Reference books tell you Lake Como is the deepest lake in Europe. We share what to do here in order to get the most of it. We shall usher you into the world of poignant passion for local food so you will never again confuse missoltini for crostini or resta for nuvola. We shall guide you through the villas and prompt where to do some wakeboarding, wind- or kitesurfing if you fancy the wind in the hair and crystal clear water washing the fatigue away.
Lake Como is the lake with many names, the shore for cozy towns, the home to illustrious villas. It has a shape of a man, with the cities of Como and Lecco at its feet and a jewel of Bellagio estate in its core. We developed the most convenient routes that cover history and culture from Ancient Roman through Medieval to Neoclassical ages.
Lake Como has been an inspiration for Hemingway and Dostoevsky, Twain and Mary Shelly, Ruskin and Stendhal. It piqued the interest of moviemakers. You can see the Lake in Casino Royal and A Month by the Lake. It takes you even beyond this planet in Star Wars Episode II. Let it become an inspiration for you as well.
Have you ever had a feeling after visiting an awesome place that you have missed something? You can forget that sadness if you follow our guide. We leave no stone unturned to ensure you will have the experience of a lifetime here.
And one more thing: stroke the frog gently for good luck! (Read the guide and you will know what amphibian grants your wishes 😃)
Fun Facts about Como
- The real name of the lake is Lario. Lago di Como in Italian means something like “the lake of Como town”. Thus, nearby Lecco people call it Lago di Lecco. By the way, nearby Lago di Lugano is called Ceresio.
- The town of Como used to be an industrial city 30 years ago with several silk factories. Now the tourism industry is the main revenue generator for the city, but the best souvenirs are still the silk scarves or ties that you can easily find in numerous shops.
- Lake Como is the deepest lake in Europe. You are allowed to swim only in the organized zones since there are many underwater currents that have no mercy even for experienced swimmers.
- Famous villas on the lake were the settings for such popular movies as Star Wars, Casino Royal (James Bond), and Ocean’s Twelve.
- There's rarely any snow in Como, that’s why for Christmas the Italians artistically light up the facades of the old town.
- Traditional boat on lake Como is “Lucia”, many of them are now used in monuments in central squares of lake towns or even as part of floral compositions. Some of them are still in operation and offer leisurely rides on the lake.
- Como was founded by the Romans in 59 BC with the name “Novum Comum”.
Top Attractions in Como
- Duomo is the best-known attraction in Como. They say it is the last Gothic cathedral built in Italy. The construction started in 1396 on the site of the ancient Romanesque basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. However, it did not finish until 1770 with the completion of the Rococo cupola. The north side door of the cathedral is called "frog" because of a frog, carved in the beginning of the 1400s, it climbs on the foliage to catch a butterfly. Stroking the frog is considered good luck.
- Teatro Sociale is a unique theater constructed on the ruins of the Rusca castle in 1813. The theater became the second scene of Teatro alla Scala during the Second World War. Currently, the theater invites both Italian and international artists. The Theatre is famous for its acoustics.
- Basilica di S. Fedele has two entrances from the main square and from V. Emanuele II street. Inside you find some parts of Roman columns on which Basilica was constructed and a 15th-century wooden representation of hell.
- City Walls are the Medieval fortifications built in the 12th century, they surround the old city of Como. The walls were initially constructed by the Romans and after destroyed in the 10th century only to be reconstructed at the same place 200 years later.
- Volt’s Temple is a museum dedicated to Alessandro Volta, a prolific scientist and the inventor of the electrical battery. Volta was born in Como in 1745, he held his first professorship here until 1779.
- Terme di Como Romana are the Roman Baths (1st century BC) located in the basement of a multi-level parking garage and they are free to attend.
- Villa Olmo is the eighteenth-century aristocratic residence at which historical personalities including Napoleon and Garibaldi used to stay. It has been a set in several Italian and foreign films. Villa Olmo was built by Marquis Odescalchi in a Gothic Neoclassical style. It offers a great park to walk and magnificent views over the lake. Take this walk to see Villa Olmo and a romantic promenade.
- Squares: Piazza Cavour and Piazza S. Fedele with original houses of the 16–17th centuries, the latter square houses a bookshop Ubik. In the Middle Ages, Piazza S. Fedele hosted a grain market. Piazza Volta and Piazza Mazzini have some very famous bars and cafès.
- Villa Geno was built in 1790 and renovated in 1850 in a Neoclassical style. It is located alongside the famous Como fountain with a jet of water 30 meters high. Here is a walk to Villa Geno.
- Torre or Castello Baradello is the medieval tower that has played an important role during the war between Milan and inhabitants of Como, The castle was restored during the War of the Lombard League, with the help of emperor Frederick Barbarossa (1158). Barbarossa officially donated it to the citizens of Como in 1178. In the end of August, beginning of September each year there is “palio” - a historical festival that provides full immersion in Medieval Como and its traditions.
- Funicular to Brunate with numerous viewpoints was opened in 1894 and was originally operated by a steam engine. Address: piazza Alcide de Gasperi, 4, Como. Funicular Website.
- Casa del Fascio by Giuseppe Terragni founder of Rationalism in architecture. Address: Piazza del Popolo.
- Abitato di Pianvalle in the Park Spina Verde here you can find ruins of the prehistorical houses of the people of Bronze and early Iron Age to the 9th century B.C. The findings are exposed in the Giovio museum. More details on the Park Spina Verde.
Top Attractions by Como Lake
- Villa del Balbiannello in Lenno is one of the most astounding places on earth. While being on Lake Como you must visit this fairy-tale -like place! Some episodes from Star Wars were shot here for a good reason. The villa served as a magnificent background for Casino Royale scenes with the one and only Eva Green, and A Month by the Lake with Uma Thurman. Here is a route at Villa del Balbianello.
- Villa Carlotta with a botanic garden in Tremezzo is a place of rare beauty, where masterpieces of nature and art live together in perfect harmony in over 70.000 square meters of gardens. See the route at Villa Carlotta.
- Villa Melzi in Bellagio was built by Francesco Melzi D'Eril in 1810. The villa was conceived as a summer residence and saw many illustrious guests, including Franz Liszt and Stendhal. Here you may find more details about Villa Melzi.
- Villa Monastero in Varenna is one of the most interesting sights of Lake Como. The Villa was initially a Cistercian nunnery dedicated to the Holy Virgin, it was built at the end of the 12th century. In the mid 16th century, the Mornico family bought the property. It was known as the Villa Leliana back then. More photos and the story of the villa could be found on the Villa Monastero route.
- Castello di Vezio above Varenna is a perfect example how a castle can be maintained nowadays without losing its historical value and developing a unique way to attract and entertain its visitors. Wild birds, ancient armor, hidden grottos, authentic local food and, of course, ghosts - that's a short list of reasons why you need to see the place. Check out our photo report from Castello di Vezio.
Things not to miss by Lake Como
- Walking by Romantic Promenade in Como. With an evocative walk along the shore of the lake Como you could admire many neoclassical villas built between the eighteenth and the nineteenth century. Here are some details on the romantic promenade in Como.
- Watching a sunset on a terrace in Brunate. You can choose from the range of viewpoints presented on the Routes.Tips platform. The nearest view point is mere 50 meters away from the top funicular station, the farthest and the highest is about 40 minutes uphill walk to the Volt's Lighthouse.
- Faro Voltiano (Volt's Lighthouse) - address: Via Giacomo Scalini, Brunate
- Alternatively, you may take this walk to a panoramic location near B&B Il Balcone sul Lago - address: Via Pissarottino, 28, Brunate. Here is the route to the panoramic viewpoint in Brunate.
- Boat tour on the lake for unique views. If you don’t have much time then opt for the touristic offer that takes you to nearby villas for 1–2 hours. If you have only one day to spend on the lake, use lake navigation services (beware the additional price applied to the high-speed boats). If you travel by car, pay attention that half way through the route (Tremezzina town) there are boats that will take you and your car to Bellagio and Varenna, it will save you a lot of time. All information could be found on the navigation services website.
- Swimming in the lake. Here are the closest swimming pools in or nearby the lake:
- Lido in park of villa Olmo
- Lido di Cernobbio
- If you have a day to spent on Lido di Mennagio (Via Roma, 11, Menaggio) or Bellagio during summer on Fridays and Saturdays discos are organized on the shore of Bellagio or even on the boats
- The beach in Gravedona is open for public & it has one of the best gelatoes (ice-cream)
- Water sports
- Hiking for perfect views. The area of Lake Como is often referred to as Lake District of Italy. With mountains everywhere, that means that usually you are exposed to scenic views of lakes, peaks, meadows, and villages. Here are my favorites, but there are dozens more:
- Monte San Primo is the place to see the central joint of the lake
- Rifugio Menaggio - Monte Grona is a special place with unearthly rock formations
- Pizzo D'Erna and Monte Resegone is the Eastern side of the lake near Lecco famous for an impressive mountain resembling a saw (Resegone means a ‘saw’ in Italian).
- Madesimo is an amazing world of trails near Spluga pass.
- Cycling along the lake. There are literally endless opportunities for cyclers of all skill levels.
- Tranquil plain flat cycling along the Northern part of Western lake Como shore from Menaggio to Sorico
- Ghisallo pass is the must-do pedaling exercise for every cycling enthusiast. The route goes by a small chapel that sits at the top of Madonna del Ghisallo - the Patron Saint of Cycling, and there is a cycling museum.
- North-South Swiss route is the very southern end of this classic route going from Locarno to Chiasso mostly along Lugano Lake.
- Eating Risotto con Pesce di Persico
- Family-run Osteria del Giuanin - address: Via al Santuario, 8, Tremezzina (near Ossuccio), website: osteriadelgiuanin.it, phone: +39 0344 55241
- Momi great view on the lake - address: Via Per Girola, Blevio, website: www.ristorantemomi.it, phone: +39 334 120 2327 (advice: book in advance)
- Family run La Madonna - local food & splendid view - address: Via per La Madoninna s.n. Barni, website: www.ristorantelamadonnina.it, phone: +39 0319 65148
- Perfect place for aperitif Pani & Tulpani - address: Via Lambertenghi, 3, Como, phone:+39 031 264242
- Flying hydroplane above the lake - Aeroclub Como
- address: Viale Massenzio Masia, 44, Como,
- phone: +39 031 574495,
- website: aeroclubcomo.com,
- price: around 80 euros per person,
- advice: better book in advance in high season from May to September, it might be closed the week of August 15 (a national Italian holiday)
- Watching fireworks by the lake - the fireworks on the lake run almost every weekend stating from the last week of June until mid August. One of the greatest is held in nearby Ossuccio during Saint John’s Festival
Finally, Como Lake is also famous for being a place where Moto Guzzi, the producer of motorbikes, was founded. Their museum is situated in Mandello and open during the year. Once a year they hold a special event where you can try some of the bikes and talk with design engineers.
What to eat in Como
Lake is everything for Como, it gives joy, it gives life, and it gives food. Most local dishes feature lake fish that is savoury, juicy and flamboyantly toothsome. Never mind the bones, the fish is cooked with such mastery that you can hardly find any, or if you still manage to find the bones, they are easily extractable. On some menus fish even goes before the meat!
Risotto con Pesce di Persico
Risotto con Pesce di Persico (Risotto with Perch) is a fish must-try dish even for a die-hard meat-eater. In the original recipe, rice was boiled and drained to accommodate perch fillets deep fried in butter with a pinch of sage. Then the savoury butter was poured over the rice and risotto was generously sprinkled with grated cheese. The Osteria del Giuanin in Ossuccio reinvented the recipe adding more flavors to the perch and using high-quality rice from Novara (Cascina Rizzotti Vespolate). It is untreated rice, processed directly on the farm, not parboiled and with high starch content, which ensures an excellent result. What’s more, there is a habitual splash of dry white wine on freshly roasted rice in the pan with butter and onion, so rice acquires a delicate and unmistakable flavor.
However, delightful fish is not the only delicacy you can try here. Frogs have always been on the menu of the locals. Being abundant in small rivers and lakes of the region, frogs were consumed in low fishing season. Nowadays, frog hunting is not allowed around Lake Como (as the local species have almost been eaten to extinction), but you can still enjoy dishes from imported frogs (e.g. Rane fritte in Osteria del Giuanin).
Also, there is a lucky charm of a frog for tourists and pedestrians. It is on the Door of the Frog in Como’s cathedral, if you stroke the remainder of the frog sculpture on the door, it will bring you luck.
Polenta is a mother of creation for northern Italy, yet here in Como, the cooks take it to the next level. Sweet, sour, meaty, or freshly piquant, polenta is anything but a boring corn semolina. It serves a pad in crostoni (kind of small sandwiches with innumerable toppings), it becomes a piece of bread to help you devour Missoltini con polenta, it turns into a sweet cake or even Polenta uncia cooked for you only on reservation (in Osteria del Giuanin, address: Via al Santuario, 8 Tremezzina loc. Ossuccio).
- Crostone di Polenta (a mushroom melody version is in the picture) is very diverse, it can be with eggplants and smoked tomatoes (alla italia), with prosciutto, with fish (sometimes quite salty). Polenta actually challenges a cook to come up with new ideas, in can be Crostone di Polenta con Zingerlin, a dainty featuring a bit of pungent peppery grilled cheese that will make you long for it more and more.
Missoltini con Polenta is a signature dish of Lake Como, it is fish which was first salted and dried in the sun and then slightly grilled on a grid, a plate or a stone for a short time, so as not to overcook it. Before serving, they are sprayed with a bit of vinegar, and served on the plate with a little drop of oil and parsley. Missoltini are accompanied by polenta, preferably brustolita. Also, missoltini used to be served with curada: fish entrails cleaned and washed, mixed with breadcrumbs and onion finely chopped, and then fried in butter or lard and eaten as an accompaniment to polenta. The curada was a delicacy now forgotten.
So, what’s the origin of missoltini you would ask? The name was derived from ‘misolta’, a wooden container used for pressing dried shad, which was fished for in May and June and for the lack of refrigeration in ancient times, the shad was first salted for two days (the entrails, called curadura, taken out, salt rubbed in, fish put in a pot and turned every 12 hours). Then, the fish were skewered with a string and hanged out on special structures exposed to the sun and wind to facilitate drying. The drying proceeded for several days, then the fish were placed in misolta, old, small wooden barrels, where they were tucked neatly combined with bay leaves to store them for long. Once the barrel filled up, it was covered with a lid, also made of wood, over which stones were placed to press the fish and to expel the oil from it. The pressing was gradual and lasted several days. The oil obtained from the pressing in misolta was used to feed the oxen (not to waste a drop of food in your household, and oxen love salty things😃).
Now, missoltini is made not only of classical shad (Alosa fallax lacustris) from the family of shad and menhaden, but also of herring and Saracchi, a more common blue species of fish.
Missoltini may appear a bit far too salty, but it is definitely worth tasting.
By the way, missoltini is not the only way to preserve fish, another typical preservation method of Lake Como is marinating carp in a sauce made of vinegar with chopped vegetables and grass fish, and wild thyme that grows wild in areas rocky centre of the lake.
Pizzoccheri con pasta fresca (Pizzoccheri with fresh pasta) is great pasta (wide noodles of about 5 millimeters) made of a nice mix of buckwheat and white flour, butter, cheese Valtellina Casera DOP, grated parmesan, cabbage, potatoes, garlic and pepper. Potatoes are always present, while the cabbage can be replaced, according to the seasons, with green beans for example.
It is unusual to see buckwheat flour in the recipe, as it always used to be synonymous with poverty. However, this exotic grain which originated in southern Siberian regions (or Russia), is highly beneficial for your health as it contains a particular antioxidant called resveratrol. This substance can combat free radicals of oxygen which are believed to be responsible for aging. Resveratrol is usually found in red wines (or otherwise obtained by the fermentation of the peel) and wines of "mountains" (ultraviolet rays stimulate its production); however, being a volatile substance, it disappears in a few hours if the bottle is left open. But Resveratrol is not the exclusive prerogative of the grape; it is contained in several other plants: peanuts, raspberries, mulberries ... and, unbelievable, in buckwheat!
Thus, this fantastic pizzoccheri should be reconsidered by doctors who have this dish banished from the table of heart patients considering it "poison" to the arteries. A handsome plate accompanied by a glass of wine (preferably red) will in no way damage the coronary arteries but on the contrary, may even help to protect them from atherosclerosis.
Como is heaven for a sweet-tooth. Ice-creams and cakes are so irresistibly fancy and appetizing that the word ‘no’ disappears from your vocab, sometimes together with your thin waist.
- If you fancy some rich and creamy Stracciatela or Nocciola ice-cream, pardon, gelato, then Cremeria Bolla 1893 is your choice. The waiters remember you the next day, the menu is in English, but the most important thing is that they strive for uniqueness and turn traditional desserts into novelties; they make your stay unforgettable with a rich aroma of coffee, a great variety of sweets & desserts and even ‘festive’ candies that can be packaged specially for you. Cremeria Bolla address: Via Pietro Boldoni 6, Como. Website: www.cremeriabolla.it
- Miascia cake or bread (pronounced /mee-AH-sha/) is one of the most famous sweets of Lake Como, and more generally from the Lombardy region. But can you believe it is made of dry and stale bread? It traditionally meant to fill in the hungry peasant’s stomach, no haute couture cuisine, it is fair and square! Yet, the ease with which you can bake it extends the fantasy margin, given that the basic ingredients are simple and everyone can add a little 'what they prefer, depending on taste’. The basic recipe usually features 500 g (18 oz) stale bread and 1 litre of fresh milk, in which the bread soaks for 2–3 hours, then add in 1 egg, 2 tbsp of corn flour and sugar, dried fruit (to taste) & chocolates, nougat, biscuits, pine nuts, raisins ... what you want and that is in the house, 1–2 apples and/or pears, a drop (okey-dokey, 1/2 cup) of Amaretto di Saronno liqueur and crushed amaretti cookies will be a good tribute, as well as some lemon zest. Add some 50 g of butter to make it softer. Mix everything in and put in a pre-heat oven (190C for 15 min, then lower the heat to 150 C and bake for 30 more min), remove from the oven, let it cool, sprinkle it with sugar-and-vanilla powder and ENJOY!
- Nuvola, a delectable and heavenly luscious sweet cake from the local bakery shop. Have you ever walked on cloud No.9? If not yet, Beretta L'Arte Del Pane is a place to have your piece of a cloud. They call it Nuvola, a soft ambrosial delicacy that you sink your teeth in and your heart follows head over heels.
Unsurpassed Nuvola is not the only treat for your tummy here. The Bakery offers a wide range of bread, mini, and full-size pizzas. The showcase is set up with elegance, parading a rich palette of colors, flavors, and tastes. The bakers work with passion and you can feel it in every bite you take, and believe us, you’ll have your mouth full 😃
Bakery shop Beretta L'arte Del Pane address: Via Pietro Boldoni, 36, Como.
- Resta is typical sweet of the lake, it could be found in the shop of “Casa del biscotto”. It is a great place to pick up sweets like chocolates, biscotti, torrone, etc., and crema di marroni — sweetened chestnut cream – an easy dessert: fill small ramekins with the cream and top with a generous dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream (in France it’s called Mont Blanc). Gluten- and sugar-free selections are also available, and you can fill bags from a large candy bar for gifts. Casa del Biscotto address: Via Luini Bernardino, 52, Como.
- The Market Place, despite its English name, is a thoroughly Italian place under the direction of chef Davide Maci, who is utterly devoted to seasonal, local cuisine. They offer three types of menus: a la carte, classical and gourmet degustation. The Market Place address: Via Borsiere 21/a, Como. Check their website for more details.
Itineraries in Como and around
The best way to know the city of Como is to take this Complete Como Walk which guides you through the main sights and tells their history.
After we advise to take a walk along lake promenade. Here is the romantic promenade and next walk to Villa Geno.
Another important experience is taking a funicular to the village above Como called Brunate and walking through some of the viewpoints. Volt’s Lighthouse is the highest one offering a 360-degree view.
Getting around and about in Como
You can easily walk on foot in the City center. If you like cycling, this is a good option too. Bike sharing services are available near Lago and train stations. Be careful with the trains, the city has two main stations that operate with different train services, viz. Como S. Giovanni is connected to Milano Centrale, Monza, and Switzerland (Lugano, Zurich, etc.), Como Nord Lago station is connected to Milano Cadorna, Saronno and is the easiest way to get to Malpensa airport. Buses inside the city have quite a tricky schedule but are faster and much cheaper in comparison to boats if you need to travel to Bellagio or Menaggio (be careful if you have any car sickness, drivers are real Italians and drive Ferrari-style).
- Bus. The central station is just nearby Lago train stations (Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, Como). Tickets could be bought directly there, in the worst case you can buy them directly on the bus. Also, many buses pass through Como S. Giovanni station, tickets could be bought at the coffee shop in the station. If you plan to use buses, buy a return ticket, it does not have specific timing, so you can use it whenever you want. For the timetable please consult their website and pay attention to Summer and Winter calendars!
- Como Funicular (getting to Brunate) - http://www.funicolarecomo.it
- Bike sharing - the stations could be found in Piazza Cavour, near Funicular, train station S. Giovanni or Como Nord Borghi and in Sant Abbondio (via Regina Teodolinda, Como). In order to take a bike, you can use an app (bicicitta), buy a ticket in a newspaper shop on the train station S. Giovanni or online. If you plan to stay for several days you need to make online registration through the website (bicincitta.tobike.it). The “touristic” tariff is 8 euro, you can use a bike for 4 hours during 24 hours. Otherwise, the weekly subscription costs 5 euros plus 1 euro charge, where the first half an hour is free and each following half an hour is 50 cents.
- Boats are probably the most convenient transport to commute between numerous lake villages and towns, the roads along the lake are usually narrow and very crowded. Check the Lake Navigation Service website for details. You can also ask for a private trip on a boat, one of the most beautiful are Riva boats, you get really good value for money and enjoy a luxury experience.
- Car rent. All the main rental companies are situated on Viale Innocenzo XI, 14, Como (Europe Car, Avis, Maggiore, etc.) Tip: be careful streets are very narrow on Lake Como, especially along the part going up to Bellagio! Also, there are many cyclists, other tourists and the locals driving fast.
Getting to Como
The city of Como is very well connected to Milan. There are regular trains running every hour from Milan Centrale and Milan Cadorna to Como. Very comfortable Swiss trains from Como San Giovanni station to Milano Centrale are slightly faster (less than 40 minutes with stops in Seregno and Monza) just for 4.70 Euros. On the other hand, Milano Cadorna train station is very close to Castello Sforzesco and all the sights of the historical center of Milan, so it is more convenient for a walk.
Getting to Como from Malpensa airport is also a short 1-hour commute and requires a quick switch at Saronno railroad station.
The A4 highway linking Milan and Switzerland goes in close proximity to Como, so traveling by car is also convenient.
Where to stay in Como
Luxury accommodation with incredible views in historical villas:
Price / Quality ratio:
Budget options & Family options:
Very local and adventurous:
Tips for travellers to Como
Tired after a wandering around the city, take funicular in the afternoon and go up to Brunate, take a walk to the lighthouse of the First World War. At sunset, enjoy Italian slow life with aperitif or dinner in one of the restaurants with a great view of the lake from above.
Visiting during July & August, keep in mind that these months are quite hot and you may want to have a swim or enjoy the parks in Como. Therefore, take a boat and travel up to Menaggio or Bellagio, both towns have wonderful beaches with access to the lake and swimming pools both for children and adults. Being around, do not forget to visit villas and parks, do some small shopping and devour the local food (there are several small producers of olive oil, which has very delicate flavor respected all through to the south of Italy; and local wine, the real treasure is Sforzato or Nebbiolo).
- traveling on August 15 and during Catholic Christmas holidays, always check the opening time of restaurants as it could vary significantly.
- good restaurants have specific opening hours and will be open from 12 or 12:30 to 14 or 15 and then in the evening from 18 or 19 until 23. If you would like to have a bite during the afternoon, you can find several places with pizza (like Peach Pit at Via Diaz Armando, 41, Como) or try some awesomely fresh fish dishes (Guerici at Via Francesco Muralto, 35, Como), or simply go the bakery and ask them for “pannino con crudo” - “bread with ham”, a cheap and tasty solution (like Beretta at Via Pietro Boldoni, 36, Como).
- in the high season, from the end of April until the beginning of October, there is an increased number of boat routes and numerous festivals and fireworks.
- a special atmosphere is during Christmas when the city center is artistically lightened up.
- during late autumn and early spring the weather is very unstable and it is very important to take umbrellas and waterproof shoes. The lake can become a mystery place with low clouds tightly enveloping the hills.
- if you like jewelry you can find several shops with the local producers of unique pieces, with diamonds or in silver (Benzoni at Via Adamo del Pero, 18, Como; RocaWood at Via Armando Diaz, 1, Como)
Day trips from Como
Como is a perfect base for exploring lakes district of Italy. Apart from the lake itself there are numerous opportunities around:
- Lugano and Canton Ticino. Como is on the border with Switzerland. It is easy to get to the Swiss town of Chiasso and take a train there. Lugano, Bellinzona, Locarno and smaller towns are at your disposal with the help of the accurate Swiss Railways. Also, you could take a train directly from Como San Giovanni railroad station.
- Milan is about 45 minutes away by train for just 4,70 Euros one way.
- Lake Maggiore could be reached by car or by train (from Lago station change at Saronno and after taking a train to Stresa), there you can take a boat to Laveno / Borromeo Islands.
- Monza. Villa Reale is a historical building. It lies on the banks of the Lambro, surrounded by the large Monza Park, one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe.
- Bergamo is about 2 hours by train from Como San Giovanni with a switch in Monza. You might like not only visiting Bergamo but also solving some puzzles while getting to know the city with the Bergamo Quest app.
- Lecco part of the lake is famous for free climbing. More information could be found here.
- If you like shopping there is a huge outlet nearby FoxTown in Mendrisio that could be easily reached from Como by shuttle bus.
Know Como better
The Como is a unique place in Italy, a lake surrounded by the mountains. One of the most posh and luxurious abodes that could be explored and discovered by any tourist. If you come here for the fist time you may want to spend some time wandering around the city, so, take a promenade along “lungolago”. Or, better still, take a small boat trip at least to Cernobbio to experience this marvelous lake by observing it from the water.
People of the area are called “comaschi”, they are quite a close ethnicity speaking their own dialect, which is a mix of Italian, a bit of French and Austrian.
During May and September you can become a part of the Comasc culture and see traditional costumes of Medieval times during Palio (www.paliodelbaradello.it; www.amicidellalucia.com).
If you want to fully experience all the richness of the lake, book a room at Villa D’Este in Cernobbio, Grand hotel in Tremezzo or Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, order an Aperol Spritz and enjoy your view from the pools of some of the most beautiful hotels placed in historical villas of Italy.
If you love nature and hiking the Como offers various trips ranging from a couple-of-hours walk to one-week trips that will conquer you with the gorgeous views on the lake system of Lombardy. Don’t forget to take your hiking boots and download routes from the Routes.Tips app.
Italy is a country where it is quite easy to travel with children, most of the restaurants offer a menu for children, do not hesitate to ask the waiter to warm up a bottle of milk or help you to find a changing place.
See you in Como!
Useful links for travelers
Como Tourist Information Office
Via Roosevelt, 7+39 031 3171
Video Intro to Como (Italiano)