Lake Como, Italy

Are you still looking for a beautiful holiday destination in the north of Italy? One of our favorite destinations in Northern Italy is without a doubt Lake Como. Here you can enjoy azure blue water, picturesque villages, beautiful mountains and delicious Italian cuisine. Lake Como has long been a tourist attraction, attracting visitors from all over the world. From celebrities to the everyday traveler, the lake has a special appeal and is a favorite holiday destination for many visitors. Read on to discover what this beautiful region has to offer!

Lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy. Only Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore are larger. The lake has a characteristic Y-shape (viewed from above) and is surrounded by imposing mountains and picturesque villages. With an area of approximately 146 square kilometers, Lake Como is one of the deepest lakes in Europe, with depths reaching more than 400 meters.

In Roman times, Lake Como was an important trade and transport center. The lake served as an important route between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps, and played a crucial role in the trade routes of ancient Rome. Lake Como has had an inspiring influence on various artists and writers over the centuries. The lake and the beautiful surrounding landscape have inspired countless painters, writers and poets, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Alessandro Manzoni and Stendhal.

The lake is still very popular today, partly because of the beautiful surroundings and the proximity of cities such as Milan and Bergamo.

The best activities and sights around Lake Como

Take the Ferry to Menaggio, Bellagio and Varenna

A visit to Lake Como is not complete without a visit to the charming villages of Menaggio, Bellagio and Varenna. These picturesque towns are located in the shape of a triangle on the different banks of the lake. In these villages you will find idyllic (shopping) streets, colored houses and cozy squares with terraces and restaurants. You can reach the villages with a ferry, which sails all day long to and from the three different villages. Along the way you can enjoy the beautiful view of the lake and the surrounding mountains. A day ticket for the ferry can be purchased at the port of one of the three villages. The price of a day ticket may vary depending on the season. It is also possible to take your car on the ferry. There are additional costs involved and you may need to book in advance, depending on the crowds. In the summer, extra boats are often deployed, so you don’t have to wait long for the next ferry. For current prices and timetables, see the following website: In principle, one day is sufficient to visit all three places.


Bellagio, Como, Italië

Bellagio is also known as the “pearl of Lake Como”. The village is located on the point of the peninsula between the two branches of the lake. This village is one of our favorites, with its picturesque streets, historic center, cozy terraces, and a beautiful boulevard with colorful flowers, from which you have a beautiful view over the lake. The village exudes luxury and is littered with boutiques. If you have enough time in Bellagio, a visit to the gardens of Villa Melzi is an absolute must. Although you cannot visit the 19th century villa itself, you can enjoy the surrounding gardens. The gardens of Villa Melzi are an oasis of flowers and trees, with exotic plants from all over the world. Take a peaceful walk among the beautiful plants and enjoy the serene landscape by the lake. At the time of writing, an entrance ticket costs around 8 euros.


Menaggio, Como, Italië

Menaggio is another charming village located on Lake Como. In contrast to Bellagio and Varenna, this village is a lot flatter. In the historic center of Menaggio you will find numerous narrow streets with cobbled alleys and colorful houses. Visit the medieval church of Santo Stefano, with its beautiful frescoes and historic architecture, or admire the elegant villas and mansions that surround Menaggio. One of Menaggio’s greatest assets is the beautiful promenade that runs along the lake. Here you can enjoy a lovely walk and enjoy the panoramic view of the lake and the surrounding mountains. There are several cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlors on the promenade, where you can enjoy delicious Italian dishes and drinks while enjoying the view.

We had a great time here with delicious ice cream from Il Gabbiano, a cozy ice cream parlor with a terrace right on the shore. We even ordered an ice cream (decorated with dog biscuits) for our four-legged friend who came along with us. What a treat!


Varenna, Como, Italië

The next picturesque village we discuss is the colorful Varenna. One of the highlights of Varenna is the medieval atmosphere that you can experience everywhere. Walking through the cobbled streets with old stone houses and flower-filled balconies, you will feel as if you have traveled back in time. With its idyllic views, charming alleys and enchanting, romantic atmosphere, Varenna is a favorite destination for couples. The historic center of Varenna is dominated by the imposing castle ruin, Castello di Vezio, which overlooks the village and lake. A visit to this castle is a must because of the panoramic views you are rewarded with at the top.

Another beautiful sight is the famous Villa Monastero, a beautiful mansion surrounded by beautiful botanical gardens. Here you can wander through the colorful gardens full of exotic plants, fountains and sculptures, while enjoying breathtaking views of Lake Como. A ticket costs around 13 euros.

Varenna has a lively atmosphere, with cozy cafes, restaurants and shops along the waterfront. Taste local dishes such as the risotto with fish from Lake Como or the famous “missoltino”, a typical dish of dried and salted fish.

For nature lovers, Varenna offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Take a stroll along the scenic lakeside promenade, or venture into the surrounding mountains and forests. The view from the higher points is super beautiful.


Como, Como, Italië

The city of Como of the same name is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Como and is definitely worth a visit. It is a small historic city characterized by Gothic and Renaissance architecture. This can be seen, among other things, in the beautiful Duomo di Como with its characteristic blue domes. Another absolute must-see in Como is the Tempio Voltiano, a museum dedicated to the famous scientist Alessandro Volta, who made the discovery of the battery. Along the atmospheric streets you will find lively squares, cozy cafes and boutiques that give the city a unique character. Take a stroll along the promenade, admire the architecture and discover the lively atmosphere of this city.

Discover the famous Villa Balbianello

Villa Balbianello, Como, Italië

The beautiful villa Balbianello near Lenno is a famous location that has been the setting for films such as Star Wars and James Bond. That Villa was originally built as a monastery and was later converted into a country house. In the 20th century it was purchased by the explorer Guido Monzino, who extensively renovated it and gave it its current beautiful form. The architecture combines elements of both the Renaissance and Baroque styles. The villa has beautiful terraced gardens with statues, fountains and flowering plants. Visitors can explore the villa’s lush gardens and some of the beautifully decorated rooms. It is also possible to rent the location for private events, such as weddings.

Activities at Lake Como

Lake Como is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. You can sail, windsurf, kayak, paddle board, swim and much more. Please note, the beaches around the lake are littered with pebbles. So make sure you wear water shoes, or book an accommodation with a swimming pool.

The most beautiful view is from the water. Did you know that you can rent a boat without needing a boating license? A valid ID is often sufficient to rent a boat. Spend an afternoon on the water and enjoy the beautiful view under the warm rays of the sun. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, as the sun on the water can burn your skin twice as quickly.

If you like golf, Lake Como is also the place for you. In Menaggio you will find a beautiful 18-hole golf course, surrounded by forests and a beautiful view of Lake Como.

For hiking enthusiasts, there are numerous hiking trails around Lake Como that will take you to breathtaking viewpoints. A popular walking route is the Greenway del Lago di Como, a panoramic route through picturesque Lake Como villages such as Lenno and Tremezzo. Walk past old churches, beautiful villas, beautiful gardens and enjoy the beautiful views of the lake.

Combine your trip to Lake Como with a city trip to Milan. Did you know that Lake Como is only 1 hour away from the fashion city of Milan? This proximity makes it ideal to plan a day trip to Milan during your trip, where you can enjoy shopping and enjoy beautiful sights.

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