Lake Como is one of the most famous and popular tourist destinations in Italy and in the world: its characteristic towns are the ideal location for couples and travellers seeking for a place that combines nature, elegance and fun.
Lake Como offers so many things to do (and see) that you’d go crazy if you had to choose: from the famous patrician villas to the spectacular gardens, medieval villages and excursions on the surrounding mountains.
And, between a walk through the typical alleys and a boat trip, you will discover a very typical legend… that’s why, after the checklist on the main attractions of Cernobbio, we also prepared a short guide on the best towns to see on Lake Como. Ready to start?
Bellagio, the pearl of Lake Como
Bellagio is located on a small promontory which is exactly in the middle of Lake Como, and from which you can admire all three branches.
Just a simple walk through the streets of the village or a visit to the famous gardens of Villa Melzi are worth a visit in the pearl of Lake Como. Take some time to visit the hamlet Pescallo, an old fishing village that still retains the charm of its past.
Fall in love again… with Varenna
Sitting on the shores of the lake, Varenna is a romantic and small town on Lake Como: colorful houses, typical alleys that go down to the lake… and the “walk of love”, a walkway suspended over the lake to visit at sunset. As charming as it sounds.
Don’t miss the amazing Villa Monastero and its beautiful botanical gardens. If you have time, you can also take an excursion up to the Vezio Castle, which overlooks Varenna and offers a breathtaking view of the lake.
Menaggio, between history and culture
If you are a history buff, Menaggio is definitely one of the places you can not miss. Its medieval structure in fact, has unchanged: breathe its ancient atmosphere, losing yourself among the alleys of the upper part of the town.
Continue to the hamlet of Loveno, where you can visit one of the most beautiful residences of Lake Como: Villa Mylius Vigoni, surrounded by a beautiful English garden. From Loveno you can easily reach the village of Plesio, from which a path begins that leads you to a shelter in Menaggio, a 1,400-meter spot from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the lake.
Every season is good to visit Tremezzo
With its baroque village, rich in churches, villas (Villa Balbianello, Villa Carlotta) and prestigious buildings, Tremezzo shines with its timeless charm in every season.
Take a visit to Villa Carlotta, a 17th century residence built by marquis Giorgio Clerici: lose yourself in the impressive Italian garden that surround the villa and visit the museum, which hosts works by Hayez, Canova and Thorvaldsen.
A tour in Como and Lecco
Take a tour in the heart of Como, starting from Piazza Volta or the near Piazza Duomo. Sip a coffee in one of the many typical bars and take some time to do a little shopping in the little streets of the town center. Then take a walk along the lake and reach the Volta museum, a neoclassical building dedicated to Alessandro Volta that houses many objects of the inventor such as the first electric battery.
If you are in Lecco, start your tour from Villa Manzoni and the Manzoni Museum, and see the rooms where Alessandro Manzoni (author of The Betrothed) spent most of his time. Take a picture at the bell tower of the Basilica di San Nicolò – as tall as the Big Ben – then head to Pescarenico, a delightful fishing village which is easily reachable by crossing the Azzone Visconti bridge.
Don’t forget to take a boat ride…. finding Lariosauro!
A holiday on Lake Como definitely requires a boat trip: a charming experience that gives you the chance to watch the banks of the lake and the villages that overlook it, the green hills and some mountain peak that stands out. Almost any town has a small landing which welcomes, during high season, hundreds of visitors from every corner of the world: here you can buy your ticket and reach your favourite destination.
In addition to taking some pictures of the beautiful shores of the lake, if you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to spot the local Nessie: Lariosaurus! This popular legend is quite similar to that of Loch Ness, in Scotland: the presence of a large aquatic animal that would roam, undisturbed, in the waters of the lake…
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