Discover the best things to do in Lake Como. Read our travel tips, discover your destination through awesome images and plan your sightseeing including the must-see Lake Como attractions.
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Lake Como, located halfway between Milan and the Swiss border, has been one of Italy’s most popular vacation destinations since Roman times. From water sports to hiking and mountain biking, there’s a variety of physical activities to enjoy. The picturesque resort towns that line the lake’s shores are great places to shop and explore. Lake Como also hosts a number of annual festivals, including a folk art celebration the last weekend in June and a traditional rowing race in September.
Lake Como Weather: Lake Como is on the sunny side of the Alps and enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate. In July, typically the warmest month, temperatures average 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Regional Cuisine of Lake Como:: Savoy cabbage, pork, shad, tench, pike, polenta, tripe.
Regional Wine of Lake Como: Barolo, Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano Toscano and Garganega
Things to Do in Lake Como:A ferry ride across the lake, Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo, Villa d’Este in Cernobbio, Villa del Balbianello in Isola Comacina.
Where is Lake Como? Lake Como is located in the foothills of the southern Alps approximately 50 miles north of Milan.
I will always remember meeting a falcon trainer one spring morning in Varenna, a picturesque town on the eastern shores of Lake Como.
I was touring Castello di Vezio, a 17th-century castle built on the ruins of an ancient Etruscan fortress. When I overheard voices exclaiming excitedly, I investigated and found a man standing by the railing overlooking the lake. He wore a leather glove on his left wrist upon which perched an enormous falcon.
Although falcons are no longer used to hunt wild quarry, Vezio Castle’s falconer still breeds and trains falcons, hawks, barn owls and other birds of prey. Watching those birds catch the air currents around the lake and soaring through the air with elegant precision was a beautiful way to pass a morning.
Lake Como is one of Europe’s premier recreational venues. Its towns grow very crowded in July and August when most Italians take their own vacations to relax on the beach. This can drive prices up and create traffic on local roads that are ill equipped to handle large numbers of people.
The best times to visit are May, June and September when fewer people are there. In early spring, the lake is still quite chilly, but in September, the water is warm enough to enjoy. In general, weekdays also tend to be less crowded than weekends. If you decide to visit in winter, you may find the area refreshingly uncrowded, but check ahead of time to ensure that the places you want to explore will be open as many may shut down during the slow season.
Fun Fact: Although Lake Como is not the largest lake in Europe or even in Italy, it’s one of the deepest at 1,300 feet. The deepest parts of the lake measure 660 feet below sea level.
Local Dishes: Lake Como’s most distinctive dish is pizzoccheri, a ribbon-like pasta made from buckwheat and wheat flours, traditionally served with Savoy cabbage and diced potatoes. The pasta tastes best when it is sprinkled liberally with the Casera cheese produced in the Valtellina valley just east of Lake Como.
Local Day Trips: Fans of "Star Wars Episode II" may want to visit the Villa del Balbianello on Lake Como’s western shore, which was used as a set in the film. The villa, built in the 18th century on the site of an abandoned Franciscan monastery, offers guided tours.
All you really have to do when you visit Lake is enjoy yourself. For some people, that involves jet-skiing, sailing or windsurfing on the lake’s crystal blue waters. Others prefer to tour the picturesque lake towns or relax in the sun.
The definitive Lake Como experience may be a ferry boat ride across the lake at sunset. Many people find Bellagio, nicknamed "The Pearl of the Lake," the most striking example of the distinctive, local architecture. Visit Villa Balbianello by boat shuttle or ferry and take a guided tour for a small fee, or just wander through the gardens. Villa Monastero is another stunning example of the charming architecture of the Lake Como area.
Main points of interest
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