Useful tips for your holiday on Lake Como

Opening hours shops and restaurants
Groceries: open from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM – from 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM. Closed Monday afternoon and Sunday;
Mini Market: 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM – 7:30 PM. Open from Monday to Saturday. Sunday morning only during the summer season.
Pharmacies: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM and 3:00 PM – 7:30 PM. Open from Monday to Saturday.
Other shops: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Closed Monday morning
Shopping centers: always open 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM.

In most restaurants on Lake Como you can dine from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM (usually the chef closes the kitchen around 9:30 PM).
Pizzerias are open until midnight.
Booking restaurants is better, the service will be more accurate.
Tipping is not mandatory, but if you leave it will mean that you are satisfied with the food and service and the staff will be gratified and will remember you.
To experience the true Italian cuisine or the specialties of Lake Como it would be better to avoid too touristy restaurants. Moving inland you can enjoy delicious dinners based on local and seasonal products.

All destinations on the lake are connected by public transport.
Tourism on Lake Como – increased considerably in recent years – has put a strain on public transport.
We strongly suggest that you inquire beforehand about the schedules and periodicity so that you do not have to wait for hours!

Boat – Hydrofoil
The best way to visit the lake is by boat, this way you will avoid traffic and the view of the coast from the lake will be really special.
Tickets can be purchased on site.
The small “boat” is more exciting than the bigger one because it sails closer to the coast, and being slower, the view is better admired.

Buses are cheaper than boats.
Tickets cannot be purchased on the bus, they must be bought in a bar, stationery or kiosk.
To be honest, especially in  the small countries, finding people who sell bus tickets is like going on a treasure hunt …. so better get to the bus stop in time not to risk losing it!

In Como city there are two stations: San Giovanni station (Ferrovie dello Stato) where you can take trains to any destination, even to Switzerland (e.g. Lugano) and Como Nord Lago station, convenient to reach the center of Milan (Piazza Cadorna) or Lecco (beautiful town on the lake that definitely deserves a visit).
The station Como Nord Lago is close to navigation, so it will be very easy to embark for other destinations on the lake. Perfect for an excursion on Lake Como coming from Milan!

In the city of Como taxis stop in front of San Giovanni station or in Piazza Peretta.
The number to call of Radio Taxi Como is: +39 031 261515.
The operators also speak English.
It is not possible to book a local taxi, you can call only 20-25 minutes before your move.
It is also good to know that taxis do not move for short distances and in small towns it is quite difficult to find them.
In case you want to book a dinner in a restaurant that stays away from your accommodation, try to ask them directly, maybe they will be able to guarantee you a ride!
Last tip: try to plan your holiday and your travel in advance, so you can book a private taxi!

Driving on Lake Como
Most of the roads around Lake Como are narrow and with many curves.
These roads are also used by buses and large trucks.
Along the west side (Como-Menaggio SS340) there are some very narrow points at the entrance of the villages of Colonno, Sala Comacina, Ossuccio and Mezzegra.
This street, locally called “Regina Nuova”, is very busy, especially in summer, and you can find long queues due to really tight spots.
The road along the east side (Como-Bellagio SS583), is also narrow and with many curves, but is less busy and in any case requires a slow drive.

Our suggestion is to rent a car not too big and drive without haste.

The speed limit on the New Queen (Como-Menaggio) is 70km/h; in the city and in the countries the limit is 50 km/h; in certain specific areas of high pedestrian or working density, the limit is set at 30 km/h.

Remember that only 0.5 g/l is allowed, or 0.5 g of ethanol in a liter of blood.

During the winter, snow chains are mandatory throughout the area.

Parking lots
Parking on Lake Como is quite problematic and the police do not forgive.
Be careful where you park!
Better to take a few more steps than take a fine!

Emergency numbers
Ambulance 118 – Police 113 – Carabinieri 112 – Firemen 115
When you call an emergency number, check your location.

Mobile phone and Internet
Cell phones have good reception all over the area.
There are some villages of Lake Como and some areas of the city that allow free internet access. Some bars offer free internet access, but you must request your password.
There are some villages, especially in the north of Lake Como, that are not wired for internet connection. In this case the satellite system is used.

Lake is beautiful, with many hidden corners; but the beauties of the lake are not always at hand and require a little effort to be discovered and enjoyed.
Always bring comfortable shoes or trekking shoes to be able to walk the ancient cobbled streets and to go down the old stone staircases.

The temperature during the summer is between 25 and 30 degrees, with peaks around 35 degrees in recent years.
Days with strong winds are rare, it can happen during a storm.
Towards evening, when the sun sets, there is a slight breeze, keep a sweater handy.
If during the day you hike inland to the beautiful valleys (such as the Valle Intelvi), keep a sweater on hand, the temperature is cooler.
A hat will certainly be necessary to shelter from the sun in the hottest hours.
Very useful are the water shoes, since most of the beaches and the seabed are of pebbles and pebbles.
An elegant dress and finally shoes with heels, will be perfect to wear one evening during one of the many events of Lake Como or during a dinner in an elegant and romantic restaurant.

Have a nice stay!

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