Reasons You Need To Visit Lake Como, Italy
Lake Como is one of the most beautiful places in Italy and one of the dreamiest destinations to travel to. This summer I happened to have my wedding there and it was hands down one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. Shaped like an inverted “Y, “ surrounded by mountains and dotted with charming waterfront villas and open air restaurants - Lake Como is the most picturesque travel destinations. It is a very dreamy and mysterious place - with its faded veneer of old money gentility, picturesque Victorian gardens, and lakeshore villas and restaurants. Lake Como is the perfect relaxing place to spend the summer and is well worth the visit.
Best Times To Visit
Lake Como is a popular weekend getaway destination for Milanese looking to get away from the crowds of Milan, so if you are trying to beat the crowds weekdays would be best. The cheapest and less crowded times to travel to Lake Como is during the off seasons, i.e April to mid-June or September and October. The temperatures at this time are perfect since it’s not during the hot Italian summer or the cold winter. Peak season begins at the end of June through August - this is most exciting time with lots of bustling tourists, these are also the warmest months of the year. I personally enjoy warmer climates and the excitement of bustling crowds so I opted to visit in mid August.
How To Get There
The easiest way to get to Lake Como is via Milan. The closest of the two airports in Milan to Lake Como is Milan-Malpensa (MXP). From there you can opt to take a taxi or get a rental car and drive 45 minutes to Lake Como or take the 1 hour train ride from Milan. If taking the train head to Milan’s central station, Milano centrale - you can browse schedules and purchase tickets online here.
Where To Stay
There are lots of gorgeous villas and hotels in Lake Como and the “best” towns to stay in are debatable. But, I would recommend staying in the towns of Como, Varenna, Bellagio, Tremezzo or Laglio. For my wedding weekend I stayed in the towns of Laglio and Moltrasio - I will also note that the famous actor George Clooney’s villa is in Laglio.
My recommended villa’s (also the only ones that I am familiar with) are: Villa Vittoria (where some of our wedding guests stayed and is just a few doors away from Villa Oleandra - George Clooney’s home), Villa Regina Teodolindo (also close to George Clooney’s home), Villa Lario, Villa D’Este, Grand Hotel Tremezzo, and Grand Hotel Imperiale (another venue where or wedding guests stayed).
Things To Do
The best way to properly enjoy Lake Como and enjoy all it has to offer is to pick a place as your home base and then take advantage of the ferries which traverse the Como villages everyday. There are also the options of fast boats, slow boats, private boats and buses (which is much slower). Visit the towns/villages and just explore.
The Prettiest and Most Popular Towns are:
Perhaps one of the Lake’s largest, most vibrant and also, most popular towns, is Como. It is filled with lively cafes, authentic Trattoria and plenty of places to sample Italian Gelato - Como is a great place to spend a day exploring. One of the highlights of Como is the spectacular Duomo, with its grand, dominating façade, and equally astonishing interior.
Bellagio is by far the most famous town on Lake Como. It is famed for its majestic Italian villas over-looking the Lake, and for being the home to famous individuals. Take a ferry across and enjoy perusing the vast variety of shops, restaurants, wineries and Villas. There’s a beach (yes, you heard right), hiking trails and areas that offer water sports like kayaking and pale boarding. If you want to just take it easy, find a cafe or spa and unwind.
Varenna is a small fishing village that has a plethora of authentic Italian eateries that serve up traditional dishes with locally sourced ingredients. it’s a great place to sample local wines, as well as experiment with the abundance of gelato flavors. See Villa Monastero for sight seeing.
One of the most popular tourist towns on Lake Como is Tremezzo, meaning that it is built up with gran hotels and incredible villas. Tremezzo is one of the most beautiful towns on the entire Lake. It’s usually a stop over point for tourists visiting Bellagio. Like most towns in Lake Como, there are a lot of villas to explore; most notably Villa Carlotta, with its grand white façade and commanding size.
Lenno is famous for Villa del Balbianello (where I got married). It’s a picture perfect estate that was also used as a set in the movies Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Casino Royale (James Bond). This i the most romantic place to have a wedding.
Lake Como offers visitors a variety of different attractions, from its spectacular natural scenery, hiking trails, beaches and gorgeous towns and villages that are quintessentially Italian. Whether you prefer to be in the centre of activity or prefer being more isolated and enticed by the local way of life, Lake Como has something for everyone to enjoy.