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Lake como or Genoa

We are planning a trip to Italy and are now debating between Lake Como or Genoa, for 3 days after Cinque Terre. Then we are traveling to Venice. We are attracted to Genoa because i heard there are these grottoes of Toirano that are interesting (a day trip from Genoa), but i also heard Genoa is dumpy. Lake Como may be too ambitious.
What do you think?

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I travel every year to Genoa for work and although I quite like the place I would pick Lake Como over it any time. Genoa has a lovely old centre of the city but is really quite an industrial hub. As a tourist I don't think I'd spend more than a day or so there. However in Lake Como I stay as long as I could. The towns around the lake are just lovely and Bellagio is an absolute must. Genoa is closer but I go the extra way to Como. For a reasonably priced family hotel try the Villa Belvedere in Argegno. It's easy to get to by the ferry as there is a stop almost at their front door. It's right on the lake and to sit on the terrace at night is breathtaking. I'm sure you'll enjoy what ever you choose.