What to do on and around Lake Como

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Cosa fare sul Lago di Como e dintorni

Activities and attractions not to be missed

Lake Como is a wonder to explore, full of exciting activities and breathtaking attractions. Besides its picturesque villages such as Rezzonico, Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio and Cernobbio, every corner of the lake offers a unique experience.

From boat tours on Lake Como to the discovery of historic villas, from shopping in the centre of Como to the calm of Piona Abbey, Lake Como is a treasure not to be missed.

Discover what to do on Lake Como through the beauties of this extraordinary destination and be captivated by its timeless charm.

The charm of Lake Como

Lake Como is not only a natural paradise, but a place where history, culture, nature and good food come together to create an atmosphere of serenity and beauty. It is an area that has attracted poets, writers, artists and tourists seeking rest and adventure for centuries. Its calm waters and mountainous landscape frame historic villas and lush gardens, offering a view that has few equals in the world.

Every day on Lake Como promises not only a journey through enchanting landscapes, but also an immersion in centuries of history and tradition that live on through its enchanted shores.

Here are some of the stops not to be missed to organise your itineraries on Lake Como.

Discovering the picturesque villages on Lake Como

Bellagio: the pearl of the lake

Bellagio is known as the pearl of Lake Como, a title that reflects its sophistication and charm. Located at the junction of the three branches of the lake, this village is famous for its cobbled streets, elegant boutiques and outdoor cafés overlooking the sparkling waters. Strolling along the lakeside promenade, one can admire the historic villas and their gardens, such as the famous Villa Melzi d’Eril, which beckons visitors with its Italian-style garden and rare botanical species.

Bellagio also offers opportunities for water sports and walks along the hillside paths, from which one can enjoy a panoramic view of the lake. It is a place that embodies elegance and tranquillity, making it an unmissable stop for anyone visiting Lake Como.

Varenna: colours and romance

Varenna is a small jewel set on the eastern shore of Lake Como, a village that enchants with its unmistakable romanticism and the bright colours of its houses overlooking the water. This picturesque fishing village is characterised by a quiet lakeside promenade and narrow streets that offer striking views.

Its flower-filled terraces overlook the lake, creating a magical atmosphere, especially at sunset when the warm light reflects off the calm waters. Varenna is also home to Villa Monastero, a historic residence that houses a museum and a botanical garden that stretches along the lake, inviting visitors to relax amidst the plant species and incomparable views. Those seeking an intimate and fascinating experience will find the essence of Lake Como in Varenna.

Tremezzina: beauty and attractions

Tremezzina is a hamlet on Lake Como that stands out for its natural beauty and numerous attractions. Located opposite the enchanting Isola Comacina, this area is famous for Villa Carlotta, with its art museum and botanical garden that blooms in every season of the year, offering a spectacle of colours and scents.

Tremezzina is the ideal place for nature lovers and those wishing to explore the lake’s cultural richness. The lakefront is a perfect starting point for a relaxing stroll, with views of the calm waters and surrounding mountains. In addition to its cultural offerings, Tremezzina is renowned for its local cuisine and restaurants serving typical dishes, thus allowing the pleasure of visual and gastronomic discovery to be combined.

Menaggio: stories and panoramas to discover

Menaggio is one of the liveliest villages on Lake Como, a perfect combination of ancient stories and breathtaking views. This charming village is known for its beautiful lakeside promenade and lively central square where cultural events and local markets take place.

Menaggio invites you to discover its historical architecture, such as the church of Santo Stefano, whose frescoes and thousand-year history capture the attention of visitors. Walks along hilly paths offer unforgettable views of the lake and mountains, making Menaggio an ideal starting point for hikers and photography enthusiasts. There is no shortage of opportunities for outdoor sports, from golf to hiking and swimming in the cool waters of the lake. Menaggio is a must for anyone seeking an authentic Lake Como experience.

Cernobbio: the enchantment of the lake

Cernobbio is a fascinating location that is one of the gems of Lake Como. This village is best known for Villa d’Este, a luxury hotel that was once an aristocratic residence and now attracts visitors from all over the world for its impressive architecture and impeccable gardens.

Cernobbio’s lakefront is also the starting point for boat trips, allowing visitors to admire the wonders of the lake at close quarters.

The Villas and Gardens of the Lake Centre

The historic villas overlooking Lake Como are numerous and fascinating, and their characteristic Italian gardens are one of the attractions not to be missed. Especially during private boat tours or when cruising around the lake on your own with a Lake Como boat hire company.

Villa Melzi: romantic gardens and elegant residences

Villa Melzi d’Eril is one of the most enchanting places on Lake Como, a true jewel of architecture and nature located in Bellagio.
This historic residence, built in the early 19th century, is surrounded by a romantic garden that stretches along the lake shore, attracting visitors from all over the world. Its shady paths, neoclassical statues and rare botanical specimens create a dreamlike atmosphere, perfect for a relaxing stroll. In addition to the gardens, Villa Melzi offers guests the opportunity to explore the chapel and museum with an art collection that tells the story of the villa and its illustrious visitors.

The view of the lake from the villa’s terraces is simply priceless, making Villa Melzi a must for anyone visiting Lake Como.

Villa Carlotta: history and art

Villa Carlotta is one of the wonders of Lake Como, located in Tremezzina and famous for its art collection and botanical gardens. Built at the end of the 17th century, the villa is a museum housing valuable works of art, including sculptures by Antonio Canova and paintings from various periods. The botanical garden is a spectacle in itself, with exotic plants and spectacular blooms that change with the seasons, offering new emotions each time.

Villa Balbianello: a place not to be missed

Villa Balbianello is one of the pearls of Lake Como, situated on a promontory of the Lavedo peninsula near Lenno. This charming villa attracts visitors with its panoramic location, elegant architecture and meticulously maintained gardens.

Villa Balbianello has an adventure-filled history, having been the residence of explorers and collectors, and is now managed by the Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (FAI). The villa has also gained international fame for having been the set of famous films, which have captured its unique beauty. A visit to Villa Balbianello offers the opportunity to stroll among flowering terraces, loggias and pergolas overlooking the lake, offering unforgettable views.

Lake Como experiences

Boat Tours on Lake Como

A private boat tour on Lake Como is an experience that allows you to discover the beauty of the place from a unique perspective. The calm, crystal-clear waters of the lake are perfect for a boat trip, offering panoramic views of the historic villas and lush gardens that line its shores. Tours can vary from a simple crossing between picturesque villages to longer cruises that include stops to explore specific places of interest. For those seeking a more exclusive experience, it is possible to hire a private captained tour. Contemplating the sunset over the lake while sailing is something magical, a boat tour is essential to fully appreciate the essence and tranquillity of Lake Como.

Planning your family holiday? Discover the tips for a family boat tour on Lake Como!

Shopping in the historic centre of Como

Shopping in the historic centre of Como is an experience that mixes pleasure and discovery. The cobbled streets are lined with a variety of shops offering everything from the latest Italian fashion trends to local handicrafts.

Strolling among the luxury boutiques and antique shops, one can find the quality and excellence that have made Italy famous the world over. Como is also known for its silk, so it is the ideal place to buy scarves, ties and other accessories made of this precious fabric. Besides shopping, the city centre offers historical monuments and cosy cafés where you can take a break while enjoying an espresso or an artisanal gelato.

Shopping in Como is therefore not only an opportunity to find the perfect souvenir, but also to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of a city rich in history and culture.

Mountain trekking: the lake from above

For trekking lovers, the paths around Lake Como offer a new perspective on this wonderful landscape. For the more adventurous, the mountains offer routes of varying difficulty, leading to breathtaking views and corners of serenity.

You can reach peaks such as Monte Tremezzo or the more challenging Monte Legnone, from which you can admire the lake in all its extension and the chain of the Alps in the distance. Along the trails, you can come across ancient constructions, such as alpine refuges, that bear witness to mountain life and offer refreshment to walkers.

Trekking in the mountains of Lake Como is an experience that combines physical effort with the pleasure of being immersed in natural scenery of rare beauty, and represents a unique opportunity to breathe pure air.

Flavours and surroundings of Lake Como

Local cuisine: missoltino, rice and lake fish

The local cuisine is a taste journey distinguished by its simplicity and authenticity. Missoltino, a lake fish preserved in salt and pressed, is one of the typical specialities to try, especially accompanied by polenta. Risotto with perch is another dish that embodies the perfect harmony between the products of the lake and the land, with its delicate taste reflecting the purity of Como’s waters. Moreover, the lake area offers a variety of fresh fish, such as trout or agon, which are prepared according to tradition, guaranteeing genuine and intense flavours.

Each meal is an opportunity to discover the deep connection between cuisine and territory, where each ingredient tells a story of lake, mountains and culinary passions.

Lake Como, an unforgettable journey

Book your holiday and don’t miss the opportunity to experience a private boat tour!

Lake Como is a destination that offers unique and memorable holiday moments, and a private boat tour is the culmination of this extraordinary experience.

When planning your stay, bear in mind that the opportunity to sail the waters of the lake, surrounded by breathtaking scenery, is not to be missed.

Subacco Tour recommends booking a private boat tour online in advance to ensure an experience to remember forever!

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