What is Lake Como Known for?
With its spectacular coast, picturesque villages and its glorious sunshine, it’s no surprise that Lake Como in Italy has been drawing in an A-list crowd for decades.
Stars including George Clooney , Madonna and Richard Branson have all famously owned homes there, not to mention it continues to be a firm celebrity favourite for a holiday.
The destination has previously seen the likes of Emily Blunt and John Krasinski , as well as Declan Donnelly with wife Ali all enjoying a summer break on Lake Como’s idyllic shores.
Meanwhile, it also proved the ultimate romantic setting for Manchester United’s Chris Smalling and new wife Sam Cooke , who tied the knot at the stunning Villa Balbianello overlooking the lake, at a star-studded ceremony including Wayne and Coleen Rooney , Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones.
But why is such a hit with the stars and for what is Lake Como known for?
1. Stunning Views
Wherever you turn your head, the landscape changes, every reflection, every nuance, every corner takes a different form: our Lake Como is an authentic triumph of landscapes, colors and emotions, each time different. Also the exact same point has a different color in each second. For that reason an experience that could not be missed is to wander in search of the most panoramic Lake Como’s spots, where you can steal a few shots to our beloved Lario.
Monte San Primo above Bellagio
To see our Lake Como from an optimal place, you should climb the San Primo mount. The mountain is located in the center of the Larian Triangle, and it is the highest of the surrounding area. The walks are easy and from there you can admire a splendid panorama of the lake and of the surrounding mountains.
We have already talked about the Brunate’s Funicular because it is beautiful and easy to get. It’s a perfect starting point for beautiful walks that will lead you in no time to the source of Pissarottino, a panoramic point really incredible.
Pigra is another view point that you can reach without effort. It’s 700 meters high above the sea level, just above Argegno, but thanks to the funicular you will see easily the lake on its western shore. I wrote an article about this wonderful place, you can find it by clicking here.
Lanzo and the Sighignola’s Belvedere
Do you know the Intelvi’s Valley? Right above Lanzo, on the border between Italy and Switzerland, you can find a wonderful panoramic terrace (also called the Italian Balcony) located right on the border, but still in Italian territory. From here you would have a wonderful view direction west, where you can see all the highest Alps’ peaks, among others also the Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn.
Scenic walks on Lake Como are endless. One not to miss is the one that leads to Mount Bisbino. Remember, we have already wrote about it on our blog! Here you can find all the information on how to achieve it.
The Rifugio Menaggio is located in Plesio, more precisely in Mason del Fedee at 1,383 meters above sea level. It was built on a hill into a very scenic location close to the south of the Mount Grona. You can climb here all year round in a short time, and in addition to the exceptional view, from here you can go to many other excursions and paths. I can definitely say that this is one of best Lake Como’s sights.
Castello di Vezio Varenna
The other Lake Como’s branch offers equally beautiful views. Reach Varenna and then climb to the Vezio Castle, located on a promontory at the bottom of the Esino Valley. The castle overlooks Varenna and offers a Lake’s panoramic view really wonderful.
2. The fairytale-worthy villages
The lake is surrounded by some seriously beautiful villages. Think colourful buildings, gothic architecture, cobbled streets and striking landmarks nestled throughout.
The best part is that from Como itself to popular hotspots Mennagio and Varenna, each village is completely unique: so for stars like George Clooney who are regular holidaymakers in the region, no visit is the same.
We take a look at the top 5 so you can find the one that’s right for your holiday…
Menaggio: Families and those wanting a proper summer break should head to popular tourist hotspot Menaggio where there are plenty of big hotels and resorts that cater to a wide array of budgets and holidays, whether you’re after adventure or want to laze lakeside!
Bellagio: If you’re after a glamour atmosphere, then head to Bellagio. There are plenty of foodie delights and chic wine bars, not to mention a host of terraced gardens – such as the Villa Serbelloni Park with lakeside views – as well as exhibitions and performances at the nearby Tower of the Arts.
Varenna: This traditional fishing village is ideal for escaping the hustle and bustle of daily life. While away an afternoon and laze by the lake, or explore the gorgeous Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi. It’s also got direct train links to Milan, should you fancy a day trip.
Tremezzo: Foodies will want to head to this region, renowned for its mouthwatering pizzas and delectable seafood.
3. The Unique Landmark and Villas
It’s not just the sweeping panoramic views that have celebrities coming back to the beautiful region – there’s plenty to see and do for a fun day out away from the crowds of fans and paparazzi.
Another thing Lake Como is known for is the attractive villas that have been built there since Roman times, when Pliny the Younger built the Comedia and the Tragedia resorts. Many villas on the lake shores have admirable gardens that benefit from the mild climate induced by the stabilizing presence of 22.5 cubic kilometres (5.4 cu mi) of lake water and can sustain many subtropical and Mediterranean plants.
Villa del Balbianello is located on top of a woody hill called Dosso di Lavedo. The latter stretches out into the water detaching from the western river of Lake Como, roughly in front of Bellagio.
Villa Olmo owes its name to a magnificent centenary elm tree, today no longer existent. Built according to the Neoclassical style, the villa was committed by Marquis Innocenzo Odescalchi, whose family had given birth to Pope Innocent XI.
Villa Monastero as an impressive sight from the lake which seems to step out of time. The sprawling neoclassical yet eclectic villa sits on the shore and commands attention
Villa Carlotta is a unique place of rare beauty, where natural masterpieces and incredible works of human intellect live together in perfect harmony into over 70000 square metres between stunning gardens and museums.
Villa Mezi was built by Francesco Melzi d’Eril, duke of Lodi and vice-president of the Italian Republic at the time of Napoleon (1801-1803), like many other powerful Milanese families, built a huge formal residence with park in Bellagio.
Villa Serbelloni is a suggestive monument which stand on the promontory of Bellagio where, according to the legend, Plinius the Younger owned a villa called Tragedia (tragedy).
4. The Countess Activities On Offer
Lake Como offers a vast choice of experiences and activities. We select the following as the best possibilities you have. We suggest to book directly by the link you will find in the Experiences page to get the best prices,
Boat tour on Lake Como are something that it’s definitely recommend to anyone who wants to experience their holidays at its best. No matter if you are visiting Lake Como for a day or staying longer, jump aboard a boat, relax and reach your favourite destination: Bellagio, Varenna, Como, or maybe one of the historical villas on the shores of the lake. Boat tours are basically of two types: public or private. You can choose the experience you prefer based on your needs, especially the time and budget you have available.
We selected for you the best tour at affordable prices:
In Como try the tour from SuBacco to discover the wonders of Lake Como, for a Tour lasting two (2h) or combine a Boat Tour with a Como walking tour with a Private Cruise.
In Bellagio don’t miss the Sailing Private tour on board of a 38ft sailing yacht and discover amazing coves, villas and towns of Lake Como.
In Tremezzina or Varenna enjoy a deluxe experience of day trip on a Venetian-style Boat.
Sport on the Lake can be an unforgettable experiences. Among the best offer we selected a Private Tour in Kayak staring from a characteristic fishermen village aside Bellagio. You can have the unique opportunity to go to the point where northern waters divide in Como and Lecco branches with astonishing panoramic view.
The best of the best of Lake Como experiences is definitely an Helicopter tour which allow you to discover the lake from an unusual perspective. You will fly over Lario and perceive its characteristic “Y” shape, exploring the “sines and gulfs” described by the famous Italian writer Alessandro Manzoni in his masterpiece, “I promessi sposi”. To get the best prices for this activity we recommend to book in advance following the link you will find in the Private Helicopter Tour schedule.