A weekend in Como!
What an amazing start of my one week holiday..... You know, this is one of the things I love the most about living in Switzerland. You can take your car and go to numerous countries (COUNTRIES!), all within a reasonable distance. To give you some examples, from Schaffhausen, I can be in:
Germany in 5 minutes
France in 2 hours
Italy in 3.5 hours
Austria in 3 hours
Liechtenstein 1.5 hours
Czech Republic in 5 hours
Luxembourg in 4 hours
Belgium in 6 hours
Holland in 6 hours and 40 minutes
Now THAT is what I call easily accessible luxury!!
Well, you might be living somewhere around here yourself and wonder how someone can possibly call this luxury (as you tend to get home-blind), so just as a comparison and to put things into perspective:
I used to live outside of Stockholm in Sweden. If I take my car and drive for 5 hours, I get to Goteborg (see map above). Goteborg, a lovely city - but still in the same country, with the same climate and the same culture (more or less).
OK, that was a little detour from the original topic. Now back to Como, an amazing little town/city with Lake Como as the main attraction of course....but it also has some great shopping, charming restaurants and of course, Italian Gelato!! I am a big fan of ice cream and absolutely love Ben & Jerry's, but must admit that there is something really special about Italian ice cream..... The flavours are sooooo genuine and the consistency is so rich and creamy (it makes my mouth water just thinking about it!)
We rented bikes in town, close to the lake, and went on a little adventure ride with 2 missions;
2. Find a nice area to go swimming: Accomplished
I can highly recommend this way of getting around, for the following reasons:
- You have a lot more access than with a car and don't have to worry about finding parking spaces.
- With a car you can not stop when you have a nice view as the roads are narrow and with a lot of ups and downs. In other words, quite dangerous
and a big risk of missing great photo opportunities.
- Great exercise!!
- You see so much more and in much less time than by foot and with the wind in your hair, it feels less hot ;)
The only thing to be aware of is that it is quite exhausting with all those ups and downs, so if you are in bad shape (read worse than me), you might not want to go too far away in one direction, keeping in mind that you also have to go back again..... Hehehe!
We had chosen hotel based on location (close to the lake and the city) and with the preference of the hotel having an outdoor pool as it is really hot in Como this time of year. We also wanted this at a reasonable rate and with a little bit of research, we managed to find a great hotel that offered exactly this. I can highly recommend it with only one
negative comment about the breakfast: Not very exciting ;))
For us, this was however not so important and it was easily compensated by the pool area that was especially great and we had it almost all to ourselves during Sunday.
If you are, like myself, a big fan of shopping - you will be extremely happy if you are in Como with a car as, only 20 minutes away, you will find a huge factory fashion outlet: Foxtown.
I was there also last year and both times, I left it extremely satisfied with my findings (but it should be mentioned that I also left it with a big whole in my wallet ;)).
The big news this year and the main driver for me to go there again, was that they have opened a "7 For All Mankind" store and I was certainly not disappointed!!
If you are in northern Italy or in southern Switzerland, my only advice to you is: GO THERE!!! Don't miss this amazing little gem of a town.......
We drove via San Bernardino to Como to avoid the huge qeues that tend to build up in front of the San Gottardo tunnel and would also really recommend you, if you have the opportunity, to drive this route.......and here are some pictures to hopefully explain why:
Absolutely breathtaking sceneries!