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Venice and Lake Como

Just back from Venice and Lake Como (4 nights in each). I enjoyed each but wish I could have spent more time in Venice. I barely scratched the surface of this great place. My wanderings only took me around the San Marco and Castello areas. In my opinion, for a first trip I was fortunate to stay at the Fontana Hotel, a less than 5 minute walk from the San Zaccaria Alilaguna stop. I am not sure I could have easily located a hotel further from the stop, especially jet-lagged. On my third day there, I was actually able to help another traveler locate his hotel since I had walked past it in my travels and his map was not very helpful as it missed many of the small calles.
I was a bit surprised by the crowds, especially in September but then remembered RS mention the tour groups from both the ships and land tours. After 5, even San Marco was less crowded. Unfortunately, the big cruise ships are still passing through the lagoon to their moorings. Quite a sight to see but IMHO not a welcome sight. The ships just seem to not fit into the experience. I did break down an take a gondola ride. Would I do it again? Maybe. At the time, it seemed to be a great end to a busy day. Gliding silently around the canals was a very relaxing experience. Food was expensive and would have liked to picnic more but it was hot and I was afraid of spoilage had I purchased food from one of the very few groceries I stumbled across. I will definitely return. I did not get to take a night vaparetto ride up the grand canal or visit all the museums.
Lake Como was beautiful. I stayed in Como at a splurge of a hotel (Metropole-Suisse) right on the water. Como was a definite break from the crowds of Venice. I loved the lake and the hiking available in the area.

Ten years ago I never would have expected to say I would be returning to Italy every couple of years, but I find that after 3 trips there, I have barely scratched the surface of this country.

Posted by
729 posts

I loved Venice as well - am always surprised when people suggest cutting it to one or 2 nights. One of the most easily enjoyed cities , enough history museums or just wander and enjoy.
Agree with you about Italy being a place you can return to over and over.
Thanks for the report

Posted by
8206 posts

I think we've been to Venice about 6 times. We've even been in January when it was freezing, tides were high and they had wooden sidewalks on S. Marks Square--miserable.

Italy is a destination that's just full of great history, art, music, and food. It's the place where modern society began. And it's a place I never tire of.

Posted by
11613 posts

Glad you liked the Hotel Metropole Suisse in Como, I stayed there many years ago when my parents were paying the bill! Now it would be a splurge for me.