I'm hoping to head off to Lake Como in May this year and wondering if anyone can tell me the best things to do and see, where to stay and whats the best and easiest way to get there from experience.
I don't know much about it, all I know was that in May 2007 I got engaged in the Cinque Terre in Italy and love it Italy so much we just want to go back and discover more and more!
Any thoughts, feelings or suggestions welcome...
I'm not sure what your budget is like but staying in Como is more expensive than most other places in Italy. Hell, I couldn't find a single hostel in Como. I'm the backpacking type, so I'm not looking to spend $100+ USD on a single bed hotel room. I used Milan as my base and from there I took a train to Como (appox 45 min). The train has to be the best and easiest way as it's a pretty simple trip from the Milan Central station. Depending on how much time you have, you'll want to go out into the lake on a boat. I bet it'd be amazing! I spent my time must walking around and taking pictures. If you're into fishing, there is a long wooden bridge that spans across a large area of water where I saw locals fishing (I'm not sure where you'd get a rod at though lol). There are also buses/tours that will take you to the sites of Como and the other lakes to the north. Just find the tourism office and you'll be good.
I'm not sure what your budget is, but we stayed at the Eremo Guadio (http://www.eremogaudio.it/index.htm) in Varenna in October and it was really unbelievable. Try to get one of the rooms with a view in the upper building - the fenicular ride is unforgettable and the view of the lake is simply breathtaking. Even the restaurant had some really tasty food.
Varenna is a quick train ride from Milan, I think it was about an hour. Then to get around on the lake just get a lake pass and use the ferry. It was relatively inexpensive and incredibly easy.
Since it was October, there weren't many tourists so I spent most of my time wandering the streets in Varenna and Bellagio, taking pictures, relaxing, etc. It was the first stop on my 20 day trip through Italy and was absolutely one of the highlights.