‘Italy is well known for its incredible Lakes Region. It’s known for its romance and quiet charm. These are 13 reasons to fall in love with Lake Como…
The Italian Lakes region covers an area from the Swiss border, through Lombardia, and into Milan. It finishes before Bergamo, picks up once again towards Lake Garda and ends shy of Verona.
The most famous bodies of water are Lake Como, Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. This is the first of 3 posts on the most popular Italian Lakes; starting with Lake Como.
These are 13 reasons to fall in love with Lake Como:
Lake Como is the third largest and deepest of the Italian Lakes. It measures almost 30 miles long and is 3 miles across at its widest point. The lake splits into two branches as it meanders south. Como Town sits at the bottom of the western fork.
We arrived by train from Milan to Como Town. We then hopped a bus to take us to our rental apartment in Vergonese, a short walk from Bellagio. There are regular trains from Milan Central Station to the terminal at Como Town, at the base of the Lake.
Whether you stay in the town or choose to move up the lake, will determine your need for on-going transport. If so, there are plenty to of buses and taxis more than willing to transport you to your destination. We found public transport to be cheap and reliable.
Como is a pretty town, with much to see and do. I found it a pleasant place for a beautiful stroll, and it has many amenities (supermarkets, etc) that other lakeside towns don’t offer.
The Duomo sits in the centre of the town and is free to enter. The building took almost 300 years to complete and thus, it straddles various styles. It has Gothic arches, Baroque elements on the roof, and Renaissance tapestries within.
The popular ‘Door of the Frog’, sits near the north of the Duomo and dates back to 1507.
The rather ancient train takes you from terra firma to the village of Brunate, at the top of a rather steep hill. It’s been making the journey since 1894 and is a very picturesque trip.
There’s plenty to do at the top, with cafes for relaxing and walks for those who are feeling adventurous. The views from the top are superb.
Volta Temple & Museum
The Volta Temple and Museum sit on the lakefront. The space is dedicated to Italian scientist, and inventor of the electric battery, Volta.
Designed by Federico Frigerio in 1927, the ground floor has early prototypes of Volta’s works. The second-floor houses personal artefacts.
This beautiful cathedral sits in the centre of Como. Its full title is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. The cathedral is one of the most important religious buildings in the North of Italy.
Filippo Juvarra designed the cathedral and it stands at 75 metres high. The interior has a Latin cross floor plan and the façade displays various statues. This features Adam and Eve, 5 Saints, the Holy Spirit, and even God himself. Or, if you’re Ariana Grande, God HERself.
Bellagio sits at the fork between Lake Como and the smaller Lake di Lecco and is a great central location for staying during your time at Lake Como. The town is affectionately referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Lake’.
With its uneven cobbled streets, charming lanes and beautiful pastel coloured buildings, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. Bellagio can be super during summer but was completely charming in November.
Villa Serbelloni Park
Villa Metzi Botanical Garden
Via Guiseppe Garibaldi
This is Bellagio’s main street. It takes around 10 minutes to wind your way from the bottom of town to the tip, at Punta Spartivento. Although there are lots of wine bars, leather stores, food, etc – it’s generally closed in winter.
I recall spending a pleasant hour in a gorgeous little wine store, tasting whites and chatting with the owner. There are LOTS of stairs from the lakeside, leading up to Punta Spartivento, so don’t wear heels. Unless, of course, you’re far better at walking in them than me.
You can reach Varenna by water taxi from Bellagio. It sits directly across the water, on the eastern shoreline of Lake Como. This small former fishing village dates back to around 493.
Varenna is generally a far more peaceful stop than its neighbour. It, together with Belaggio and Menaggio are referred to as the ‘Golden Triangle’. This is due to their close proximity.
Chieso de San Giorgio