If it’s good enough for George Clooney, it’s good enough for me.

Lake Como, Italy

If you find yourself backpacking around Italy you’ll normally head to Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice and Milan. One spot left off many backpackers’ lists is Lake Como.

Lake Como has a rep for being exclusive. The likes of George and Amal Clooney frequenting the spot and the local estate agent’s window boasting houses selling for over €1,000,000 would put off anyone living off toast and ramen noodles on their inter-railing trip through Europe. But Lake Como needs to be added to all backpacker guides. It’s a short train journey from Milan – perfect for a day trip with plenty of time for you to pop back to the city in time for evening drinks in Navigli.

Brave an early rise on one of the mornings you’re in Milan. Rent a bike or get the bus to the train station and then get on one of the spacious fast trains destination: Lake Como.

Immediately outside the train station is a plaza where you can enjoy your mid-morning snack before heading off on your journey around the lake.

If your legs are strong enough – and you’re not too tired from the night before, you can cycle around the lake. This is not for beginners- the roads are steep and narrow and you’ll encounter more than one lorry around a hairpin corner. But the views are worth the sweat.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed day you can hop on a ferry which will take you to multiple different destinations around the lake. The ferry is perfect for taking that windswept hair photo with impressive mountains and colourful villas in the background. The fresh air makes a nice change from the gritty air of the cities and the sound of the waves lapping at the sides of the provides the perfect soundtrack as you enjoy your beer on board.

One of my favourite stops was Bellagio. Its brightly coloured buildings, cobbled streets lining the mountain side and the perfectly manicured lawn to sunbathe on was exactly what I needed after a jam-packed few days in Milan visiting museums, scaling the Duomo roof and partying all night.

Lake Como is the perfect spot for escaping the city life.

And what’s even better – you don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy it!

 

Milan/Lake Como Return ticket: €18

http://www.raileurope-world.com/train-tickets/journeys/article/milan-como

Ferry tickets from €8.90

http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/eng/c_tariffe.asp

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