Lake Como was by far the destination I was most excited for. I had seen the serene beauty of the lake before, not in person, but in some of my favourite movies. It is the backdrop to some of the scenes in Casino Royale (the Villas) and Star Wars (Naboo), while also widely known is the fact that George Clooney owns a Villa by the Lakeside. You can see the landscape change as you approach by train from Milano as the mountains rise either side of you, standing majestic in the distance, my thoughts were instantly ‘I have to climb that. I need to see the view from up there.’
The train stops at Varenna, one of the three towns situated around the center of the lake, the two other towns being Bellagio and Mennagio – the latter of which is where I stayed. A short ferry ride across the lake I arrive and check in to my hostel, before having some lunch in town and sending off some postcards of the amazing views back home.
The Mennagio Youth hostel is one of my favourite places I stayed for many reasons. First of which, the people there were amazing and very friendly (quite sad we didn’t all get a picture together), most of all Harry and Paul, best bros from Australia. We ended up getting along very nicely, turns out Paul goes to uni down the road form where I live back home! The host, Fabio was also very welcoming and not only taught us lots of Italian but showed us the best things to do while we were here, including how to hike to the top of that mountain, Monte Grona.
It’s already late in the day so we decide to postpone the hike (most of the hostel now wants to come along, the more the merrier!) until tomorrow and instead have a home cooked dinner at the hostel. What came out from the kitchen blew my mind considering we only paid 10 euros for a 3 course meal – an excellent chicken pesto pasta, a monstrously delicious lamb shank, and a crispy apple strudel for dessert. Food coma for days…