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What to see in the Lake Como
Want to visit Lake Como in northern Italy? This famous lake has always been referred as the sea of the Milanese. In recent years it has become very popular among tourists worldwide. But it is since George Clooney bought a villa on the shores of the lake, in a small village, the visitor statistics increase exponentially. Prepare to see much more than the villas of famous people! Indeed, you will enjoy unique landscapes, beautiful villages on the shores of the Lake, the high peaks of the Alps and transparent water.
We suggest you a fantastic route that you can make during your trip to Milan. The best time of the year to travel to Italy is from May to October.
Lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy. On a map, it is very easy to recognize it, because it looks like a “Y” upside down. On both sides of Lake Como, you can enjoy stunning views of the beautiful villas and gardens that await those visitors seeking tranquility and natural landscapes.
One of the first things you’ll see on this lake is precisely the city of Como, which gave its name to the lake. Como is a historic town on the border of Switzerland. In it, you will have the opportunity to visit the Silk Museum, where you can learn about the old textile tradition.
It is also the birthplace of the Italian architectural and artistic rationalism, including the following examples: Novocomum Casa Giuliani Frigerio, the war memorial and the former Casa del Fascio (House of fascist), buildings designed by the Italian architect Giuseppe Terragni, and finally you can also admire the traditional architecture, some examples of this architectural type are: the Cathedral of Como (Duomo), the Broletto Palace, the seat of the city council, leCastello Baradello Como (built by the famous Barbarossa in 1159).
Before the separation of the lagoon, the small village of Bellagio will be waiting you, offering to all the visitors a 100% natural landscape. Indeed, this village is situated between the deep waters of the lake and lush forests of oak, fir, beech and chestnut. Bellagio is famous for its gardens, parks and green spaces, where you can find many different species of plants because of its mild climate. This means that the best times to visit this village are during the spring (with flowering) or summer (is when you can swim). The city center and its cultural heritage will be waiting for you to walk around and enjoy the historic visits and all the natural views that will take your breath away.
Comacina Island is a small island in the middle of the lake, in the branch of Como, between Argegno and Lavedo peninsula. This island was inhabited in ancient times by the Romans. For this reason, it is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Lombardy. Indeed, many battles were fought on this island during the medieval times. It was destroyed by Barbarossa and left in ruins during 800 years. Today, the island became a peaceful place where you can enjoy excellent Italian food in a restaurant that has never changed its menu since 1947.
Since 1894 a funicular connects the city of Como to the small town of Brunate, also called “Balcony of Lario.” It is at the top of the Alps and has the best panoramic views. The journey by funicular is already a great experience. Indeed, you will have the feeling of flying between mountains 500 meters above sea level on more than one kilometer. Prepare your camera because the scenery of the lake and mountains (views 1/2 km altitude) are exceptional.
Output station: Piazza Alcide De Gasperi, Como
Service: 6:00 to 10:30 p.m. on weekdays, Saturdays from 6:00 to 24:00 and during the summer, all week until midnight.
Lecco is the second largest city of the lake. Lecco inspired Alessandro Manzoni in his masterpiece “The Betrothed”, a famous book of Italian literature. You will have the opportunity to visit the house of Lucia, the Church of Don Abbondi the Manzoni Museum (the house where the writer spent his childhood), the Cathedral of St. Nicolas, the Bovara Palace, the Bridge Azzone Visconti The old market square and many other monuments…
Menaggio is a tourist town in the center of Lake Como. Indeed, this place was chosen by the noble families of Como and Milan to spend their summer holidays in the years 800. The best of Menaggio are the Beach and the promenade along the shore, thanks to its strategic location you can explore many interesting areas. During your visit, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a ride on small boats where you will feel small in an idyllic location.
Born around a small, ancient Cistercian monastery, Cernobbio today is one of the finest resorts in the area, a picturesque city whose old town is the Piazza del Risorgimento directly overlooking the lake and its sumptuous villas: Villa Erba Villa d ‘ Este, Villa Bernasconi, Art Nouveau, Villa and Villa Fontanelle Pizzo. Of course in this location you will find all kind of hotels, if you feel like to stay in this magical place.
The town of Varenna, located in the Lecco area will offer an exceptional walk along the lake to reach the famous Castle of Vezio. A romantic walk in a colorful village, perfect for lovers! When you arrive at Vezio castle (located about 30 minutes walk from the center of Varenna), enjoy falconry demonstrations and shows and one of the most beautiful views of this branch of Lake Como.
Other things to do in Lake Como
If you have more days off in the lake, then you can visit other places like Villa Balbianello near Ossuccio , Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo , Villa Monastero in Varenna, the Forte Montecchio Abbey Piona Colico , or climb to Pigra by cable car from Argengno.