Wednesday 2 November 2022

City Wonders Lugano, Bellagio & Lake Como Tour

When I was planning Milan with my best friend, we knew we wanted to visit Lake Como - as luck would have it, one of my freelance contacts is a tour company who do an amazing full-day guided tour to Lake Como (including Lugano and Bellagio). For full transparency, my ticket was gifted to me and we got a slight discount for Mollie's ticket, which we paid half each for.

Milan - Lugano

We met at Garibaldi station, and our guides had City Wonders flags with them so they were easy to spot. We showed our tickets to Oleg and Katarina, and picked up our headsets. Then we boarded the coach and crossed the border into Switzerland to visit beautiful Lake Lugano.

The journey was peppered with an interesting commentary from our two amazing guides - seriously, we loved them so much and they really enhanced the tour! - and excitement was at an all time high when we arrived in Switzerland. I did have a little nap on the coach, because we'd been up since 5 due to our hotel being so far away from Milan. But regardless, we made it to Lake Lugano and our guides showed us where we would need to meet after our free time here - then it was off to explore...



Oleg had showed us a really fancy Swiss chocolate shop, and I did want to buy some from there but it was *so expensive* and if you know me, I try and travel on a budget. Instead we found a department store called Coop City which had bars for 1-2 francs each. Then we carried on our walk through the cute city streets until we reached the beautiful Santa Maria degli Angioli - a small 16th century church which is home to the most famous Renaissance fresco in Switzerland. It was created by Bernardino Luini, who was somewhat of an apprentice to da Vinci himself. I was SO excited to see this and it didn't disappoint.

We then walked along the lakeside for a while, snapping some photos, before getting back on the bus to head to our next destination! I was buzzing to tick off another country on my 30 before 30 journey...

Lugano - Bellagio

We crossed back over the border and heading to Bellagio, getting our first glimpse of beautiful Lake Como. When we got off the bus our guides handed out ferry tickets to us all, then we boarded a ferry to take us into Bellagio itself. This beautiful lakeside town is full of little boutiques, stunning restaurants, and of course breathtaking views over the famous lake. Again our guides showed us where we would meet at the end of our free time, and then it was up to us to go and explore.


We were pretty peckish by this point, and opted for Restaurante Suisse because they do pasta which is finished off at your table in a giant cheese wheel/bowl. When we sat down there was a little bread basket on the table and we were given still water; we both ordered cokes and the pasta dish. We ended up having to pay for the bread AND the water, so the bill was over €30 each but we just went with the "fxck it, we're on holiday" mindset. The food and staff were lovely, I have to say, and having the pasta served at the table was very fun.

After lunch we wandered around, taking in the sheer beauty of Bellagio, and of course getting some photos of the gorgeous surroundings.

Lake Como boat tour

The last part of our tour was a cruise across Lake Como - we set off from Bellagio and our fantastic guides gave us a brilliant commentary throughout the boat tour. We saw so much, from George Clooney's villa to a beautiful wedding happening at a hotel, to villas used in James Bond and Star Wars. The setting is perfect and there is a lot to discover, as well as sea planes flying overhead - we even got to see one land which was exciting for me as a bit of a transport nerd. The boat cruise lasts around 2 hours, and it's just amazing.

Overall thoughts

Our coach dropped us back in Milan feeling happy and fulfilled; this tour is an amazing experience and well worth the approx. £100 price tag in my opinion. Of course there are cheaper ways of visiting Lake Como but having the combination of free time & guided tours, the expert commentary, the ease of transport and so on - it's definitely a good way to go about it. Thank you City Wonders!

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