A perfect day at Lake Como

What: My personal tips for sightseeing and more
Where: Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como: Nestled in an impressive mountain landscape and lush, Mediterranean fauna

From the Upper Italian lakes at the southern edge of the Alps, Lake Como is the most beautiful to me. Nestled in an impressive mountain landscape and lush, Mediterranean fauna, Lake Como fascinates with its famous historic villas such as Villa Carlotta and Villa d’Este. They come partly from the 15th century and bear witness to the successful era when the silk industry settled in the region around Como. Around the lake, picturesque villages charm the visitor, here the time seems to have stopped. Pure romance and a charm that also attracts Hollywood: celebrities such as George Clooney, Madonna, Brad Pitt or Donatella Versace have their own holiday residences here.

Lake Como

In Como I walk through the narrow streets

My tour starts by the southern shore of Lake Como with a stroll through the old town of Como. In the Via Vittorio Emanuele II and the Via Indipendenza you will find numerous boutiques with Italian fashion. I walk through the narrow streets until I stand in front of the Como Cathedral, the third-largest cathedral in Lombardy. If you would like to have a view on the splendid cathedral facade, this is best done with an espresso in a Piazza Cavour café opposite the Cathedral.

Lake Como

The Comer cathedral was built from the 14th century and impresses with its filigree exterior façade and inside with precious gobbelins

The next stop along the west bank is called Cernobbio. A must for fans of the art nouveau is a trip to the Villa Bernasconi, a jewel of the Belle Epoque, where today’s exhibitions are shown. Famous is Cernobbio also because of the Villa d’Este, since 1873 a hotel of the luxury class, which was already visited by lot of celebrities. Just because of the garden and the temple, decorated with colorful pebbles mosaic, it is a worthwhile visit. If you are not willing to pay thousands of euros a night in the summer season, perhaps you can enjoy a Bellini at the lake terrace for 23 euros, enjoying the extravagant atmosphere and the sensational view of the turquoise water.

Famous and popular photo motif: Me infront of the temple of the luxury hotel Villa D’Este

We continue northwards to Menaggio. Here the ferry leaves for Varenna and Bellagio, in the summer every 40 minutes. (One car with two persons costs 15.50 euro). Passing the imposing villas, you can reach Bellagio, probably the most famous village on Lake Como, after a 15-minute passage. So famous that even the most popular hotel in Las Vegas is named after it. From the water you can see the elegant, pale yellow facade of Villa Serbelloni, a grand hotel with a beautiful park and a fantastic view of the lake.

Ahoi! On the ferry from Menaggio to Bellagio

I decide to have lunch on and enjoy a glass of rosé, buffalo mozzarella and Parma ham. That’s what Dolce Vita tastes like! Strengthened I now stroll through the Via Guiseppe Garibaldi, explore the winding streets on a hillside and admire the always surprising views of the Lago di Como. From Bellagio I take the SS538 road back to Como. The approx. two-hour route lures again and again with numerous viewpoints: stop, look, marvel.  BvH

Comer See

Surrounded by lush wisteria: The terrace of the Hotels Florence in Bellagio

Lake Como tip I:

Want to see Lake Como from above? Then go to the small mountain village of Madrona at Monte Bisbone (1,328 meters high) on the west bank above Cernobbio. The course, popular with hikers and bikers, is rewarded with a breathtaking view over Lake Como and – on weekends – with homemade pasta in the Baita Alpe restaurant.

What a view: From the small mountain village Madrona at Monte Bisbone (1.328 Meter hoch) down to Lake Como

Tip II:

June to September are the best months for wind and kite surfing. The mountain world around Lake Como is also a paradise for hikers and mountain bikers.

Lake Como

The Lake Como is the perfect film backdrop. It was shot for Star Wars Episode II, Casino Royale and Ocean’s 12

Tip III:

Caution, penalty card: In Bellagio the car is best at the edge of the city. Parking in the center is expensive. I was asked to pay 140 euros for wrong parking.

Small hotels and restaurants line the shores of Bellagio

Good to know:

Como Lake (in Italian Lago di Como) is one of the eight Upper Italian lakes. “Lario” – as the locals call it – is 146 km², 55 km long and max. 4.2 km wide. Thus, after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore, it is the third-largest lake in Italy. In the center, near the town of Bellagio, the lake divides in a southerly direction into two arms, each ending in the towns of Lecco and Como. The lake looks like a twisted Ypsilon. It is up to 410 meters deep, making it one of the deepest lakes in Europe.

The marina of Como

The Comer cathedral was built from the 14th century and impresses with its filigree exterior façade and inside with precious gobbelins …

… which can also be admired whilst having an espresso in one of the opposite located cafés at Piazza Cavour

Chic shopping in luxury boutiques at the cathedral square

Como’s old town

Great to stroll: In the old town of Como dominate pedestrian zones

Villa Bernasconi in Cernobbio …

… a jewel of the Belle Epoque …

… where today’s exhibitions are shown, like about the history of cashmere

Go swimming in Lake Como:

The luxury hotels around the lake have their own jetties from where you can jump into the green blue water. More tips for public beaches and hidden places can be found here: www.comersee-info.net

Many of the luxurious villas such as the Villa Carlotta or the Villa d’Este date back to the 15th century, when Lake Como became rich with the silk rape and the resulting silk industry

Tip: For Lunch join the terrace of Villa d’Este

We continue northwards to Menaggio

… from where the ferry leaves for Varenna and Bellagio

The elegant, pale yellow facade of Villa Serbelloni

… with the Grandezza of a Grand Hotel

I love the small streets of Bellagio …

… where I spotted cosy bars …

… and inviting street cafés

Lake Como

A small detour to the cemetery of Bellagio. Arrivederci!




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