Lake Como, Italy : Travel Guide & Best things to do

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The breathtaking ‘Lago di Como’ is the third largest lake in Italy, after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. Its gorgeous backdrop has throughout history housed a number of famous and wealthy people (heck even George Clooney owns a villa here!). Unsurprisingly, this area is also frequented by a lot of visitors who make it a point to discover every corner of the beautiful Lake Como. Scroll down to find my favourite moments in Lake Como.

My Favourite Moments

1. Varenna & Castello di Vezio

While all towns in Lake Como are gorgeous, I think Varenna is the most picturesque. It is (thankfully) not as busy as Bellagio, and offers quite a diverse number of activities. My favourite moment was climbing up the hill to get to Castello di Vezio. The views from there are just something else!    

2. Lecco

While often overlooked (or even unfairly criticsed), Lecco was actually my favourite town in Lake Como. Partly because of the gorgeous sunset, and partly because there are genuinely so many beautiful walks to be entertained by. The benefit of Lecco being overlooked is that there are less tourists, and less commotion!  

3. Menaggio

The picturesque town of Menaggio has ancient origins and is located at the foot of Val Menaggio. I personally thought that it had the most elegant lake promenade, facing Varenna. If you enjoy gorgeous views, walks and visiting historical sites, Menaggio will not dissapoint you!  

4. Day trip to Milan

If you have enough time in Lake Como, you can consider taking a day trip to the fifth largest city in the EU, Milan. Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle and the Duomo are the two landmarks of Milan. Other attractions include the fascinating Sforzesco Castle and the Nabigli Lombardi. 

5. Bellagio

While Bellagio is often referred to as the ‘pearl of the lake’, I honestly thought other spots in this lake were more worthy of this label. Don’t take this the wrong way however! Bellagio is still beautfiul, and I especially enjoyed  the view from ‘La Punta’ (picture below) where you can see both sides of the lake. However, the town did feel a bit too touristy, and the overcrowding did not help.

Honourable Mentions

Nearby Lake Lugano in Switzerland
Nearby city of Bergamo

Top Tips

  1. Getting to/from airports: Lake Como is easily accessible from the airports in Milan and Bergamo. Direct trains are available to different parts of the lake.
  2. Accommodation: The price of accommodation varies according to the type of accommodation, and location. I opted to stay in Lecco. It was not only a beautiful town, but it also offered the cheapest accommodation and was as an ideal base to discover most of the lake. Renting an apartment will make the cost of accommodation much cheaper. Better yet, you can follow this link on AirBnB and get an €18 discount. 
  3. Getting around: You can use the ferries, trains, and busses to go around Lake Como. All very simple to use!  Buy the tickets on the day of travel – booking ahead will not make anything cheaper.    

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