13 Reasons To Fall In Love with Lake Como

13 reasons to fall in love with Lake Como

‘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

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. 

Getting There

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.

13 reasons to fall in love with lake como

Como Town

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.

Funicular

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.

War Memorial

We stumbled upon this by accident as we were wandering around the shoreline. The large monument honours the Italian soldiers from World War 1.
 
The monument stands at 33 metres high and constructed of marble and granite. It sits within the public gardens in front of Volta’s Temple.
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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.

Como Cathedral

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.

13 reasons to fall in love with lake como

Bellagio

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.

Off season, there’s fewer people and the bars and streets are almost empty, but this is my idea of heaven.
 
From the lakefront at Bellagio, you can hop the water taxi to nearby Varenna on the east coast. Or visit the towns of Tremezzo or Menaggio on the west.
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Villa Serbelloni Park

This stunning park sits high up over the town of Bellagio. The park features more than 10 miles of paths and trails for visitors to explore. 
 
The XV111 gardens offer amazing views of the Lake below. The villa has welcomed a laundry list of world-renowned names over the years.  These include Leonardo da Vinci and Queen Victoria, although I’m fairly certain they weren’t there at the same time…
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Villa Metzi Botanical Garden

If you visit Villa Metzi and don’t immediately fall in love, then we can’t be friends. Soz.  It’s a gorgeous area and exploring it is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
 
Villa Metzi has an Oriental Garden,  Orangerie Museum, Bamboo groves, Villa, Greenhouses and Chapel.  The views are spectacular.  The highlight is the Moorish Kiosk, which juts out across the blue sparkling waters of Lake Como.
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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.

13 reasons to fall in love with lake como

Varenna

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.

Castello Vezio

7th Century Queen of Lombardy, Theodolinda, used to live in this Roman fortress. The ruins are on top of the steep hillside, overlooking the town beneath. 
 
Although the original Castello is 11-12th Century, the Italian Army constructed dungeons in the basement during WW1. This was to ensure they could stave off potential German invasions from Switzerland.
 
The castle has been open to the public since 1999. If you’re fit enough to hike up the hill, the views are well worth the effort.  There used to be a marble quarry nearby which supplied the materials for Milan’s Duomo.
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Chieso de San Giorgio

St George’s Church sits on the piazza of the same name in the centre of Varenna. Although plain in comparison to some, the location of this church sets it apart.
 
The surrounds are quiet and serene and it *feels* like somewhere you would stop for quiet worship. The church floor is black marble, while the altar’s marble is a mix of black and red. There are many preserved pieces of religious art in the church and it’s well worth a visit.
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Villa Monastero

Sitting right on the edge of Lake Como, this gorgeous property has had many uses over the years. Its main use is as a conference centre these days, and it has a botanical garden and museum on site.
 
The Villa is in a stunning location and is rather popular as a high-end wedding venue.  This is due to its location as much as for its eclectic Nordic design.
 
The museum has 14 rooms filled with items owned by Italian physicist, Giovanni Polvani and is popular with visitors.
 
What made you fall in love with Lake Como?
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Suz xx

 

 

Lake Como: Best of The Italian Lakes

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About sightseeingshoes 245 Articles
Hi, I'm Suz. I love travelling (obvs..), dogs, shoes and wine, although not necessarily in that order. I'm originally from Scotland, but now live in Snowdonia in North Wales with my husband and a seriously large shoe collection.

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