Lake Como is a place of great charm, a corner of the world where nature, art and breathtaking landscapes come together to create an unforgettable atmosphere.
There are many fun things to do in Lake Como. We asked Marta Mascaro, author of the blog Lakeaddicted, to share with us her best tips about Lake Como.
1. Take a boat trip and admire Como from a different perspective
The best way to fully appreciate the landscapes, views and picturesque villages of the lake is by taking a trip with a private boat, preferably with a driver.
The advantage is that you can navigate very close to the shore (it is forbidden with the public boats), discovering corners, gardens and noble residences that otherwise you would miss.
2. Visit the village of Bellagio – the “Pearl of the Lake”
This small village, also known as the “Pearl of the Lake” for its elegant beauty, is a tangle of narrow alleyways and steep steps, overlooked by old houses, bars, restaurants and elegant shops. What makes it truly unique, however, is its position: Lake Como has the shape of an inverted Y and Bellagio is located exactly in the middle of the 3 branches. Reach Punta Spartivento, the end of the promontory on which it is located, and you’ll get a view that no other point of the lake can give.
3. Fall in love with the gardens and villas of the Centro Lago
The central area of the lake, during the past centuries the destination of illustrious poets, musicians and writers, is known for its elegant residences and for its romantic gardens. Do not miss Villa Carlotta and its botanical garden, Villa Balbianello, a film set of several films and Villa Melzi with its lakeside promenade. But the list does not end there and if you like to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of other times, this is the place to go!
4. Enjoy water sports and have fun in the water
Lake also means, especially in summer, baths, sun, sports and fun! You can practice several water sports on the lake, like kayaking and stand up paddle. Rent your outdoor equipment on TourScanner! There are no equipped beaches but if the beach life is too quiet for you, you can always try adventurous activities: kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, boards or sailboats can be hired and what is certain is that fun is assured.
The area is absolutely perfect for fans of kyte surfing and sailing in general. For a quieter kayak or canoe ride, on the other hand, the area around the Comacina Island (the only island in the lake) is ideal, a quiet and fascinating stretch of water.
5. Go on a trek and admire the lake from above
Much of the charm of this lake is due to the imposing mountains that surround it. The highest peak is the Legnone (2609m), the second is the Grigna (2410m) and then down to decline, in a succession of peaks and slopes, a true paradise for lovers of hiking. There are endless walks and walking paths, you just need to discover them. The reward will be a breathtaking views.
6. Taste Risotto with perch and missoltino
Fish is the main ingredient in the Lake Como menus. Among the many dishes, the specialties certainly not to be missed are the risotto with the perch and the missoltino, a fish to eat with polenta. If you want to learn end experiment more about the typical dishes of this area you can join a food and wine tour.
7. Learn the secrets of falconry in the Castle of Varenna
The village of Varenna is a picturesque fishing village, with colorful houses, located on the eastern shore of the lake.
On the promontory behind it, stands the Castle of Vezio, an ancient military outpost where every afternoon intriguing demonstrations of falconry are staged … overlooking the lake! You will have the chance to watch a beautiful show in an evocative place and with a breathtaking view.
8. Experience the thrilling atmosphere of the Sagra di San Giovanni
The Sagra di San Giovanni, one of the most ancient tradition of the lake, is held every year on the weekend closest to the 24th of June, the day in which the saint in question is celebrated. The location is the Comacina Island. It will be an amazing pyrotechnic show so do not miss it!
9. Visit the Piona Abbey and enjoy its peaceful surroundings
At the top of the lake, on the eastern shore, there is a place where time seems to have stopped. It is the Abbey of Piona, an architectural complex with a church and cloister, built on a hill at the foot of Mount Legnone. The lake is very close and what dominates is the silence, the beauty of the landscape, the sacredness of the place.
10. Experience shopping in the historic center of Como
Como is the city that gives its name to this lake. Its historic center, surrounded on three sides by medieval walls, is a checkered tangle of narrow streets, squares, boutiques and historic shops where it is nice to “get lost” and go shopping! Many boutiques in which to find souvenirs in silk, the product that distinguishes this city in the world. You have to visit the cathedral, an extraordinary example of Gothic-Renaissance style made of spiers, stained glass and statues. Its imposing dome distinguishes the skyline of this city from whatever point you look at it.
11. Discover the famous Sacred Mount of Ossuccio
This important place of worship, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003, is truly a fascinating place. Along the old cobbled avenue that leads from the village to the Sanctuary, there are 14 baroque chapels with 230 human-sized statues representing Christ’s life. All around only meadows and olive trees.
12. Admire the beauty of Tremezzina and its stunning views
It is a gentle walk of about 10 km, which crosses the Tremezzina and the neighboring villages, taking you to discover villas, gardens, ancient villages and wonderful natural views.
I hope you enjoy our list of things to do in Lake Como. Don’t hesitate to comment below if you have some cool suggestions to share.
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