Cool places we went

This year, for the second year running, we have had our two young grandsons with us on holiday for a week on the lake. Tom is four and Will is just coming up to eight. There is loads and loads for adults to do on and around Lake Como, but it’s not always so easy to find things that the children love.  However… these definitely passed the kid quality test.

Castello di Vezio, Varenna – a challenging walk up from the ferry port at Varenna, but so worth it when you get there, for the stunning view, for the magnificent birds of prey, and most of all for the tower. Climbing up the inside is thrilling for children and scary for grown-ups!  An interesting place with a wealth of atmosphere, and excellent value for money.

Jungle Raider Park – this is a rope park high in the pine trees on the northern slopes of Monte San Primo, on the Triangolo Lariano, above Bellagio.  It is about a half hour drive from the ferry at Bellagio. Information services (apart from this one!) will tell you that it’s in Civenna.  Well, in fact you need to drive straight through Civenna and on to Magreglio, where the famous shrine to cycling is, and just opposite the Ghisallo Chapel, take a right turn and start snaking up the hill. It’s quite a long way and you may think you’re never going to get there before somebody gets car-sick.  But when you get there it is worth it. There are well-staffed and well-organised rope challenge courses for children from 3 years up to adult.  You can get very scared indeed on the higher courses, but safety is a primary consideration.  Will had a great time taking on the challenge, and Tom, who was a bit more cautious, enjoyed watching.  From €10.

Lido di Cadenabbia – arriving back from Bellagio we parked up and took a look at this newly-refurbished lido, which is run by the Hotel Britannia across the road.  It retains all its original 1930s glamour and charm and has been done up very sympathetically.  Admission is just €5 to the public and the pool has a constant depth of 1.4 metres, so children can swim lengths confidently. Changing facilities are good, and sunshades and loungers are also €5 each. It is right on the lake and, sitting with a cold drink on the terrace, you can feel like a movie star.

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