11 Exciting Things to do at Lake Como, Italy

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There is hardly a spot successful Europe that evokes images of beauty, glamour, and tranquility much than Lake Como successful Italy.

For hundreds of years it’s been a fashionable destination with the affluent and celebrated but determination are plentifulness of things to bash astatine Lake Como for the humble tourist, too.

Or, for your Italian honeymoon, since it offers the benignant of romanticist quality that lone Shakespeare tin portray.

homes and flowers lining Lake ComoLake Como is 1 of Italy’s astir beauteous lakes

While Lake Como isn’t Italy’s largest water (that grant belongs to Lake Garda), there’s nary denying it is 1 of the astir charismatic and is packed with attractions and things to see.

If you’re not definite what Lake Como attractions to adhd to your itinerary, past work connected to spot the champion gems successful the area!

Is Lake Como Worth Visiting?

It’s casual to spot wherefore celebrities similar George Clooney and Richard Branson person purchased their ain portion of paradise present and wherefore galore radical instrumentality their holidays to Lake Como.

The water (known arsenic Lago di Como successful Italian), is shaped similar an upside Y, and is lined with lush gardens, luxury villas, and quaint beauteous villages with accepted Roman-style architecture hugging the shore.

It was besides the filming determination for respective Hollywood movies, including Casino Royale, the James Bond movie, and adjacent Star Wars.

Just similar the Cinque Terre, it’s known for its breathtaking scenery, and it besides has a relaxing ambiance and romanticist vibe. The stunning views unsocial are stunning, but the endless magnitude of activities marque it 100% worthy visiting!

Getting to Lake Como

buildings connected  the borderline   for water  como

Situated successful bluish Italy and adjacent to the Swiss border, Lake Como is conscionable an hr from Milan, making it the cleanable spot to instrumentality a day travel from Milan.

There’s a bully roadworthy web servicing the towns and villages astir Lake Como but driving tin beryllium a spot ‘white-knuckled’, particularly during the summertime months erstwhile it seems that fractional of Milan flocks to the lake.

Many of the roads are peculiarly constrictive and winding, and with Italy’s wannabe F1 drivers sharing the thrust with you, driving tin beryllium a spot nerve-wracking.

Parking is constricted successful astir of the tiny villages truthful my proposal is to cheque up with your accommodation successful Como to guarantee you’ll person determination to parkland your rental car during your stay.

If you don’t person a rental car, the champion mode to get to Lake Como is by train.

The City of Como, astatine the basal of the occidental arm, is the biggest municipality connected the water and has a large bid presumption connected the Milan to Switzerland line.

On the eastbound broadside of the lake, the Varenna-Esino presumption (Tirano-Lecco-Milan line) is simply a fashionable gateway for those staying successful Varenna, Bellagio, oregon villages further north.

Getting Around Lake Como

ferry astatine  the pierThe ferry is an casual mode to get astir Lake Como

The champion mode to hop betwixt towns is by the predominant ferry services that run connected Lake Como. Ferries ply some arms of the water regularly and are a relaxing mode to get about.

Tickets tin beryllium purchased from the summons offices astatine each ferry terminal wherever you’ll besides find the regular schedules displayed.

Buses besides link the main towns of Como and Lecco with smaller lakeside towns arsenic good arsenic much distant villages successful the surrounding mountains.

Hot TIP: Try to debar driving to Lake Como from Milan connected Saturdays during summertime (and successful the different absorption connected Sundays) arsenic the roads are jam-packed with the Milanese who predominant the water astatine weekends.

Things to bash astatine Lake Como

Now for the amusive part! Here are my apical tips connected what to bash successful Lake Como for immoderate benignant of traveller!

1. Visit The Lakeside Towns and Villages

boats astatine  the marinaThe municipality of Como has a batch to offer, from buying and restaurants to exploring the historical centre

From the determination capital, Como, with a colonisation of 85,000, to tiny hamlets, Lake Como’s towns each clasp their ain charm.

If you’re abbreviated connected time, I suggest you see the pursuing gems successful your itinerary erstwhile you sojourn water Como.

A thriving city, Como is simply a shopper’s paradise with the afloat scope of services you’d expect successful a ample centre.

Famous for its silk production, Como is the spot to bargain silk products, including scarves and ties, astatine tenable prices.

The historical centre is dominated by the awesome Duomo which dates backmost to the 15th century. The focal constituent of Piazza del Duomo, the cathedral is simply a premix of Gothic and Renaissance architecture.

The pedestrianized piazza is lined with cafes and restaurants and is arsenic bully a spot arsenic immoderate to drawback a wound to devour and people-watch.

Just a fewer minutes’ locomotion from the piazza, Como’s waterfront is lined with parks and is the cleanable spot to chill disconnected connected a blistery time whilst watching boats of each shapes and sizes bob up and down connected the lake.

To spot the water from above, drawback the funicular (cable car) up to the quiescent colony of Brunate.

There are bully views, a faded pinkish religion to visit, and tons of walking trails for the much energetic.


Village and sailboats connected  Lake Como adjacent   Bellagio astatine  sunset, bluish   ItalyBellagio astatine sunset

Perhaps the astir well-known municipality connected Lake Como, Bellagio is perfectly located astatine the constituent wherever some arms of the water meet.

The champion mode to get is by vessel arsenic the presumption volition instrumentality your enactment away.

Narrow cobbled streets, built connected steep slopes, entice you on them. Lined with quaint buildings, shops, and eateries, it’s casual to walk hours wandering the alleys that snake up from the shore.

The engaged lakeside promenade is simply a hive of enactment during summertime with much cafes and restaurants, shops, some ferry terminals, and the nationalist swimming excavation located here.

You tin besides committee the tourer bid present for a abbreviated travel astir town.

Bellagio is besides location to 2 gardens that are unfastened to the public, Villa Melzi and Villa Serbelloni.

Villa Casanova offers cooking classes and luncheon experiences. See much here. 


people walking connected  promenade beside th elakeThe colony of Menaggio connected Lake Como has amusive activities specified arsenic h2o sports and golf

Whilst it doesn’t person immoderate important attractions, the colony of Menaggio has plentifulness of earthy beauty.

The beauteous lakeside promenade is 1 of the prettiest connected the water and is engaged with h2o sports successful the warmer months.

A ample nationalist swimming excavation with a backstage beach, mini golf, and an 18-hole play people are conscionable a fewer of the ways you tin support yourself occupied successful Menaggio.


buildings of colony   varenna connected  borderline   of water  comoVarenna is simply a gorgeous colony connected Lake Como with a well-preserved medieval centre and a castle

To my mind, Varenna Lake Como is the existent jewel and 1 of the champion Lake Como attractions.

Gelato-coloured houses clump astir a tiny harbour conscionable a fewer steps from 1 of the best-preserved medieval centres of the region.

Whilst it is fashionable with tourists, Varenna doesn’t look arsenic over-run arsenic Bellagio (it’s conscionable a 15 infinitesimal ferry thrust away), and I’ve chosen to enactment present connected some my visits.

Aside from the gorgeous lakeside setting, the main attraction present is Villa Monastero, erstwhile a Cistercian convent. Its extended gardens are present unfastened to the nationalist and diagnostic works taxon from astir the world.

Above the colony connected a precocious cliff sits Castello di Vezio. The walled castle, built astir a squared tower, has restored battlements and a existent drawbridge – and provides large views implicit the water below.

There are regular falconry displays astir days, too!


Idyllic Lake Como coastline with Tremezzo colony   and sailboats astatine  sunny dayTremezzo colony

Home to the beauteous Villa Carlotta, visitors flock to The Riverira of Tremezzina to rotation the gardens and bask the creation exhibitions connected show successful this magnificent villa.

Also worthy a look is the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, connected the waterfront and with unsurpassed views crossed the water to Bellagio.

Built implicit 100 years agone successful the Art Nouveau style, this is an old-world luxury with a modern twist.

As good arsenic implicit 20,000 sq. m. of backstage grounds, the edifice boasts 3 swimming pools including an infinity pool, and a floating excavation that sits supra the water – you’ll spot it arsenic your ferry approaches the jetty.

You whitethorn not beryllium capable to spend to stay here and indulge successful the facilities (rooms commencement from 729 Euro per night), but from 1 of the galore restaurants lining the waterfront, you’ll beryllium capable to spot however the different fractional live!

2. Visit a Villa connected Lake Como

Lake Como indispensable surely boast much luxury villas than anyplace other connected earth. You’ll beryllium hard-pressed to determine which ones to spot but 3 decidedly worthy visiting are:

Villa Melzi (Bellagio)

villa melzi gathering  and gardens

An casual stroll from the centre of Bellagio, the park-like gardens of Villa Melzi is simply a bully illustration of a accepted English-style garden.

The plot stretches on the lakefront and is location to a scope of plantings, sculptures, a h2o lily pond, and an Orangery which houses a tiny museum.

The villa is simply a backstage residence and is not unfastened to the nationalist but the gardens tin beryllium visited regular from precocious March until October.

Villa Carlotta (Tremezzo)

gardens and hedges retired  the beforehand   of Villa Carlotta Villa Carlotta was erstwhile the Lake Como location of a Prussian princess

Prussian princess, Carlotta, received the villa arsenic a wedding acquisition from her parent successful 1847. Today the villa is unfastened to mortal subjects who tin rotation amongst the botanic gardens and sojourn the princess’s erstwhile home.

Most celebrated for the rhododendrons and azaleas that bloom successful spring, Villa Carlotta’s gardens besides see elephantine sequoia and Cyprus trees, a Japanese garden, tropical plants, and a beautifully tranquil fern valley.

The villa itself is furnished with play furnishings and besides serves arsenic a gallery, hosting creation exhibitions and philharmonic events.

Villa Carlotta is unfastened each time from mid-March to precocious October. It is easy reached connected ft from the ferry landing dock astatine Tremezzo.

Villa Balbianello (Lenno)

Villa Balbianello connected  Lake Como aerial view, Town of Lenno, Lombardy portion   of ItalyVilla Balbianello connected Lake Como aerial view,

Sitting connected its ain tiny promontory jutting into the lake, Villa Balbianello was built arsenic a spot for quiescent reflection backmost successful 1787. Not overmuch has changed contiguous – but erstwhile Hollywood calls!

Scenes for the 2006 mentation of Casino Royale and Star Wars Episode II were changeable present and for this reason, the villa attracts galore visitors who besides respect the well-tended manicured gardens.

Inside the villa, rooms are furnished with 18th-century English and French furnishings arsenic good arsenic a postulation of Chinese, African and pre-Columbian art. Entry to the villa is by a guided circuit only.

Open mid-March to mid-November, regular but Mondays and Wednesdays. There is constricted entree by ft from Lenno connected Tuesdays and weekends truthful the champion enactment is to instrumentality a taxi-boat from Lenno.

3. Enjoy a Lake Cruise connected Lake Como

homes and gardens connected  borderline   of water  como

Taking a cruise is 1 of the champion things to bash astatine Lake Como and a bully mode to spot immoderate of the houses of its celebrated residents, similar Richard Branson.

The views of the lakeside towns and villages are champion seen from the lake, and whilst you tin acquisition these from 1 of the regular ferry services, a water cruise is highly recommended.

Cruises depart from galore of the lakeside towns (Como, Bellagio, and Varenna to sanction a few), and a fig of antithetic vessels (including a water steamer) connection assorted itineraries astir the lake.

Another enactment is Taxiboat Varenna who connection fantastic cruises connected their Venetian-style h2o taxi.

Captain Luca provides absorbing and entertaining commentary arsenic you cruise past immoderate of the astir spectacular scenery connected Lake Como – sunset cruises are available, too.

If you privation to drawback a glimpse of Richard Branson’s villa oregon George Clooney’s house, this is the mode to bash it.

4. Enjoy the Lake Como scenery

flowered gardens and villas connected  water  comoTake clip to bask the scenery astatine Lake Como

Be definite to instrumentality immoderate clip to bask what brought you to Lake Como successful the archetypal spot – the scenery.

Everywhere you look you’ll beryllium greeted with spectacular views, truthful find a quiescent spot to beryllium and admit the gorgeous scenery each astir you.

Explore Lake Como by onshore and h2o connected this full-day walking and vessel tour, with a sojourn to Villa del Balbianello.

5. Hike the Sentiero del Viandante

stairs starring  up   mossy cliffs

Looking for much adventurous things to bash successful Lake Como? How astir a 68km hike?

Okay, truthful astir radical don’t hike the full Sentiero del Viandante hike from Abbadia Lariana to Morbegno, due to the fact that this multi-day hike has been chopped up into six sections.

We urge doing the archetypal section, which takes you from Varenna to the Orrido di Bellano Gorge. Here you person the thrill of hiking implicit suspended walkways and on stone faces, past the Pioverna River, and into dense forests.

As good arsenic this, you besides walk immoderate sleepy villages earlier stopping disconnected astatine Vezio Castle.

This is the cleanable mode to acquisition the beauteous countryside scenery of Lake Como.

Be definite to battalion your trekking shoes, arsenic this is simply a moderately-difficult hike!

Fancy hiking but don’t privation to spell alone? Check retired this time hiking circuit successful Lake Como.

6. Check Out Como Cathedral

cathedralMILAN, ITALY – JUNE, 12: Como cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary connected June 12, 2016

The Como Cathedral, oregon Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta arsenic it’s known successful Italian, is simply a stunning cathedral successful Como and is the authoritative spot of the Bishop of Como.

The religion is dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was built successful 1770.

It’s 1 of the astir important and beauteous buildings successful the Lake Como region.

7. Have a Picnic successful Villa Carlotta’s Botanical Gardens

people walking done  garden

Looking for a tranquil spot to sojourn successful Lake Como? Then you can’t spell incorrect with the Botanical Gardens of Villa Carlotta. In fact, it adjacent has a ‘Romantic Garden’ which is afloat of English Roses and Hydrangea, which makes for the cleanable mounting for a picnic.

The botanic gardens beryllium connected the grounds of Villa Carlotta, a depository that contains artworks by renowned Italian artists and sculptures, arsenic good arsenic the archetypal furnishings of the archetypal owners.

The ‘Italian Garden’ was built astir the aforesaid clip arsenic the Villa. It has each the characteristics of a accepted Italian plot with a timepiece painted connected the extortion of the building, trimmed hedges, h2o features, and renaissance-inspired statues.

There is besides a portion of the gardens dedicated to agriculture and is wherever crops and nutrient products for the villa were grown.

The botanic gardens tin lone beryllium visited by reservation, truthful beryllium definite to book your introduction summons successful advance.

8. Ride the Como-Brunate Funicular Railway

tram going up   cliff

Take a time travel from the City of Como to the colony of Brunate connected this funicular railway service.

The bid has been moving since 1894, and is the quickest and astir scenic mode to get to the village.

The bid runs connected a azygous way up the upland and takes conscionable 7-minutes. It’s the astir relaxing and idyllic 7 minutes you’ll find arsenic you walk done the sweeping Lake Como countryside.

9. Check Out The Remains of Porta Torre

The aged  gross  and operation    of Porta Torre, successful  Como, Lombardy, ItalyThe aged gross and operation of Porta Torre,

Porta Torre is an past medieval municipality that was built successful 1192. Not overmuch is near of this town, but the municipality walls which are located connected the southbound broadside of the City of Como.

The walls are astir 40 meters precocious and made up of arches, which were utilized arsenic gates for radical coming from Milan. 

The operation gross of Como is the astir well-preserved portion of the wall. It’s escaped to spot the gate, which makes this 1 of the champion escaped things to bash successful Lake Como.

10. Marvel astatine Basilica of Sant’Abbondio

exterior of basilica

Another stunning religion connected Lake Como worthy visiting is the Basilica of Sant’Abbondio, which was built implicit a pre-existing 5th-century Palaeo-Christian church. It was rebuilt successful 1050 and 1095 successful a Romanesque style and was restored again successful 1863.

It’s located 1km extracurricular the metropolis and was expected to location respective relics that Amantius brought from Rome.

It was the bishop’s spot until 1007 erstwhile the spot was moved to wrong the metropolis walls.

The religion is known for its 2 doorbell towers and the stunning outer decoration of the choir’s windows.

Inside, the basilica is lined with mid-14th-century frescoes connected the walls and ceiling arsenic good arsenic intricately designed reliefs.

11. Visit the Tempio Voltiano

domed rof and columns of Tempio Voltiano

Are you looking to larn much astir the past and civilization of the Lake Como area? Then cheque retired the Tempio Voltiano, a depository successful the metropolis of Como.

It is dedicated to the idiosyncratic and inventor of the electrical battery, Alessandro Volta, who was calved successful Como successful 1745.

The gathering was constructed successful 1927 to commemorate the 100th day of his death. Inside, you tin find exhibits relating to technological achievements, arsenic good arsenic the technological instruments utilized by the scientist.

You tin besides spot his idiosyncratic belongings and awards connected the archetypal floor.

Where to Eat astatine Lake Como

sunset water  comoMake reservations up of clip to bask a sunset meal with a lakeside presumption astatine Lake Como

There’s nary shortage of places to find Italian cuisine astir the lake, and successful the summertime, the lakeside promenades are engaged with visitors eating al fresco, sampling the celebrated Italian pasta and pizza, astatine the galore cafes and restaurants.

You’ll mostly wage much for a repast with a presumption truthful marque definite you cheque retired the eating options distant from the waterfront, too.

Piazza Cavour is besides a fashionable country to find restaurants and bars serving delicious dishes.

Fish is, naturally, a paper specialty.

HOT TIP: For a existent treat, effort La Vista edifice astatine Albergo Milano (hotel) successful Varenna wherever you’ll dine outdoors connected a precocious terrace overlooking the lake. On a lukewarm summertime evening, there’s nary amended spot to be. You mightiness adjacent get to bask a sunset similar the 1 above. Advance bookings are essential.

Best Time To Visit Lake Como

villas connected  borderline   of lakeThe warmer months are the champion clip to bask the galore things to bash astatine Lake Como

The champion clip to sojourn Lake Como is from May to September, with the hottest months being July and August erstwhile mean temperatures are astir 22°C (72°F).

Temperatures tin scope arsenic precocious arsenic 35°C + (95°F +) truthful it whitethorn beryllium omniscient to cheque if your Lake Como accommodation has air-conditioning if this is simply a concern.

If you don’t similar crowds, debar visiting from June until the extremity of August!

By visiting conscionable earlier and conscionable aft the highest months you whitethorn acquisition cooler upwind but you’ll besides person much accidental of getting that prized waterfront array for dinner.

Final Thoughts connected Things to Do successful Lake Como

So determination you person it, those are the champion things to bash connected Lake Como and arsenic you tin see, there’s truthful overmuch to spot and explore.

Whether you’re looking for a backstage vessel circuit of the water oregon looking to sensation the section cuisine, you volition find determination is truthful overmuch to ignite your senses astatine Lake Como.

We anticipation this usher helped you program your travel and representation retired your itinerary.

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