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Lake Como – a once in a lifetime experience

It is said that it might be a little difficult not to fall in love with Italy. There is a moment in life when you discover that some places are even prettier than in dreams, and one of those moments is when you first set foot on the shores of Lake Como, because the Italian Lakes are one of the most enchanting areas in Italy, offering spectacular views, pretty lakeside resorts and an abundance of places of cultural interest.

Lake Como has attracted thousands of visitors during the years, for having wonderful views, immense natural beauty and a relaxed lifestyle. Imagine yourself sipping a fresh cocktail, while gazing at the backdrop of the mountain scenery reflecting on the tranquil waters.

From George Clooney to David Beckham, Lake Como has attracted the world’s biggest names, becoming their favorite place for a relaxing and fulfilling trip. Many movie stars, musicians and political leaders consider Lake Como to be the best place to go to whenever you seek peace and tranquility.

Lake Como has one the most interesting weather patterns in Italy. If you’re about to plan a trip this year or you have already arranged it, you will have the possibility of enjoying a fresh snowfall in Winter, often accompanied by rainstorms and lightening, this in itself is an experience as the sky and the lake light up with natural strobe lights. In the Summer time, the weather is fantastic and unique, although very warm it does not reach the stifling peaks of other regions and it makes an excellent destination for the Summer months.

Lake Como weather is generally mild. It is known for its Mediterranean-like climate where tropical and sub-tropical plants can grow all-year-round. During the winter months, the lake helps to maintain a higher temperature in the surrounding region. Average daily temperatures range from about 13 °C in December to 30 °C in July.

Water temperatures can reach an average of 24 °C during the month of July. Rainfall is heaviest in May and lowest during the winter months. Snowfall is erratic and primarily affects the higher elevations.

Fulfilling tours in Lake Como

In order to appreciate and to explore the beauty and the secrets of the Lake Como region, you should take advantage of travelling by boat and maybe spend an entire day on the water. From the comfort of your boat you can admire the mesmerizing landscapes, the luxuriant vegetation and the variety of historic and art sites, making a cruise on Lake Como a one of a kind experience.

There are different types of boats, but whichever one you choose, you will always enjoy the relaxing Lago Di Como trip, and you will be able to take as many photos as you want. With a day ticket, you can visit more than one town and all of the major destinations like: Como, Argegno, Bellagio, Gravedona, Menaggio and Varenna. What do you have to do? Just sit, relax and enjoy the view.

You might want to explore this lovely destination on your own, or join a well-established organized tour, with the services of a tour guide who will show you the best that Lake Como has to offer to each and every traveler.

For 55 Euros, you can explore the central area of Lake Como by boat and you can also visit Villa Balbianello. The central area of Lake Como is very popular because it offers the possibility of entering the fascinating and elegant world, of several remarkable patrician villas, such as Villa Carlotta and Villa Melzi. As part of this organized tour you will also get the chance to stop at Villa Balbianello, one of the most romantic and most popular attractions on Lake Como. Wondering why is this villa such an important tourist destination? A number of films have used the villa for location shooting, including “A Month by the Lake”, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Uma Thurman (1995), “Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones” (2002), and “Casino Royale” (2006).

For a longer trip of approximately 225 Euros you can enjoy a full day experience. This tour includes the boat trip, several stops for eating some traditional food and guided visits of several villas. The treasure of nature, the culture and the wonderful landscapes, can all be enjoyed and experienced during this wonderful relaxing day trip. Not to forget the sampling of olive oil, plus the tasting of local cheese, wine, fish and pasta, this tour will be an unforgettable experience.

A shorter trip can be the ‘Discover Lake Como and Bellagio’, for only 50 Euros. The entire trip takes place on a ferry which will sail past villages, villas and gardens introducing you to the atmosphere of Lake Como. You will find out interesting things about local traditions, you’ll have time for a typical local meal or for shopping, you will have time to visit Bellagio, situated in a strategic position on a point overlooking the 2 branches of Lake Como, Bellagio is also very famous for silk, olive oil, wood art and craft items.

A step inside the traditional Italian cuisine

Visiting Lake Como means not only interacting with the beauty of the region, but also enjoying the flavors and tastes of the local food and the deliciousness of the traditional cuisine. It is no secret that the Italian cuisine has a diverse variety of gastronomic dishes, starting from fish to cheese and ending up with meat-based dishes. As long as you know the right places, you’ll be enjoying the best Italian food experiences.

Lake Como typical dishes

We recommend you try ‘Risotto with pesce persico’ a local fresh water fish which is pan fried and served on top of a white risotto.

Or for meat lovers: ‘Polenta con uccelli scappati’, a puree made with corn flower and skewered veal and pork to resemble escaped birds. Not to forget the traditional Panettone.

Here are the best restaurants in Lake Como for perfect meals

Red and White Restaurant

This is the perfect restaurant for family and friends, where you will taste very good food in a warm atmosphere. Located in Tremezzina, across the street from the shores of Lake Como, with extensive views. The chief and his wife are charming, friendly and they speak English. Here you can either select different dishes from the menu, or you can choose an aperitif or two. The food is absolutely outstanding, where you can eat the best ‘pasta e fagioli’ or the best lasagna that you have ever tried. If you are a pizza lover and you want to have a slice later on that day, you have the possibility to benefit from the take away pizza service. Prices start from about 10 Euros for pizzas and pastas and the main dishes from 20-22 Euros. With the great selection of classical Italian food at the best affordable prices, you can’t go wrong if you choose the Red and White Restaurant.

Azalea Restaurant

Set right on the shore of Lake Como, in the heart of Tremezzo, this restaurant offers panoramic views across the Lake. Azalea Restaurant is the best place where you can enjoy great Italian food and drinks, and even relax at the bar with some of the most interesting cocktails of the region. The food menu is extensive and delicious and the view is absolutely stunning and breathtaking. Azalea Restaurant offers an a la carte service, with fresh fish dishes and specialties from the Lombardy region.

Red Bay Restaurant

Located right in the Piazza, near the water, in Menaggio, with a wonderful view, the outdoor eating area is perfectly arranged in order to offer to each client the possibility of admiring the lake, smelling the fresh air and relaxing in the best way possible. The food is very fresh, consisting in salads, pasta and pizza, but you should not miss the wine and the desserts. The delicious menu offers the possibility of eating light meals, with several kinds of salads, as well as, fresh and well prepared pizza. The best local beer will delight you senses at the Red Bay Restaurant. The prices are very affordable, starting from 8-12 Euros, you will get the chance to get closer to the local cuisine, being spoiled with the deliciousness of the Italian cuisine.

Pizzeria Balognetti

Wondering where you can eat the best pizza in Lake Como? Here is the perfect place that will satisfy your desire for tasting a real pizza. In the beautiful Tremezzo, in an Italian home, you will be welcomed by the simple pleasure of cooking the traditional pizza. From wood-oven pizzas to roasted fish to vegetables harvested from the owner’s garden, you will taste the finest and freshest ingredients. The authentic regional food will make your experience an excellent one. Wondering how much costs an authentic Italian pizza? For only 12,50 Euros you will have the chance to taste the best pizza in Italy. A pizza take away service is also available here.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the best attractions in Lake Como

On Lake Como you will feel free and in unison with nature, from everywhere along the Lake you will enjoy breathtaking views, fresh air and be permanently on a pleasant vacation mood, take breakfast anywhere around the Lake on one of the wonderful terraces with views upon the lake, take the plunge and travel by boat in order to take the best photos and at night why not order one of the huge selection of fresh fruits and yogurt ice cream to share with your family and friends. Besides these, don’t miss the chance to visit the famous tourist attraction:

Villa del Balbianello
Duomo of Como
The Jungle Raider Park
Basilica of Sant’Abbandino
Museum Moto Guzzi
The Botanic Gardens

Make sure you also take time to study and follow the map of Lake Como. It will help you discover the best that this region has to offer and you will be sure that you haven’t missed any of the attractions.

Here are the most impressive attractions in Lake Como:

Lecco and the lake

For centuries the area has remained the favorite haunt of the selective traveler coming over the Alpine passes to visit the Italian heartland. Lake Como has been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times, and a very popular tourist destination with many artistic and cultural attractions. The lake is shaped much like the character ‘Y’. The northern branch begins at the town of Colico, while the towns of Como and Lecco sit at the ends of the south-western and south-eastern branches respectively.

The small towns of Bellagio, Menaggio and Varenna are situated at the intersection of the three branches of the lake and a regular triangular boat service operates between them.

Bellagio

The pearl of the lake, it is considered by many to be the most beautiful town in all of Europe. A 10 minutes’ walk to Punta Spartivento will reward you with the most breathtaking views of the three branches of the lake with the chain of the alpine foothills in the background while its narrow cobbled streets, impeccable homes and glorious villas like ‘Villa Melzi d’Eril’ and ‘Palazzo Serbelloni’ make it a most enchanting spot to spend your own unforgettable “Month by the Lake”.

Menaggio, Gravedona, Varenna

A regular car ferry links Bellagio to Varenna, an old fishing village on the Lecco side of the lake, and to Menaggio, a small tourist center located on the west side. Menaggio has a pleasant promenade and an abundance of small shops and lakeside restaurants. The north west side of the lake from Menaggio to Gravedona boasts long beaches with water sports facilities. It is also easy driving distance from the Alps famous skiing resort of St. Moritz.

Sacro Monte di Ossuccio

The Sacro Monte di Ossuccio(‘Holy Mount of Ossuccio’) is a sanctuary located on a hillside slope between olive groves and woods along the western edge of Lake Como facing the Comacina island (Isola Comacina). Fifteen Baroque inspired chapels, built between 1635 and 1710, are dotted along the way that leads to the Monastery. In 2003, Unesco added the Sacro Monte di Ossuccio (along with the other ‘Sacri Monti’ of Piedmont and Lombardy) to the World Heritage List.

Culture and festivals

During each of the many local festivals Lake Como comes alive with celebrity appearances, with jazz, blues and symphonic performances, each day ending with a wonderful display of fireworks. There are a lot of major events, with groups and artists of prestige. In June, all weekends are about festivals of folk music, art and old charms.

Here are the main events taking place in Lake Como

Festival of Bellagio and Lake Como

This is a unique festival that combines tourism and culture, art and landscape. The festival embraces Lake Como, from Brianza to the small mountain villages. Everything performs as in a real dream scenario, rich in history and full of the energy of the nature making this land a prestigious tourist destination. The tradition of this festival is inspired by Franz Liszt, a Hungarian composer, who spent some of his most important months of his life and artistic career in Bellagio and Lake Como. The main goal of this festival is to entertain the locals and the tourists with concerts, master classes, meetings, seminars and cultural tourist itineraries.

Festival of San Giovanni

In the last week of June, on the 24th of June, an important performance of musical shows and a demonstration of fireworks, commemorates the battle of the pilgrims on the island. The most appreciated is the picnic area with games for the younger and with the possibility of tasting Italian street food. The events are held in front of the Comacina Island, at the height of Tremezzo, in an area known as Zoca de l’Oli, or ‘Oil Basin’. The tribute to San Giovanni is a wonderful insight into the history of Lake Como.

Step back in history

Once you enter the magnificent world of Lake Como, it will be shown to you how buildings and monuments of the last areas can successfully be combined with the current manifestations of culture. The old quarter of Como is closed inside medieval walls that have different towers. Inside the walls there are the most important buildings of the town, the Duomo and the Broletto.

Romans used to relax in Lake Como, Dante, Virgil and Catullus, even the genius Goethe. Poetry has expressed the true beauty of Lake Como during history, transforming natural images into beautiful poems.

Lake Como has a fantastic history, rich in legends that you can discover once you arrive on this land. Every villa has a story too, that is why one should never miss the chance of discovering past ways of living in the luxuriant villas over the lake.

Accommodation

From the first moments when your feet are stepping on Lake Como, you will find out the spectacular beauty of nature, the clear crystal waters combined with the charm of the mountains.

There are a lot of towns which can be an option for your stay in Lake Como. Here you have the possibility to rent small apartments and to get a closer look inside the region, finding out local costumes and traditions, but also interacting with the citizens.

If you’re in love with nature and you want to admire the beauty of the lake, there is a wide selection of beautiful villas available for rent. Staying in a villa will offer you the chance of experiencing both luxury and relaxation.

Lake Como, the third largest Italian lake. It is famous all over the world for its wonderful and romantic landscapes, the perfect destination for a luxury wedding in Italy. On its shores you can find many picturesque villages, with their beautiful villas and gorgeous gardens. Legal civil ceremonies can be held just here! There are many other venues that could be chosen for your wedding reception and ceremonies churches overlooking the lake or villas, such as Villa Cortesse. Here we had the chance to offer our services in order to held the best marriage ceremonies. With a wonderful view, this is the perfect villa for your unforgettable wedding and for unique moments and memories. Just let yourself impressed by the next photos

VILLA CORTESE



The Villa is located on the lakeshore and is surrounded by a beautiful extensive park with elegant swimming pool, overlooked by century-old trees. The friendly, unobtrusive owner has his own residence on the far side of the park and driveway with its own independent parking area and garden; he uses it only at weekends and holidays. The fantastic location of the property makes it the perfect base for those who wish to explore the lake using either the public ferries or a private boat. It is also ideal for daily trips in the area beyond Lake Como: Lecco, Como, Bergamo, Milan, Lugano are all within an easy 90 minutes’ drive or less from the property.

VILLA ALPINA



The magnificent Villa Alpina is located in the heart of a small typical Italian town just 9km from Bellagio. The location of the villa offers picture postcard views of the mountains and Lecco Branch of Lake Como from the elegant veranda. The villa is surrounded by a beautiful park with century-old trees, flowers and plants.




VILLA OLGA




Villa Olga is set on the slopes of the north eastern shore of Lake Como. The villa boasts spectacular lake and mountain views. It is a perfect destination for families and is a hub for any kind of water sports such as sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, canoeing. There are many possibilities of outdoor activities for all ages, including hiking, tennis, nature trails and winter skiing.

VILLA CLASSICA



A popular destination for tourists, Argegno is situated in a large inlet on the western shore of Lake Como. It has a pleasant climate and it is mild even in the winter months. With its beautiful panoramic location, one can see from the headland of Bellagio to the north and as far as Nesso towards the south. The village is certainly of Roman origin.

VILLA FIUME


On the ground floor there is a spacious open plan living area with kitchen, minimal furnishings and French doors that open onto the panoramic patio equipped with foosball table, comfortable seating and table with chairs - perfect for outdoor dining.

On the ground floor we also find a double bedroom with king size bed, a twin bedroom that can be converted into a double on request, and two bathrooms with shower. Both bedrooms have private entrances and access to the garden.

VILLA LA SONNAMBULA

 

Located within the most prestigious places on Lake Como, La Sonnambula is a luxury villa with access to the lake and private swimming pool suitable for 23 people and has inspired many prestigious artists such as Bellini.

Within walking distance from the nearest shops and restaurants Villa La Sonnambula not only offer great views of Lake Como but is also a short drive away from the Switzerland border.

Bellagio is also the place where you can find the pure, but beautiful glamorous lifestyle of the region. There are a lot of hotels, with breathtaking views and wonderful restaurants, in order to make your vacation pleasing and unique.

Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before, in order to become a storyteller!

 Events in Lake Como

Events

When

Where

Details

Milano TEATRO ALLA SCALA All seasons Via Filodrammatici 2 - 20121 Milano Tel. +39 02 860787 (24-hour ticket booking service)
Tel. +39 02 72003744 (Information office for ticket availability)
Fax +39 02 861778 (to confirm your booking)
www.teatroallascala.org