Lake Como is a beautiful place in Italy. Gem cities, beautiful villas with gardens, picturesque views of the lake and the surrounding alpine peaks, long promenades, atmospheric streets – you can find it all here. In this post, we will show you the most beautiful places to see in Lake Como, Italy.
The pearl of Lombardy
Lake Como It is located in the northwest of Lombardy, approximately 50 km north of Milan (route: Milan – Como) and 35 km northwest of Bergamo (route: Bergamo-Lecco). Lake Como is, after Garda and Maggiore, the third largest lake in Italy and at the same time the deepest alpine lake. It has the shape of an inverted Y and consists of three branches: Ramo di Lecco (eastern branch), Ramo di Como (western branch) and Ramo di Colico (northern branch). Each of the arms has a similar length, about 25-26 kilometers. The lake is surrounded by mountain ranges, it is a favorite place of many famous actors, musicians, artists and businessmen who have their villas and summer residences here.
Discover the surrounding towns in Lake Como
The fastest and most convenient way to travel between cities in Lake Como is by boat. Why is it a better option than traveling by car? Lake Como has the shape of an inverted Y, which is extremely disadvantageous when traveling by car. By choosing a boat, you will move from the city on one bank to the city on the other bank in about a quarter of an hour. It will take you several times longer by car. Do not forget that there is also the possibility of transporting the car by boat, which many people use here.
In Lake Como, you can visit not only cities, but also villas with gardens, which are accessible to visitors for a fee. How many places you see depends on how much time you can spend here.
Lenno town and Villa Balbianello
In Lenno, on the very shore of the lake, there is a very nice promenade, which is one of the two biggest attractions of this town. But the main attraction here is definitely Villa Balbianello, which according to many is the most beautiful place to see in Lake Como! It was created in Villa del Balbianello at the end of the 18th century. Scenes from the movies Star Wars or Casino Royale were filmed here, so when you look at the photos, you may have the impression that you know this place from somewhere. Villa del Balbianello is surrounded by phenomenal gardens with many wonderful specimens of plants, trees, shrubs and flowers.
Tremezzo town and Villa Carlotta
Tremezzo – this town cannot be missed because it is home to one of the most exclusive hotels and we are talking about the five-star Grand Hotel Tremezzo on the main street Via Regina. It’s a celebrity favorite, so if you decide to stay here, don’t be surprised if you meet Julia Roberts in the hotel elevator. The hotel also has a beautiful outdoor pool with sun terraces. Another reason to visit Tremezzo is the Villa Carlotta, built at the end of the 17th century, surrounded by a huge botanical garden, which includes a romantic garden, a Japanese bamboo garden, a rock garden, a palm and fern valley and an Italian garden that decorates the front of the villa.
Menaggio is one of the most popular towns in Lake Como. Above all, it’s a great base for exploring the lake – Menaggio harbor has ferries to most towns in Lake Como. The heart of the city is Piazza Garibaldi – a square surrounded by colorful houses, restaurants and shops. A long promenade runs through the city, along which tourists and locals stroll from morning to evening. There are small beaches along the promenade.
Varenna town and the Castle of Catsello di Vazio
If I had to recommend only one town in Lake Como, it would be Varenna. It used to be a fishing village and today it is a great atmospheric town with a romantic harbor where you can find small Italian restaurants and cafes overlooking the lake. In Varenna you will find romantic places, corners, alleys, several small beaches, the castle of Catsello di Vazio on the hill, as well as two beautiful villas surrounded by well-kept gardens, which are worth a visit. They are Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero. Despite the passage of time and the millions of tourists who come here every year, Varenna has resisted commercialization, surviving the authentic atmosphere of an Italian fishing village.
Bellagio has an amazing location, because it is located exactly where the two arms of Lake Como divide (or converge – if you prefer :)), that is, right in the middle of the lake. Thanks to this, you can see the east and west coasts in all their glory from Bellagio. You can get to Bellagio either by land or by water. The town is one of the most popular places in Lake Como, in high season it attracts tourists with shops and restaurants overlooking the water. Thanks to its unique location, the town is a good starting point – boats depart from here to all the larger towns located by the lake.
Lecco is the second largest town in Lake Como after Como, located at the tip of the eastern branch of the lake. Despite the fact that the city is quite large, the atmosphere here is very picturesque. The city lies at the foot of the Bergamo Alps, whose rocky peaks rise above the streets of Lecco. There is a very long boardwalk along the lake that leads directly into the water. There is a street on the promenade and on the other side there are shops, restaurants and bars. If you dream of really long walks with a view of Lake Como – you will love Lecco.
A characteristic place is the almost 100-meter high tower with a belfry at the Basilica of St. Nicholas. The tower is a landmark of the city, as it can be seen from anywhere in Lecco. It is worth grinding to the historic part of Lecco, where there are other monuments, churches, monuments, but also shops, restaurants and cafes.
Como is the largest city in Lake Como. It is located at the very tip of the western crossroads, in its southern part. The city is located 40 km north of Milan and has a population of 84,000. It is a big city that has a completely different character than small towns like Varenna or Lecco. The most atmospheric place here is the old town with the historic cathedral. From the old town, towards the lake, you will arrive at the port, where there is a promenade surrounded by trees.