best things to do in Lake Como

10 Best Things To Do In Lake Como, Italy for a Perfect Gateway

If your ideal Italian getaway includes a blend of natural splendor, rich history, and vibrant culture, consider Lake Como your chosen destination.

Nestled in the Lombardy region and just about an hour’s drive from Milan, Lake Como is celebrated for its crystal-clear waters, breathtaking scenery, and picturesque towns.

10 Best Things to Do in Lake Como

Here are the ten best things to do in Lake Como to make your getaway an unforgettable experience.

1. Visit Villa del Balbianello

Villa del Balbianello, Lake Como

Villa del Balbianello is a historic mansion on the tip of a wooded peninsula that extends into the lake.

The villa has been featured in several films, including Star Wars Episode II and Casino Royale. The mansion is surrounded by beautiful gardens that offer a stunning view of the lake.

2. Explore the Town of Bellagio

Bellagio, Lake Como

Bellagio is known as the “Pearl of Lake Como.” It is a charming town located at the intersection of the lake’s three branches.

Bellagio’s streets are lined with artisanal shops, gelaterias, and restaurants, and its gardens and villas are breathtaking.

Villa Melzi, a beautiful neoclassical mansion with lush greens and stunning sculptures, is a must-visit attraction in Bellagio.

✈️ Ready to book your trip to Lake Como? Here are some helpful tips and guides for visiting “Il Lago delle Stelle” (the lake of the stars): 

  • Explore the Top Lake Como Attractions here
  • Book the Best Hotels in Lake Como here
  • Find the Best Tours in Lake Como here

3. Take a Boat Tour

sailing boat on the lake of Como

Lake Como is one of the largest lakes in Italy, spanning over 140 square kilometers.

A boat tour is an excellent way to explore the lake and its surroundings while enjoying the breeze and stunning views. Many boats depart from Como, the largest city on the lake, and make stops at towns like Bellagio, Menaggio, and Varenna.

Looking for the perfect Italian name for your boat? Dive into our guide on the 175 best Italian boat names.

4. Hike the Greenway del Lago di Como

Greenway Lake Como

The Greenway del Lago di Como is a scenic trail that runs along the lake’s western shore, connecting the towns of Colonno and Cadenabbia.

The trail is about 10 kilometers long and offers breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. You’ll pass along charming lakeside towns, historical buildings, and natural parks.

5. Visit Villa Carlotta

Villa Carlotta

Villa Carlotta is a historic villa located in Tremezzo on the lake’s western shore. The villa houses an impressive collection of artworks, including sculptures, paintings, and tapestries.

The villa’s botanical garden is also a must-see attraction. It has over 500 species of plants, including azaleas, rhododendrons, and camellias.

Suggested Read: Lake Como or Lake Garda? Find Your Perfect Italian Lake Experience.

6. Take a Dip in the Lake

floating swimming pool on Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como is known for its clean, clear waters, and swimming in the lake is an excellent way to refresh yourself on a hot summer day.

There are several beaches along the lake, or you can rent a boat and jump in the lake from there. For the more adventurous, cliff diving is also a popular activity.

7. Try the Local Cuisine

The popular Italian dish Pizzoccheri

Italian cuisine is famous worldwide, and Lake Como has some delicious local specialties you want to take advantage of.

Lake fish, such as perch and trout, are popular dishes, and pizzoccheri, a type of buckwheat pasta served with vegetables and cheese.

For dessert, try some gelato, a sweet treat that will cool you down on a hot day.

8. Take a Funicular Ride

Brunate funicular, Lake Como

The funicular is a cable car that takes you from Como to Brunate, a small town on a hill overlooking the lake. The ride is short but offers spectacular views of the lake and the Alps.

Once you reach Brunate, you can explore the town’s narrow streets, artisanal shops, and restaurants.

Suggested Reading: Italy Geography Quiz: Can You Master the Challenge?

9. Visit the Cathedral of Como

Como Cathedral

The Cathedral of Como is a stunning example of Gothic architecture, located in the city’s heart.

The cathedral’s impressive facade is adorned with intricate details and features beautiful stained glass windows and frescoes. Visitors can also climb to the rooftop terrace and enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the lake.

10. Relax by the Lake

Lake Como’s peaceful atmosphere and stunning natural scenery make it the perfect place to unwind and relax.

You can lay on the beach, stroll along the lake, or enjoy a glass of wine at a lakeside cafe while admiring the view. It’s an excellent way to recharge your batteries before returning to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Suggested Reading: Discover 70 famous Italian landmarks you must visit.

In conclusion, Lake Como is a breathtaking destination with something to offer everyone. From outdoor adventures to cultural and historical experiences, there are plenty of activities to enjoy on your Italian getaway.

So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to discover the best of Lake Como. You won’t regret it.

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