A Travellerspoint blog

Lake Como

rain

The third and final leg of this trip was on a train going north from Milan to the city of Lecco.

Lecco is one of many towns and cities located on the shores of the famous lake Como. Being so far north and close to the Alps makes weather unpredictable. When we got off the train it was drizzly and misty, visibility was poor and my jumper was definitely needed. This stayed pretty consistent throughout the few days we were there, unfortunately ruining the quality of our photos. Aside from this, Lecco was a nice place to stay, with plenty of picturesque walks, shops and restaurants, and provided opportunities for some fantastic day trips further along the lake.

The first day trip was a short train journey north to Varenna, where we used the ferry service to Bellagio in the middle of the lake. There isn't a lot going on here in all honesty, but it does offer some nice views of up the lake, and during sunny weather you may feel like your somewhere on the Mediterranean, and not 10 miles east of the Swiss border. There are some nice shops and traditional Italian cafe's on the shores here also.

After one day staying in Lecco, our final full day of the holiday featured another train journey- this time west to Como where the lake ends. Both of these journeys were very scenic at times, so make sure to properly take it in. Once again it was a very misty day and views were not as good as they could have been. Como offers some potentially great walks along the lake, where you can find boats, sea planes, and multiple villas built by the water. Walk round to the eastern shores of the lake and you'll come across the main tourist part where you can find restaurants and boat hires. Hidden within the very Italian buildings you will eventually find the funicular railway which takes you high up the onlooking mountain, whilst providing wonderful views of the city below. Even further up this mountain is Faro Voltiano, a climbable lighthouse with panoramic views of lake Como and the Alps. To get here you either walk up a very steep hill for a couple of miles- or just get the bus. Views from up here are very weather dependent, and we were ultimately in the clouds and couldn't see much at all.

And that concludes lake Como, and concludes our trip to Italy as a whole. It definitely had its high and low points but overall a great experience.
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Posted by Robhall 01:03 Archived in Italy Tagged landscapes mountains lakes boats trains city como lecco Comments (0)

Milan

sunny

After 3 days in Turin, we got on one of Italy's not so great trains and headed towards the economic capital of Milan. I had high hopes for this part of the trip and to put it simply it did not disappoint. Milan felt how a city should feel like; lots going on with things to see everywhere you look.

Being a football fan i couldn't wait to see the iconic San Siro stadium before it gets demolished in the near future. As soon as you come up from the subway you'll be amazed by the sheer size of it, and pictures of it will not do it justice whatsoever. Unlike the Allianz stadium in Turin, the tour of the San Siro is absolutely worth it, self guided, no rush, and access to most areas including the changing rooms of both AC and Inter Milan.

If you are lucky enough to watch a game here, there are a few things worth noting. Watch out for the people that try to force you into buying a friendship bracelet. If they try to give one to you just walk off. This applies to most of Milan as these weirdos will spend all day at all tourist attractions because they have nothing better to do. Public transport will be very busy on a match day, so plan in advance. Smoking is also a common theme in Italy, and unfortunately this is allowed in stadiums meaning you are likely to be surrounded by smoke all game.

There's a lot to do in Milan but not a lot of point in listing them all one by one. There's loads. Everywhere you look there is something worthy of a photo. But if your just passing through and have an hour or so to spare, the Duomo di Milano is an absolute must visit. Located slap bang in the center of Milan, this is arguably the most iconic building in the city. Security here is understandably strict so expect many items, such as a small football that everyone obviously carries around with them, not to be allowed in. It will also most likely be very busy here, making it a prime hotspot for those bracelet sellers i mentioned earlier.

As i said before there's no point in listing every tourist attraction in Milan because there is simply too many. It is a great city with historically significant buildings around every corner, and that's not to mention the amount of shops and food outlets on display. There is so much on offer in this incredible city, and i can guarantee there is something for everyone.

Next stop: The natural wonders of lake Como.

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Posted by Robhall 20:04 Archived in Italy Tagged churches buildings people football city milan Comments (0)

Turin

all seasons in one day 7 °C

One important thing to be aware of when visiting northern Italy is the weather. Although the country is often seen as a sunny Mediterranean resort, this isn't the case up north. Located just south of the snowy alps, Turin can get bitterly cold and also experience plenty of rainfall.
I went in late October and despite the airport practically being flooded when we landed, the rest of the week the weather was somewhat pleasant. Early mornings had a satisfying chill, and by midday the sun was out and the view was (mostly) clear.

Turin is an interesting city- to this day i'm still not entirely sure what i think about it. In all honestly my first impression once hopping off the airport shuttle bus wasn't great. It looked run down and our apartment certainly gave off a similar vibe. As darkness descended and the rain continued to fall heavily, so far i really wasn't impressed - but as with every city, Turin definitely has its highs and lows. The Allianz stadium, home of Italy's most successful football team Juventus, is certainly worth the tram journey north. the Stadium is nice, the tour? not so, i still recommend doing, just be prepared for ignorant tour guides that rush you around as if the damn thing is on fire.

The south of the city brings you to the river Po and the large hills that look down on it. This was my favorite area without a doubt; the hustle and bustle that you'd expect to find in a major city, the constant sound of public transport, and the historic buildings and tourist attractions in the middle of it all. This was significantly different to the almost abandoned atmosphere that the north of the city offered. I definitely recommend visiting the 'Chiesa Di Santa Maria' for stunning views of Turin, as well as the alps if the weather is clear enough. You can find this by crossing the river and following the signposted road up the hill, to the viewpoint. Also in this area you can find the 'Mole Antonelliana' and the funicular railway that takes you up to the 'Basilica Di Superga', where you will also see the monument of the Torino air disaster. Both of these offer more views of Turin and are a fantastic place to take photos.

I enjoyed Turin. 3 days was enough time to do what i wanted, some people may need longer but it all comes down to what you enjoy doing. Some of the breathtaking views i saw will never be forgotten, then again neither will the first impression i had upon arrival. I recommend visiting, just don't expect clean and modern infrastructure or you may be a little surprised.

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Posted by Robhall 01:01 Archived in Italy Tagged mountains buildings city turin Comments (1)

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