Lake Como, also known as Lake Lario, is one of the most suggestive destinations in Italy. Its shores are frequented every year by many tourists and over time have been chosen as an exclusive holiday destination by a growing number of internationally renowned personalities. A marvellous nature, the constantly changing landscape and characteristic small villages make this destination one of the most fascinating in Northern Italy. In this article we will suggest you some of the places to visit on Lake Como.
Como is the most important city overlooking the lake and also the one that gives it its name.
If you have never been on the Lario, then this is the perfect place to start exploring the area. Its historic centre is really charming and there are so many things to do. Below we decided to recommend some of them.
You can’t go to Como and not visit its magnificent Duomo.
The church is dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta and is the most important religious building in the city.
The architecture of the Church is a harmonious fusion of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles: the result is one of the most beautiful monuments in Northern Italy.
Among the churches of Como that deserve to be visited there is also that of Sant’Abbondio, protector of the city. This building is one of the most beautiful examples of 11th century Romanesque architecture.
The Church of Sant’Abbondio is located just outside the city centre, but it really deserves to be visited, if only to admire the beautiful frescoes in its presbytery.
The building is located on the lakefront and celebrates the figure of Alessandro Volta, the great physicist born in Como.
Inside the temple are kept instruments and objects that belonged and were used by the scientist. Many of these are original, others are reconstructions: unfortunately in 1899 a fire destroyed most of the material displayed inside during the Universal Electricity Exhibition.
A pleasant walk along the lake will take you to Villa Olmo, one of the most beautiful neoclassical residences in the area. Over the centuries, many celebrities stayed here, including even Napoleon and Garibaldi.
Today it hosts exhibitions and events.
If you are planning to visit Como, one of the things to do in order to discover the city and its tradition is to take part in a food and wine tour.
Our food tours in Como will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the culture of the place, admiring its most beautiful corners, discovering many funny anecdotes and curiosities and tasting some of the best typical dishes of the area.
Together with a local guide you can taste polenta, sciat (fritters filled with melted cheese) and the Nuvola Cake, a typical dessert of Como.
Among the most beautiful things to do on Lake Como is the ride up to Brunate with the famous funicular: once you get to the top, you will be amazed at the spectacular panorama.
The “balcony over the Alps“, this is how the small and characteristic town of Brunate is called: a must-see stop!
Finally, you cannot miss a boat ride to explore the landscape of Lake Como from a different perspective. In this way, you will also have the opportunity to visit some of the villages and towns in the area.
A suggestion: find out about the boat schedules of Lake Como and get to the ferry ticket offices well in advance!
Among the places to visit on Lake Como there is also Lecco, the city that gives its name to the eastern branch of the Lario.
Its fame, as you probably remember, is linked to Alessandro Manzoni’s Promessi Sposi (the Betrothed) and here, everything is a bit reminiscent of the famous novel: from the alleged house of Lucia, to Olate, to the Church of Saints Vitale and Valeria, considered the small church of Don Abbondio.
Cernobbio is the most popular resort on Lake Como and is among the favourite destinations of VIPs and Hollywood stars.
In the surroundings of this small town there are some of the most beautiful historical villas on Lake Como. Two absolutely deserve to be mentioned: Villa Erba and Villa d’Este. Both are now used for events, congresses and banquets. The renowned Forum Ambrosetti is held in Villa d’Este.
Among the places to visit on Lake Como, then, there is Bellagio, a charming town that stands right on the promontory that divides the lake into its two branches.
The Pearl of Lake Como, so it is called Bellaggio. Its beauty is due to its particular position, its colourful little houses overlooking the lake, its narrow flowered staircases and its hidden gardens. In this regard we advise you not to miss a visit to the Gardens of Villa Melzi and Villa Serbelloni.
Varenna is perhaps the most romantic of the villages on Lake Como.
The famous promenade of love accompanies the visitor from the pier to the town centre: from here, then, narrow cobbled streets wind through the houses with flowery balconies.
Varenna must be lived calmly and slowly, letting yourself go through its narrow streets and if you have enough time don’t miss a visit to Villa Monastero and its wonderful botanical gardens.
Finally, among the things to see on Lake Como there is Isola Comacina, a small island famous for the remains of the Church of Sant’Eufemia.
You can reach the island with a taxi boat from Ossuccio and once on the spot you will find yourself immersed in a lush nature, within a still unspoilt and absolutely delightful landscape.
We hope to have given you some useful hints about places to visit on Lake Como: now you just have to organize your itinerary.
We have created amazing food tours and cooking experiences that will show you how and what local people enjoy eating. Typical dishes, served in different restaurants, will present you the local food culture!