Lake Como

What to see & discover

Visit one of the beautiful villas

Lake Como is lined with beautiful, colorful villas - and really all of them are worth seeing! However, you have to pay an entrance fee to visit the villas and their impressive gardens. So you might want to think about which one you want to visit beforehand. We opted for the “Villa del Balbianello”. It is considered one of the most beautiful on Lake Como and has often been the location for famous films such as James Bond and Star Wars. We don't regret our choice for a second, because the villa is beautiful! We also liked Villa Monatero in Varenna and Villa Melzi in Bellagio at first glance.

Enjoy the sun on the Lido

You should definitely plan some time to relax on Lake Como! After all, you're on vacation!

There are small beaches all around the lake. Some of the beaches charge an entrance fee, but there are also many free beaches. If you want to find the nearest beach, just look out for signs saying “Lido”. You'll always find a place to swim here. But I also have a little beach tip: we really liked the Lido di Ossuccio and it was free!

Go on a boat trip

If you're at Lake Como, there's one thing you definitely have to do: A boat tour! Whether privately or on one of the ferries, you'll have a great day! However, the cheaper alternative is probably to take the ferry. There are various routes for which you can buy day tickets. We started in Lenno and drove past Villa Carlotta to Bellagio. After a short stop there, we continued on to Varenna and returned to Lenno in the evening.

We paid a total of EUR 15 per person for the day ticket, which is really fair when you consider how many stops we could have made. We bought the tickets directly at the ticket office on the ferry pier. You can also find all the information about travel times there or you can check here.

Wander around Bellagio

Bellagio is known as the “Pearl of the Lario”, so you should definitely make a detour here. The town is located on the peninsula between the Como and Lecco arms of the lake. Bellagio is known for its expensive hotels, chic cafés, a beautiful lakeside promenade and winding, steep alleyways. They give the town its special charm.

The old town with the Basilica San Giacomo and the Serbelloni and Melzi villas are particularly worth seeing. However, we also liked it a little off the beaten tourist track. We also passed the “La Punta” restaurant. We didn't eat there, but we really liked the atmosphere. There is also a small swimming area!

Discover Varenna

Personally, I liked Varenna best. I particularly liked the old fishermen's houses in the small harbor, which nestle picturesquely against each other. If you arrive in Varenna by ferry, a beautiful waterfront promenade will take you straight there! On the way, you can grab an ice cream at “La Passerella” and sit down on the steps next to the ice cream parlor.

After a little refreshment, head up one of Varenna's many streets to discover the small town. Afterwards, you can continue a little further up to the “Castello di Vezio”. But all the effort is worth it, because the view from up there is magnificent!

Stroll through Torno

We only made a short stopover in Torno, but that was enough, as Torno is not particularly big. But it is particularly beautiful! The houses are less glamorous, but totally charming.

You will also have to climb a few meters in Torno, as you can only reach the village via stairs that lead down from the higher main road. However, you can get a little refreshment in the “Bar Italia”. This restaurant may look very touristy at first glance, but the food tastes really good!

Tip: If the parking spaces in Torno are full, you can park for free on Via Roma and walk a short distance to Torno from here.

Visit one of the markets in the towns

There is actually a market somewhere on Lake Como every day. In addition to fresh food, you can also find Italian clothing, bags, hats and more. The locals in particular love the markets, so you immediately feel less touristy here. You can find an overview of the various markets here.

Discover small mountain villages

Many people only visit the best-known places on Lake Como, most of which are located directly on the lake. However, there are many beautiful villages in the mountains around the lake that are just as worth seeing. We therefore explored the mountain villages on the peninsula between Como and Lecco, which we really enjoyed. Because here you are really away from the tourist hustle and bustle!

Buy delicious olive oil in Lenno

We spent the night in Lenno, a cute little town that isn't quite so crowded. When a friend heard about this, she wrote to me straight away. She had also been to Lenno and discovered a fantastic store here: Oleificio Vanini Osvaldo. They have one of the most delicious olive oils, which you shouldn't miss out on!

Shopping & dining in Como

Como is significantly larger than the other towns on Lake Como. That's why I wasn't quite as blown away by Como as the other picturesque towns. That's not to say that Como isn't also beautiful; just different and simple! But there is one thing you can do particularly well in Como: shopping and hopping from café to café. So plan Como for a slightly cloudy, cooler day and let off steam in the many stores and boutiques!

Hiking along the greenway

There are countless hiking opportunities for every type of hiker on Lake Como. Hikers' hearts will beat faster, especially in the mountains along the lake. But one particularly beautiful hiking route is not in the mountains at all, but right by the lake. The Greenway encircles Lake Como. You can start the beautiful hiking trail from anywhere and choose the length of the hike to suit you. As the trail is not very hilly, it is also suitable for everyone!

Jetting around the lake by car

We especially enjoyed simply driving along the lake and observing the many beautiful villas and colorful houses. It's worth stopping here and there to take a closer look. Either way, you won't be disappointed by the impressions along the lake!

I have put together a list of all the places on Google Maps.

You can find the list here.