Driving: A Smart way to get to Lake Como

Smart.jpgFor our most recent trip to Lake Como, we pre-arranged to collect a hire car at Bergamo Orio al Serio airport and drive to the Lake.

The car hire

We hired the car from SIXTI, completing the paperwork and collecting the keys at their office in the Arrivals hall before catching the complimentary bus for a short ride to pick up the vehicle.

We chose a Smart Automatic (which was more like a semi-automatic) because it’s easy to drive in unfamiliar conditions and because it’s cute.

The drive to Lake Como

There are two ways to get to Como town from Bergamo Orio al Serio: a longer, but quicker route using motorways, and a shorter but slower route, following secondary roads.

We chose the motorway, and our Sat Nav, which we’d brought with us, then proved its worth immediately, getting us out of the airport and onto the motorway quickly and easily and talking us through the rest of the journey.

There are some big differences to bear in mind between British and Italian motorway driving:
o Every so often on an Italian motorway, you come to a line of booths, where you either have to pay a fixed fee or take a ticket and pay at a later set of booths. There are different categories of booths for different paying arrangements – you need to pick a booth with a white logo above it.

  • Speed signs on Italian motorways indicate the minimum speed you’re allowed to drive, not the maximum.
  • Italian drivers tend to drive closer to the back of the vehicle in front, which can be a bit disturbing when you are in that vehicle.


As a means of transport from Bergamo airport to Lake Como, a hire car has clear advantages over public transport. You don’t have to manhandle your luggage so much and you don’t have to wait for trains or buses. You feel more in control of your own destiny. But it’s not a good idea if you’re a nervous driver. In that case, your holiday could be ruined before it starts.  The motorway toll for our journey from Bergamo airport to Como was €5.50.


If you don’t want to, or can’t, drive, you can either use public transport or airport taxis

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