Paradise within reach
One of the most beautiful lakes in Italy, Lake Como is situated just 50 km from Milan and is known for being a favourite celebrity haunt. Surrounded by mountains on all sides, the lake enjoys a mild climate that favours the growth of a variety of lush vegetation: vineyards, olive groves, and cypresses are combined with centuries of art and history. Summer is the ideal time to organize an out-of-town trip in search of a perfect mix of nature and the aristocratic beauty of one of Italy’s most treasured gems.
The best way to enjoy the beauties of Lake Como is to take one of the many ferries that cross it daily and stop in all the major towns that have places of interest.
Find all the ferries crossing the lake on www.navigazionelaghi.it
Enjoy a tour of the city
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Start your sightseeing trip in Como, with its Duomo (the Cathedral), Romanic basilicas of San Fedele and Sant’Abbondio, the Broletto (the medieval municipal building), and the famous Villa Olmo, a masterpiece of neo-classical architecture. While in the city, don’t miss Giuseppe Terragni’s Casa del Fascio, one of the most interesting rationalist buildings in Italy.
By continuing north on the western bank, you will find Cernobbio, renowned for its Renaissance Villa d’Este, a magnificent aristocratic building that now has been converted into a luxury hotel. Next, you will reach Laglio – George Clooney’s adopted town – and Isola Comacina, where the Sagra di San Giovanni is currently held in June (around 24 June), featuring a fireworks display.
When in Tremezzo, the top of your “must-see” list is a visit to the Baroque-style Villa Carlotta, with its Italian garden and sculptures by Canova. From there you can travel across the lake to Bellagio, a charming resort town offering a breathtaking view over the lake. From here you can head down the eastern arm of the lake towards Lecco, where you should try to make time to visit the Basilica of San Nicolò with its soaring bell tower, and the port, the ideal spot for a stroll. If you head north instead, you will come to Varenna – with its Vezio Castle (12th century A.D.) and aristocratic villas – and then Colico, hosting the Piona Abbey, situated in a panoramic position of extraordinary beauty.