We arrived by train in Como at S. Giovani Stazione. I can’t think when I have had a more unfriendly arrival anywhere. We went to the only visible ticket office to buy a ticket on any form of transport to Bellagio. The vile man at the sportello barked that it was for trains only. When I asked how we might get to Bellagio he shrugged in the direction of the nearby bar. When I tried to buy our return ticket on the train to Milan he just shouted at me. I would like to add here that my Italian is quite good enough to handle the purchase of a train ticket.
We went to the bar to buy a bus ticket. When I asked the old crow who sold me the ticket where we could catch the bus or when it might leave, she claimed to have no idea. We conducted our own search and eventually found the bus stop and timetable not 10 metres from the crow’s booth and in her direct line of sight.
The blue 30c bus to Bellagio finally arrived about 1 hour later. One day Italy might work out how to coordinate bus and train timetables – but probably not in my lifetime. Anyway, for the princely sum of euro 2.75 we had a 1hour ride on the bus around Lake Como to Bellagio. It was the hair raising equivalent to the trip around the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento to Positano.
Lake Como is gorgeous and well worth the horrible arrival.
I would like to add here that most people who work at the ticket offices at the railway stations in Italy are extremely helpful and patient. I travel on buses and trains all over Italy regularly and have had few problems. Many speak English – more at the train stations than the bus offices. Always remember to validate your tickets (except Eurostar) before you get on the trains at the yellow boxes and when you get on the bus.
When we left Bellagio to take the train to Milan, the 6.15 bus arrived at the stop at 6.08 and departed at 6.09. Luckily, we were on it.