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Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the Beautiful Lake Como
A popular retreat in Italy, Lake Como in Italy may not be as much of a go-to destination as Rome or Venice, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful or exciting. This somewhat more secluded retreat has a wealth of things to offer, from tranquil places to stay to sights you’ll never want to stop talking about.
Whether you’ve been to the country several times or are thinking about your first time in Italy, Lake Como is a great place to go.
Still asking yourself “Is Lake Como worth visiting?” Let’s take a deep dive into what it has to offer. From the winding roads that display impressive architecture on either side to the food you’ll sample on its shores, you may never want to leave.
Charming Villages and Towns
Lake Como is home to a number of charming villages and towns you can wander around, taking in the sights and the stunning architecture. Here are some to consider visiting:
One of the best places to visit in Lake Como, Bellagio stands as a true gem of Italy that has captivated visitors for years. With its charming blend of old-world elegance and stunning natural beauty, Bellagio exudes an irresistible allure.
Its iconic villas, adorned with colorful blossoms, overlook the serene waters, and many who’ve visited say it’s almost too enchanting to be real. There’s also delectable cuisine, the finest Italian wines, and rich culture. It’s referred to as the “Pearl of the Lake.” Many visitors even choose to stay in Bellagio.
With its historic landmarks, this picturesque fishing village has waterfront cafes to grab some coffee at, colorful houses to admire, and the stunning Villa Monastero to see. Take some pictures or simply relax and enjoy the view as you stroll through these cobblestone streets.
Many also choose to stay in Varenna, too, waking up every day to the bustling streets.
Tremezzina is another worthwhile visit. The highlight of this picturesque haven is undoubtedly the exquisite Botanical Gardens of Villa Carlotta, where a mesmerizing array of rare plants and vibrant blooms creates sights and smells that will last with you forever.
The Array of Sights to See in Lake Como
It’s not just the villages and towns that make this place a worthy visit on all sides of the lake.
For example, Villa del Balbianello is a stunning historic villa located on the western shore. Renowned for its captivating beauty and picturesque setting, the villa has gained international fame as a popular filming location for movies such as Star Wars and James Bond.
Originally built in the 18th century, the villa underwent several transformations under various owners. Its architecture is characterized by a blend of Italian and French styles, featuring terraced gardens, ornate sculptures, and meticulously designed interiors. The villa’s most distinctive feature is its terraced gardens, which descend along the hillside and offer breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Como and the surrounding mountains.
You can choose to have a guided tour or view this place on your own.
Then there’s Como Cathedral. It brings together a swirl of gothic and renaissance styles, capturing elements of each and standing as a testament to Como’s rich history. Construction of the cathedral began in the 14th century, and it went through several phases of expansion and enhancement to bring together the building it is today.
Engage in Outdoor Activities Unlike Anywhere Else
If you’re more of a sports or activity enthusiast than a sightseer, Lake Como has you covered. You can rent a boat or hop on a ferry to see views inaccessible from the shore, unknown to many who stand there.
Or, for something to get your blood pumping a little more, check out the watersports. Paddleboarding, kayaking, and even kitesurfing are all popular on these shores and, regardless of your skill level, you can find an instructor to help you out.
There are also a number of incredible hiking trails; for example, the Sentiero del Viandante, a historic trail running along the eastern shore of Lake Como and offering stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Alternatively, Greenway del Lago di Como stretches for approximately 10 kilometers between Colonno and Cadenabbia and winds through ancient villages, lush gardens, and scenic promenades.
Since the Lake Como weather is gorgeous year-round but tends to get hot in the summer, always look up the temperature in advance before embarking on a long hike.
Where to Stay in Lake Como
With this place’s beauty, it’s hard to go wrong with where you’re staying, but there are certainly some standout destinations.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo
Overlooking the lake, this perfectly located luxurious hotel boasts world-class facilities and an infinity pool. It’s known for its impeccable service and unbeatable views, meaning you don’t even have to leave your accommodations to appreciate the stunning place you’ve come to.
If you don’t want to compromise a second of your time here, it’s hard to beat this hotel.
For a boutique hotel that focuses on modernity as much as classic Italian architecture, Il Sereno is a great choice. It has a restaurant with incredible food, easy access to all of Lake Como’s amenities, an outdoor pool, and a number of great facilities.
For a more affordable choice, try Albergo Milano. Located in Varenna, it provides an intimate setting and fantastic lake views without breaking the bank. You don’t have to spend thousands on accommodations to truly appreciate this place for what it is.
Italian Cuisine in Lake Como
The last thing you need to consider is the food in Lake Como. Like much of Italy, this region boasts a wide array of diverse dishes, ensuring there is something for everyone.To enjoy the local seafood, try Risotto con Pesce Persico, a creamy rice dish made with the perch fish from the lake. Missoltini is another great seafood choice. It’s sun-dried fish served with polenta—a true Lake Como tradition.
For a hearty and often meat-free dish, try Pizzoccheri—a buckwheat pasta dish layered with potatoes, cheese, and greens, sure to keep you full after a long day of exploring everything on offer.
If you have more of a simple palate, that’s fine too—there’s lots of pizza and pasta to be had. We are in Italy, of course!
Also, you should never visit anywhere in the country without sampling the local gelato! From Milan to Lake Como, the gelato is to die for anywhere in Italy.
Visit Lake Como and Discover All It Has to Offer
Like so much of Italy, it’s so easy to fall in love with Lake Como. From the views unlike anywhere else in the world to the delicious traditional food and friendly locals, there is something for everyone to write home about.
If you truly fall in love with this place, it’s easier than you might think to move there. Many Americans are entitled to Italian citizenship and aren’t even aware of it. If you think it’s possible for you, or would like to explore the possibility, it’s time to get in touch.