Lake Como in November

Lake Como | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

And we’re finally at the last post of Europe (here are one and two). As I mentioned, we took a train to Lake Como for two nights in the beginning of our trip (after spending one night in Zurich). Lake Como was at the top of my travel wish list for years…my parents and I took a train through when I was younger and ever since then, I’ve been desperate to make it back for an actual stay.

Lake Como, Italy | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

Lake Como | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

You may have heard of Lake Como associated with George Clooney–he’s had a house there for years–and it’s a favorite vacation spot for wealthy Europeans, particularly in the summer. Even in November, the area was stunning (hence the insane amount of pictures in this post!); we had our doubts about going so deep into the off-season, but it actually worked out quite well. The main thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the smaller towns are practically shut down this time of year, meaning hotel options are seriously limited. We stayed at Albergo Terminus in the main part of Como, and it was one of the few hotels open that time of year.

 | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

Bellagio, Lake Como | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

Como, Italy | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

While lodging options were pretty limited, the town itself wasn’t totally empty. There are the year-round residents, and there were definitely some tourists who, like us, were likely taking advantage of the off-season deals. What surprised me is that food wasn’t actually that expensive there, especially compared to Switzerland…for instance, our first lunch cost less than $25 and we each had an entire pizza and a drink. There were definitely times where it felt a little eerily quiet–one night walking to dinner, we were pretty much alone on a couple alley-like streets–but we’d been told that the main part of town is known to be very safe year-round.

Hotel Albergo Terminus – | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

Peek into our hotel room…so cute, right?

Upon arriving in Como, we checked into the hotel, had lunch, walked around, and freshened up before heading to dinner at Bellavista Boutique Hotel e Ristorante, a popular restaurant all the way at the top of a hill. The hotel recommended it and said it’s a “can’t-miss” place for the views, so we hopped on a cable car and went to check it out. The place was so empty when we got there, which was weird, but eventually five or six more parties showed up. It’s really crazy to think that the whole town and surrounding town are jam packed for half the year! Luckily the views didn’t disappoint despite it being nighttime.

Bellagio Italy | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

Bellagio starts here!

Bellagio, Italy | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

Bellagio Italy | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

Bellagio | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

Recapping some of the above to share more about where we stayed, what we did, and where we ate.


We stayed at the Albergo Terminus in Como (the main part) which was one of the few hotels open in the off-season. It worked out really well because this is definitely a nicer hotel that’s pricey in the summer, but the rates in November were a fraction of the price. The hotel and main part of town is about a 20 minute walk from the Como San Giovanni train station–totally doable if you don’t have a ton of luggage.

If you’re traveling to Como “in” season, there are so many hotels to choose from. Be warned that they can be very expensive–the area is known to be a luxury travel destination, after all (remember this post on Villa de Este?)! AirBnB is also very much a thing, and is a great way to get both a local experience and save a few bucks.


I pretty much covered it all above, but be sure to visit at least one of the towns on the lake. Given the quick trip and limited ferry service due to the time of year, we only left Como once. We loved Bellagio–it’s a popular spot across the board, and for good reason. It’s on the larger side and has a bunch of hotels, too, so considering staying there if you’re traveling in-season. You can take boat rides on the lake, and certain towns have some historic attractions so I would look into those. My favorite part was how walkable everything is–whoever first said that walking is the best way to see a city was onto something! Como is one of those places that has a strong culture, and you really can see it by stopping into stores and cafes and chatting with shopkeepers or servers.

Definitely plan to visit a couple towns outside from where you’re staying. There are some historic sites and the ferry–when it’s running regularly–makes it really easy to hop around the lake. I truly wish I could spend a week here in May to explore other spots!


Where to start?! My favorite part of visiting Italy has always undoubtedly been the food, and this trip was no different.

Bellavista Boutique Hotel e Ristorante: The pretty place on the hill, highly recommended by our hotel. The views were incredible at night, so I can’t imagine what they’re like during the day. You take a funicular (little train) up to the top and that’s a fun experience in and of itself. Good–not amazing–food…I’d probably go back for drinks but skip the meal if you’re there in-season and all the other restaurants are open.

Osteria La Tana Dei Pescatori: There’s no website for this place but it’s a true Italian seafood restaurant. If seafood is your thing, you’ll like it! I love how authentic it felt and the portions were really generous. Bottles of wine were also very reasonably priced! I think our whole meal came out to under $80 with two entrees, maybe an app (I can’t remember) and a bottle of wine.

Fresco Cocktail Shop: This place is so cool. Highly recommend it if you’re in the main part of Como at all…it’s basically a cocktail bar filled with locals…I don’t think we saw any tourists. It’s a little out of the way to get to but the whole experience was great. Delicious cocktails served with complimentary little snacks, in a dark, speakeasy like spot.

Far Out (Bellagio): We stumbled upon it and it was nearly full with both tourists and locals, which is saying something given how empty the town was. Turns out it’s rated #7 on Trip Advisor! I can’t remember exactly what we got–pretty sure it was two kinds of pasta–but there was definitely an Aperol Spritz involved :)


I’m not sure what the first place we went to lunch was–it was a hole in the wall spot–and likewise with the al fresco coffee shop in Bellagio. Basically it felt like you couldn’t go wrong with food + drink across the board.

Bellagio, Italy | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

Como, Italy | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

Como Cathedral

Lake Como, Italy | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

So unsurprisingly, I’d completely recommend (and highly encourage) a trip to Lake Como in November–it’s truly a dream, and I haven’t seen a place like it. Going in November was definitely a different kind of experience, but it was hard to complain about being able to feel like you had most of Bellagio to yourself, shared only with the people who arrived on the same ferry for the day, and be able to trudge up and down the hilly town without sweating in the 90+ degree heat. I’ll definitely be going back in the summer some time, but these will more than do for now…I think!

As always, let me know if you have any more questions (email is great, too! and hopefully you’re sold on adding this charming spot to your travel list as well :)

 | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

 | Lake Como in November featured by popular DC travel blogger, Monica Dutia

Photos by Monica Dutia

Leave a Comment


  1. I’ve always wanted to go Lake Como, and this post makes me want to visit even more! Sounds like visiting on the off-season is amazing, I’ll have to consider it! x

    Posted 2.16.17 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      It’s really hard not to want to go back ASAP…I have to keep reminding myself there are so many other bucket list places to hit!

      Posted 2.21.17 Reply
  2. Debbie wrote:

    I want to go too! It looks beautiful and I love seeing your photos. Thank you for sharing!

    Posted 2.16.17 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Thanks for stopping by, Debbie! Hopefully you can plan a trip there sometime in the future :)

      Posted 2.21.17 Reply
  3. Jeni wrote:

    I am heading to Lake Como in mid-November for four nights. I know it is way in the off season, but I’m prepared for the quiet and chilly weather. Sounds amazing, with no tourists! :-)

    Posted 10.20.18 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      I’m so jealous, Jeni! You’re going to have the best time. Thanks for dropping me a note…I’m re-reading my post and seriously missing it :)

      Posted 10.23.18 Reply
  4. Anuradha wrote:

    Hi Monica, we have just a day to spare between Florence and Milan on the 5th of November. You think we can take a day trip just to see the scenic beauty (because I do not want to add more of architecture to the itinerary). Our plan was Cinque Terre but I hear it rains that time. Will Lake Como be a better option? Any suggestion will be very helpful :). Thanks, Anuradha.

    Posted 10.23.18 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Hi! I think a day trip would work perfectly–if you have a car, consider going to one of the towns around the lake but check to see what’s open. You can definitely go to Como proper (where we stayed) but we loved Bellagio, too. It’s just much easier to get to the main town via train if you aren’t driving in!

      Posted 10.27.18 Reply
  5. Marieli wrote:

    I want to go to Como so bad . We will be staying in Luzern, Switzerland . Is there a way to go to Como by train?

    Posted 3.24.19 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Yes, the train system is very robust! My guess is you’ll want to take a train from Luzern to Zurich and then to Como, but I’d do some research to double check!

      Posted 3.26.19 Reply
  6. Marieli wrote:

    Hi Monica , lovely article and thanks for sharing your experience . My husband and I will be going to Lake como this November and I read some reviews that said there is absolutely no ferry service this time of the year . You mentioned it is limited , does that mean we’ll only be able to catch it at a certain time of the day?
    Thank you!

    Posted 8.20.19 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Hi! You guys are going to have a great time! I would check the ferry schedule itself–I went three years ago so it may be different now! If you’re staying at a hotel, the front desk or concierge there could probably help and if you’re staying in a rental, I’m sure the host will know :)

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  7. Shalini wadhwa wrote:

    Nicely explained.just wanted to know how did you visit Bellagio since most tours (ferry ) mention that Bellagio your are only till Oct 31 St .we are travelling in nov

    Posted 9.2.19 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      I visited three years ago, so things may have changed! I would check the most updated schedule or check with your hotel/rental property contact if you need further clarification.

      Posted 9.2.19 Reply
  8. Zsuzsa Voros wrote:

    Hi Monica, we are moving back to Europe after living 8 years in Australia and we decided to take a month break in Como with our 2 yo daughter from mid-November. We just booked our airbnb this morning, so we are super excited but a bit scared because of the weather – we havent had a winter since 2013 and that was a mild one too :) anyway, just wanted to let you know that I loved your blogpost, very informative, and made me relax a bit about our autumn- winter trip. we are foodies too so hopefuly we can visit a few places of those you have visited. :) hope you are well. Take care, Zsuzsa

    Posted 9.12.19 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Hi Zsuzsa–

      Thank you so much for reading and writing in! I’m so happy to hear this :) I can imagine those concerns after moving from Australia, but you’re going to have such a great time! Enjoy your vacation!

      Posted 9.13.19 Reply
  9. Donna Koester wrote:

    You have been very helpful. We are coming November 26th to Lake Como. Will places to stay and eat and tour still be opened this time of year. This is our first trip to Italy. Will we be able to ferry between towns on the lake?
    Thank you

    Posted 10.1.19 Reply
    • Angel wrote:

      Hey Monica, your blog post was so helpful and eased my uncertainty about a Lake Como trip in Nov! I am from NYC and currently on the Milan leg of my 2nd trip in Italy with my husband and 5yo. Stumbled upon your post last night and made the decision to do a day trip to Lake Como today (11/13 @53^F degree weather) on the train!

      Donna: rest assured tons of places are still open this time in November and remain active in the town of Lake Como. Though many of the famous hotels/restaurants might be closed for the winter season, but plenty others remain open with selective hours. After all, there are roughly 800,000+ local residents that still need to be fed and go about their daily lives here ;) We took a 45mins train ride in from Central Milan and got to “Como Lago” station just before 11am (the train was 85% full!) Everything in town is super walkable and accessible. Once off the train, we walked to the scenic lake side for pics and then hop onto the tram (which runs every 15mins for 5.50€ round trip) to get to top of the mountain. It’s definitely an experience not to be missed. The panoramic view of Lake Como! Also there are still some amazing restaurants open up top (walking required) for lunch/dinner.
      I agree with Monica’s sentiment that Nov is actually more favorable time to visit Lake Como consider the off-season prices and way less luxury tourist crowds (though it was pretty full for me today where we had to wait for the trams and in-town shops). I can’t imagine walking those hills in 90+ degree in sweat and deal with the summer crowds!) however, Do check for schedules of train/ferries/restaurants. Ferries are still running daily with limited services (instead of every 30mins, it might be 1 to 2 hours in between). As a New Yorker, visiting Lake Como in November is a much welcomed pace for sure!

      Posted 11.13.19 Reply
      • Monica wrote:

        Angel, thank you so much for taking the time to write this!! I’m so glad you had such a nice trip and appreciate you sharing a more recent take on Como in November. I really can’t wait to go back! Happy holidays :)

        Posted 11.23.19 Reply
  10. Ankita Kashyap wrote:

    Hey Monica!
    Your blog is so helpful and full of all the needed information about Como in November! Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    Posted 11.1.19 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      So glad to hear it! Hope you have a great trip!

      Posted 11.10.19 Reply
  11. Let Dean wrote:

    We will be heading to Lake Como this Sunday. Is the train station from Como San Giovanni far from Bellagio?

    Posted 11.14.19 Reply