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2.5 days Itinerary with toddler

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2.5 days Itinerary with toddler

I'll be travelling with my husband and my daughter (who'll be 18 months old) in the beginning of Oct and will be staying in Menaggio for 3 nights. I was wondering if you can please help me determine if my itinerary is either toddler friendly (also if a stroller would work for any of these attractions). Also any recs for toddler friendly restaurants but have great food?

Arrival Tuesday

-We land in Milan at 3pm and will take the train and ferry to Menaggio and hope to check in by 7pm latest

-dinner (where?)

Day 1 Wednesday and Day 2 Thursday

-how should I split the days? I'm interested in visiting Varenna (Villa Monastero), Bellagio (i Giardini di Villa Melzi), Como (Duomo, Villa Balbianello and funicular railway), Villa Carlotta. Too much? Any other must see attractions?


Day 3 Friday

-eat breakfast in Menaggio (where?)

-walk around Menaggio

-check out of hotel

-take ferry to Varenna

-lunch in Varenna (where?)

-catch train to Venice (via Milan) at 1:40pm

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Amsterdam, The...
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1. Re: 2.5 days Itinerary with toddler

The Lake Como villages are only stroller-friendly at the Lake-shore, where it is flat.

But from the shore, all villages rise quick and steeply up the mountain, with cobblestoned-stepped alleys leading up the mountain...

Villa Melzi in Bellagio reachable along the shore. But the garden is hilly.

Como-city is flat, and the funicular is good too with strollers. But Como city is not that interesting

Villa Balbianello is not close to Como, and it's park is very steep again with gravelpaths. Same goes for Villa Monasterio in Varenna

In general: Lake Como is not stroller-friendly, and yes, your schedule sounds very full.

If the weather is nice you might just want to sit at some little beach, terrace, lido.....!

Edited: 26 August 2014, 09:40
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2. Re: 2.5 days Itinerary with toddler

Thanks! So would you recommend sticking to visiting Varenna and Bellagio? I can carry my daughter in a carrier (when she'll let me).

Amsterdam, The...
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3. Re: 2.5 days Itinerary with toddler

Yes, with only 3 days, focus on Varenna and Bellagio.

Skip Como completely, to far, and not worth it.

Balbianello and Charlotta are optional, but anyway Monasterio is our favorite Villa+garden.

Villa Cipressi, next to Monasterio, is a great spot to have lunch and gives free entry to there garden, which is very pretty as well, and offers great views towards Monasterio.

But again, not stroller friendly. A carrier is highly adviceable! :-)

Have fun, Lake Como is lovely!

Aberdeen, United...
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4. Re: 2.5 days Itinerary with toddler

Villa Balbianello is in Lenno, not Como. Lenno is close to Menaggio, about 20 minutes on the ferry. However from the ferry landing stage you will have a walk of about 30 minutes to the villa. Some parts of the walk are quite hilly. An alternative is to get a water taxi from Lenno to the villa, this only takes about ten minutes, you would have a ten minute walk to the water taxi from the ferry, flat and well paved (smooth). The villa grounds themselves are also quite hilly.

Varenna is very hilly, not even the walk along the lake front would be that easy with a stroller. Bellagio instead has an easy lake front, but very steep alleys up from the front as described by Flexen.

Mid lake area (Menaggio, Bellagio, Varenna, Tremezzo & Lenno) is easily visited by ferry with a frequent service, though depending on the date of your visit the service will be drastically reduced out of season. The summer schedule ends on 5th October.

You can fine the timetable on this link:-


Tucker, Georgia
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5. Re: 2.5 days Itinerary with toddler

The number one thing to do on Lake Como is to take a boat ride(s). I don't mean fifteen minutes. I mean hours. Its possible that you plan to do this on arrival day. I can't tell form how you worded it.

My recommendation for everyone's sanity is that you are back at your hotel for a mid-day nap.

Unless you are a landscape architect or master gardener you are putting too much emphasis on the gardens.

As mentioned above, it is level land parallel to the lake and steep when perpendicular to the lake. If you study photos then you notice that some streets are stairs. This area is labelled 'Pre Alpine' for a reason. The good news is that Menaggio has the largest level area of any town except Como.

Most towns have nice lake-front promenades but Varenna not so much.

Como, Italy
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6. Re: 2.5 days Itinerary with toddler

Hi there.

If you have a toddler and want to use a stroller, then Menaggio is the best place to be. Most of the town is built on a flattish morain so it does not rise steeply up the mountain the way that other lakeside centres do. You are close to the Villa Carlotta, which is stunning and gorgeous and it is quite possible to manage with a stroller, but get the staff to point out to you where the lifts are that take you from the street level to the upper level. Villa Carlotta also has a nice cafe in the old hothouses, which is a large space and quite ok for your toddler to have a run around. From Menaggio, at the northern end of the town you can take the old road around the lakeside for a really nice walk. The traffic now goes through the tunnel and instead the lakeside road has been converted into a path and cycle way. This path goes to the village of Nobiallo where there is a marina (to look at the boats) and a children's playground. This little trip would take you a couple of hours there and back.

Also in Menaggio you will find a 'lungolago' promenade which is pleasant to walk along - there is less traffic than there is at Bellagio. At the northern end you will find 'La Grolla' restaurant and bar where you can sit and admire a fantastic view. A good place to have lunches. For breakfast, you might like the bar 'Chic and Freak' at the other end of the town, across the street from the Intesa San Paolo bank. It looks like nothing from the street, but at the back it has a wonderful enclosed terrace with a terrific lake view. You can sit there for ages enjoying the sunshine and your cappuccino.

Unlike the others I would in fact recommend that you go to Como, taking the fast boat. You will get a good view of the Villa Balbianello and several other sights on the way down. Como has squares, shops, and although it's not the most picturesque Italian town, it does have that town vibe that you may be missing. On the lake front there are new fountains for children to play around in, if the weather is warm enough.

Here & There
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7. Re: 2.5 days Itinerary with toddler

Yes cpdp98, Menaggio is truly your best base, so you have selected wisely.

You could use the stroller in Varenna for some of the time.

Take the route from the harbour to the main street following the indications for the train station, but then turn right on the main road through town to Piazza S. Giorgio. Continue a bit further for the Villa Monastero.


You would require a carrier in the gardens, and also for lunch.

Borgovino is delightful, but consider lunch at Hotel du Lac.

If the weather would cooperate, you could enjoy the outside terrace, and if not, there's room inside for your toddler to have some space.




8. Re: 2.5 days Itinerary with toddler

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