Where did you stay in the Como area? I prefer staying in the actual city of Como but may go further North up the lake. I need prices below $150 USD. Is this possible?
Andrea - Just got back a couple of weeks ago. We stayed in Cadenabbia - directly across the lake from Bellagio - less than 5 minute walk to the ferry landing. We stayed at Alberghetto La Marianna - very small, clean friendly inn. The restaurant is out of this world. They have a website - I think that they may close in the winter - email them and find out. We would absolutely stay there again (about 80 euro a night). Have fun.
Andrea: The midlake villages of Varenna, Bellagio, and Menaggio are the classic Lake Como experiences shown in photos, books, recommended by Rick, etc. The town of Como is at the far south end of the lake and does not have these views--it has its fans, too, just so you realize it does not have the views and ambience that you may have seen and have in mind as an expectation. One reason to stay in the town of Como would be to keep the accommodations costs lower. However, Menaggio and Cadenabbia, not as much touted by Rick, might be attractive options for you. Staying in the town of Como has been discussed on the help line recently and you could retrieve these discussions by using the search box in the upper right corner.
My suggestion would be Varenna, as there's a good range of accomodations there (check Rick's Guidebook). It's also very convenient for access to both the train and Ferries. Bellagio is nice also, but a bit more pricey.
We rented a small apartment in Bellagio for 2 nights last Decemebr and paid a total price of E150 for a family of 4. It's in Rick's book - Il Borgo.