorious Lake Como in Italy, and when Chrissy Teigen tells you to go somewhere, you go...


We flew in to Milan-Malpensa airport on the Saturday morning.  I was the only one who had been to Milan before so we decided to have a quick 24 hours in Italy's design and fashion capital before catching a train to Como.  A trip to Milan would not be complete without visiting the famous Duomo di Milano.  It is one of the most impressive buildings I have ever seen and is a gorgeous piece of Italian Gothic architecture.  Compared to my last visit, it was not as busy, and whilst it had still attracted large crowds of tourists, we did not have to queue for too long to go up on to the roof.  
Milan Cathedral, Duomo di Milano
Piazza del Duomo, Milan
On the roof of Duomo di Milano

The rooftop views were stunning and even though I felt like I was melting in the sun, it was worth it. 
View from the roof of Duomo di Milano


Just by the Duomo is the iconic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a shopping mall and one of the oldest in the world. Whilst we did not do any shopping (I wish I could afford to splurge on luxury brands like Valentino and Versace), we couldn't resist joining the other tourists in taking photos of the iron and glass roof and the mosaic floors. 
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II,  Milan
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan

We headed to Parco Sempione where we went up the 108m high Torre Branca for a 360 degree view of Milan.  I had no idea before this trip that this tower existed, let alone that you could go up it.  The views were breathtaking and for €5, I would recommend a little walk here if you are visiting the city. 
View from Torre Branca, Milan

At one end of Parco Sempione, is Porta Sempione, the city gate of Milan.  The gate is marked by the Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace).  At the other end is Castello Sforzesco di Milano, a red brick fortress built in the 15th century. When we visited, they were hosting a Game of Thrones event inside the castle grounds.  I know absolutely nothing about GoT so had no idea what was going on, but I am going to guess that the fountains don't normally have artificial ice and snow in them...

Porta Sempione, Milan
Castello Sforzesco di Milano
Castello Sforzesco di Milano


One of my favourite things about Milan is the beautiful architecture.  Nearly every street we walked down, I had to stop and snap a photograph of one of the buildings.  
Milan
Milan


On the Sunday we caught the train to Como.  We stayed in a little apartment just a short walk from the lake.  It was small but sweet, and in a perfect location being about 6 minutes from the train station. Como is full of cute streets and squares, a variety of shops including some gorgeous fashion boutiques, restaurants with all the pizza and pasta you could wish for, and of course many gelaterias.
Como, Italy
Como, Italy
Como, Italy
Como, Italy

One of the main attractions in the city of Como is the Funicolare Como–Brunate, a funicular railway connecting Como to the town of Brunate.  After reaching the town, we walked the not-so-short walk to the Faro Voltiano, a lighthouse named after Alessandro Volta.  Along the way, we saw so many beautiful houses.  Even though my lungs were burning by the time we reached the top, it was worth it and the views of the lake were gorgeous.
Como, Italy
View from Faro Voltiano, Como, Italy
Funicolare Como–Brunate
Funicolare Como–Brunate
Walking up Brunate
Como, Italy

We decided to spend a day at Lido Villa Olmo where we could swim and sunbathe. It was your typical must-charge-extra-for-everything place, but considering how inexpensive the trip had been so far, we didn’t mind spending the money.  For example, you aren’t allowed to swim in the pool without a swimming cap, so we all paid €3.50 for one (and we looked ridiculous).  I love holidays where you just lie in the sunshine and read or listen to a podcast, ice cold beverage in hand.
Lake Como Boat Trip

We couldn’t go to Lake Como without doing a boat trip and the day we did was my absolute favourite day of the holiday.  Our tickets cost about €25 each for a sort of hop-on, hop-off service, where we could visit many of the towns lining the lake, such as Lenno, Tremezzo and Menaggio.
Lake Como Boat Trip
Cernobbio
Villa del Balbianello, Lake Como
Villa del Balbianello, where a scene in Star Wars was filmed!

The first stop where we decided to get off was Varenna. We only planned on staying here until the next boat to Bellagio, but we all fell in love with the place.  It was so picturesque and we ended up relaxing at Nilus bar, eating nutella and banana crepes, and taking in the views of the lake.  The water was so blue and a gorgeous contrast to the multi-coloured buildings. Varenna is one of the nicest towns I have ever visited, it didn’t feel like it had been spoilt by tourism at all.  If you are planning a trip to Lake Como, a day in Varenna should be top of your list.
Varenna, Lake Como, Italy
Varenna, Lake Como, Italy
Varenna, Lake Como, Italy
Lake Como, Italy
Of course we selfie'd with the millenial pink wall 

We then decided to hop back on the boat and get off at Bellagio. Bellagio was a lot busier than Varenna, and didn’t have as nice an ambience, but was still full of gorgeous streets, beautiful flowers and the best gelato.  I chose strawberry and melon, it was so refreshing and the melon was one of the nicest flavours I have tried, it reminded me of watermelon sweets which are the key to my heart.  
Bellagio, Italy
Gelato at Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy
Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy

On our last day, we decided to just stay around Como before catching the train back to Malpensa for our flights home.  A newer addition to Lake Como is a big stainless steel sculpture called Life Electric.  You reach it by walking along a pier and whilst it has been considered as having a negative impact on the beautiful landscape, I thought it was pretty cool!
Life Electric, Lake Como
Life Electric, Lake Como
Lake Como, Italy

I can definitely see why Chrissy Teigen loves Lake Como so much.  It is so beautiful, has the best food and you could spend days exploring the towns and cities around the lake.  Being a short train journey from Milan, it would be a perfect addition to a weekend break in the city if you are after a relaxing break with gorgeous landscapes and all the gelato you could ask for. 

Where have you visited this summer? Have you been to Italy before?

I would love if you followed me on Instagram, Twitter and Bloglovin!

Thanks for stopping by,

Nai xoxo 
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12 comments

  1. Wow, your photography of the places is beautiful, I would love to visit one day <3

    Lots of love,
    Agnese | www.agnesehadebe.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Agnese, I was quite proud of the photos I got on the trip and was excited to share them! You should definitely go, it's so lovely! xo

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  2. Oh my god I need to visit Milan, everything is so pretty. I love old architecture! Lake Como has always been on my wishlist of places to visit too. So jealous you got to go!
    Jen, Velvet Spring x

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    Replies
    1. You must go, it is so beautiful! The architecture is stunning, you would love it. xo

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  3. All of your photos are beautiful and it sounds like you had the best time! I would love to visit xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

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  4. Wow Milan looks so beautiful - your photos are gorgeous! I'm heading there this summer and I can't wait.

    www.lilyroserichards.blogspot.co.uk | @bloglilyrose

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Have an excellent time xxx

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  5. Milan is beautiful! I went just two years ago and fell in love. Plus the gelato was so good. It's a shame we didn't go to Lake Como, it looks stunning! Hopefully next time xx

    amerzwithlove.com

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    Replies
    1. It is such a gorgeous city! Definitely check out Lake Como if you can, so much to see and so beautiful! xx

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  6. Wow stunning pictures. We love Milan such a beautiful place. So much more to see next time we go.

    GR | https://www.thegreat.uk

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