“When you write the story of two happy lovers, let the story be set on the banks of Lake Como” -Franz Liszt
Found below the Alps in the shape of an inverted Y few places are as romantic as Lake Como. Lake Como is Italy's most popular lake and is surrounded by mountains and hills dotted with beautiful villas and resort villages. You can go on walking tours for an insight into the past, discover your love for mouthwatering homemade gelatos or inhale the wonderful aromas of café found only in Italy. It’s a wonderful climate to relax, take part in the boat trips and water activities and all against the backdrop of this stunning lake and its magnificent villas.
Lake Como is in the region of Lombardy and is part of the northern Italian Lakes District. It lies between the border of Switzerland and Milan at the foothills of the Alps.
Lake Como has a variety of accommodation options, from campgrounds to elegant villas. There is a wide range of places to choose from depending on what your preferences are, here are some of the following; Apartments,
Traditional Italian style flats,
Lake side villas
When to visit Lake Como
Naturally due to the hot weather July and August are the most crowded months of the year. Spring and Fall are the best times to visit as it is less crowded and the weather is usually still quite pleasant. Lake Como is a popular weekend destination for people from Milan so the weekdays are generally less crowded. During the winter, some of the services may be closed, but you can still enjoy skiing in the mountains nearby.
Things to See
The walled town of Como has a good historic center and lively squares with nice cafes. There are several walking paths near town. Como makes a good base if you're traveling by train. From Como you can take the funicular to the village of Brunate, 720m above Como, for hiking trails and beautiful views of the lake and the Alps.
Silk is produced in the town of Como and you can see the entire silk-making process in the Silk Museum dating from 1900 or buy silk in many of the shops.
Bellagio, known as the pearl of the lake, is in a beautiful setting where the three branches of Lake Como come together. It's easy to get to by ferry or bus from other cities on the lake.
Villa d'Este, in the village of Cernobbio on the west coast, is the most famous of Lake Como's villas. The villa is now a luxury hotel on a wooded peninsula and each one of its 161 rooms is unique.
Villa Carlotta, south of Menaggio, has beautiful gardens. You can tour the inside with its original 18th century furniture and art works.
The fishing village of Varenna has picturesque narrow alleyways and streets below a castle and a lakeside walking path.
Menaggio, against the mountains, is a lively resort with a lakeside promenade. Menaggio is popular with outdoor enthusiasts for walking or hiking, swimming, windsurfing, and rock climbing.
Things to do
Take at least one boat trip if you have the time. The most popular tourist towns seem to be Bellagio, Menaggio, and Varenna. Gravedona and Domaso (in the north) and Bellano, Lenno, and Argegno (mid-lake) are also worth a stop.
Why not take a flight over the lake, Aero Club Como offers flights in seaplanes giving spectacular views of the surrounding land.
Hike up the funiculare. From the top you can enjoy the spectacular view, go to Brunate, or hike over to the Volta Lighthouse for an even better view. In Como, one of the really spectacular old lakeside villas is an art museum and is an easy walk from the Como boat ramps.
Try some water sports on the Lake. There are two locations that rent motor boats and the lower horsepower ribs don’t require a boating license to sail.
Go for a walk in the mountains. Most routes offer spectacular views across the lake and sometimes it is even possible to see both Lake Lugana and Lake Como from the same place. The tourism office in Menaggio has a wide selection of possibilities.
Gelato. Many of the small towns around the lake have excellent gellaterias. This dessert is wonderfully flavorful and perfect for enjoying from a bench at the side of the lake.
Lake Como has many outdoor activities to enjoy some of these are mountain biking, hiking, boating, windsurfing, rock climbing and if you aren’t afraid of heights you could even try paragliding for a bird’s eye view of this amazing lake.
During the winter, you can ski in the nearby mountains.
There are some interesting cruises around the lake on commercial boats, they are mainly on the weekends in the summer season.
The Sagra di San Giovanni is celebrated the last weekend of June in the town of Como with folk arts and fireworks and in Ossuccio with a festival, boat procession, and boat race.
The Palio del Baradello, a historical re-enactment is carried out the first week of September. Also in September is a traditional rowing race known as the ‘Palio Remiero del Lario’.