This day was a return to Lago di Como, covering a more southerly route than the previous day. After breakfast we loaded up, checked out of the Hotel Intra, and headed west-northwest out Verbania on SS34. The day was sunny and warm, though a lot of moisture in the air continued to obscure the landscape. Near Fondotoce we turned left on a minor road, eventually connecting with SS33 which we took heading southeasterly along the west shore of Maggiore. The stretch between Baveno to just south of Stresa was a parade of stately old villas, many converted to 5 star hotels. The scenery remained pleasant and the ride nice through Lesa. As we rode into and through Arona the area was much more industrial and there was far more traffic than anywhere else in the lake country. This was true until we were past Sesto Calende. We did stop at a cheesy bar in Arona for lunch as a break from the horrendous traffic mess.
East of Sesto Calende we headed northeasterly towards Varese, making our way through a progression of small, indistinguishable towns. We made one stop, at a shopping mall near Daverio, for Sarah to get a Coke which served both as coolant and fuel.
The transition from SP17, taking us towards Varese, to SP65 to get to Como proved to be challenging. The roads were not well marked and we ended up trying several options at one point, and taking a road that looped back on itself at another point. Eventually we found our way onto SP65 and made a relatively quick trip to the town of Como.
Como is large and a bit sprawling. We worked our way, on rather busy roads, to the waterfront area. We took a path along the 'lungo di lago' (waterfront) looking for hotels but hit a dead end near a public swimming pool. We looped back around, and near where we had entered the waterfront area found the Hotel Marcos somewhat hidden from view. We checked in and the desk clerk helped me put the bikes on a second floor balcony over a neighboring restaurant for the night. We cleaned up, rested, then took a walk along the waterfront area. We found a small cafe near the lake, part of a fancy hotel complex, and settled down for some dinner. A gelato and walk along the lake culminated the days activities.
I think this was the least pleasant day of the trip. Other than some nice scenery at the beginning there was not much of interest along the way. Couple that with too much traffic at points, some confusion on routing, and the trip becomes more chore than adventure. If I were to do this again I think I would do an side trip to Stresa and then back to Verbania, ferry to Laveno, then find a quiet route back to Lago di Como.