Lake Como is an upscale resort area set against the foothills of the Alps in Northern Italy’s Lombardy region that is renowned for its breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Shaped like an upside-down Y, the lake has three slender branches that converge at the luxurious resort town of Bellagio. The charming city of Como rests on the bottom of the southwestern branch and features beautiful Renaissance architecture and a funicular that takes visitors up to the mountain town of Brunate for some spectacular views.
1.Duomo of Como
The Duomo of Como (Como Cathedral) is a spectacular Gothic cathedral dating back to 1396 and one of the last built in Lombardy. The beautiful cathedral was designed by Lorenzo Degli Spazzi of Laini d'Intelvi and modified by Pietro di Breggio (Como) and features awe-inspiring late-Gothic Renaissance elements such as sculptures by Tommaso Rodari of Moriggia, and fresco by De Passeris that was salvaged from the Saint Maria Maggiore basilica in Rome. The Duomo can be admired while enjoying a coffee or a cocktail at one of the cafés on the eastern side of the piazza, and admissions to the cathedral are free-of-charge.
Piazza del Duomo, Como, Lombardia, 22100, Italy, Phone: +39-03-13-31-22-75
2.Villa del Balbianello
Villa del Balbianello is an enchanting estate on the western shore of the lake with beautifully manicured gardens and picturesque views of the lake. Located on the tip of the Laredo headland, the villa complex boasts consists of two residential buildings adorned with English and French furnishings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries and a rich collection of ethnic sculptures and artifacts. Other buildings in the complex include a church and a gorgeous portico that overlooks a little dock and boasts unrivaled views of Isola Comacina and the western shore of Lake Como. Today, the villa is used for private events, weddings, and film sets.
Lenno, Lombardia, 22016, Italy, Phone: +39-0-34-45-61-10
3.Taxi Boat Varenna
Taxi Boat Varenna offers guided tailor-made tours of Lake Como’s picturesque towns, villas, and beautiful scenery on elegant boats. The service provides a range of tours from Varenna, including trips past the magnificent villas on the lakeshore to George Clooney’s villa in Laglio, as well as customized journeys for special occasions like weddings, anniversaries, proposals, and birthdays. Taxi Boat Varenna also provides traditional taxi services for brides and grooms to their venue and their guests to restaurants, and pretty lakeside towns.
Contrada del Porto, 1, 23829 Varenna LC, Italy, Phone: +39-34-92-29-09-53
4.Jungle Raider Park
© Jungle Raider Park
Jungle Raider Park is an adventure and amusement park with two locations, one in Civenna and one in Margno, which provides a wealth of outdoor fun for the whole family. Surrounded by forests of tall trees, the park features seven different paths based on varying levels of difficulty, ranging from logs and wooden walkways to Nepalese bridges. There are also forest zip lines, bungee jumping ropes, a hanging skill path between the trees, cave tours, an archery range, and a pellet-gun tag. Jungle Raider Park also hosts special celebrations, team-building events, school trips, and summer camps.
Bellagio CO IT, Via Piano Rancio, 22030 Civenna CO, Italy, Phone: +39-0-31-96-36-51
5.Basilica of Sant'Abbondio
© Renáta Sedmáková/stock.adobe.com
Located outside the walls of Como at the foot of Mount Croce, the Basilica of Sant'Abbondio is one of the oldest churches in the area. Nestled along a stretch of Via Regina that was an important area of worship, the basilica dates back to the 5th century AD and features beautiful elements such as two notable bell towers rising at the end of the external aisles, a highly ornamented apse decorated with beautiful frescoes dating back to the mid-14th century, Romanesque bas-reliefs, and Abundius' relics beneath a high altar.
35 Via Regina Teodolinda, Como, Lombardia, 22100, Italy, Phone: +39-33-82-58-33-28
6.Museum Moto Guzzi
The Moto Guzzi Museum is located in Mandello del Lario, which is the original birthplace of the Moto Guzzi Eagle. Established in 1921, the museum exhibits the culture and history of the Moto Guzzi with an impressive collection of over 150 exhibition objects, including sportbikes, pieces of production motorcycles, prototypes and experimental engines. Visitors journey through the various periods of Italian motorcycle history with fascinating displays and over 80 motorcycle racing bikes, including the 1924 Guzzi 4V, the Guzzi 350 1955 World Champion, the 1946 twin 500 of Omobono Tenni, and the record-breaking V7 series.
63/67 Via Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, Mandello del Lario, Lombardia, 23826, Italy, Phone: +39-03-41-70-92-37
7.Botanic Gardens at Hotel Villa Cipressi
The Botanic Gardens at the Hotel Villa Cipressi are beautiful century-old gardens and grounds that are open to the public and feature exquisitely manicured trees, shrubs, and flowering plants. Based at the Villa Cipressi, which was built in the 1400s, the arboretum boasts an enchanting blend of contemporary architecture and ancient gardens, showcasing the biodiversity of each area of the country. The gardens are spread over four terraces overlooking the lake, creating a stunning setting for romantic moments.
18 Via 4 Novembre, Varenna, Lombardia, 23829, Italy, Phone: +39-03-41-83-01-13
8.Forte di Fuentes
© Paolo Goglio/stock.adobe.com
Fort di Fuentes is a former military fort atop Monteggiolo near Colico in northern Italy. Built by the Spanish governor of Milan in 1603 to defend the northern border of the Spanish domain against the Grisons, the fortress is historically significant as it is one of the few remains of Spanish dominion in the area. The 17th-century fortress was an important crossroads for the passage of the most powerful armies of Europe headed to Italy or northern Europe before being destroyed by Napoleon in 1796 in his Campaign in Italy. Today the fortress features several gun emplacements that were constructed on the site during the First World War.
24 Via Papa Giovanni XXIII, Colico Piano, Lombardia, 23823, Italy, Phone: +39-03-41-94-03-22
© Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com
Located in the enchanting town of Bellagio, Enoteca Principessa is a little wine shop tucked away in on a cobblestone street that sells a variety of Lombardy wines, as well as other vintages from around Italy. Visitors can sample the wines via a modern system (enomatic), purchase or send wines to foreign countries from the shop, which also sells dessert wines, Champagne, organic olive oils, grappa, Tartufo, and other local products.
16 Salita Serbelloni, Bellagio, Lombardia, 22021, Italy, Phone: +39-0-31-95-08-60
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10.Sentiero del Viandante
© Franco Bissoni/stock.adobe.com
Sentiero del Viandante is an ancient 28-mile hiking trail along the eastern shores of Lake Como that is divided into four sections and boasts spectacular natural scenery and several artistic attractions. The pathway winds its way northwards from Lecco upwards to Abbadia Lariana, passing charming little villages and gorgeous scenery along the way. Stage one of the trail runs from Abbadia Lariana to Lierna passing through the district of Maggiana and boasting breathtaking views of Olcio and Lake Como, and stage two runs from Lierna through the evocative hamlet of Castello di Lierna to the Vezio Castle and Varenna. Stage three winds its way from the hamlet of Varenna in Vezio to Valle Masna, crossing the Woods of the Witches and into the Sanctuary of Lezzeno, before reaching Oro and Dervio. The final stage of the hiking trail runs from Dervio past the evocative hamlet of Corenno Plinio, San Rocco, and along the slopes of Mount Legnone to the Sanctuary of Madonna of Valpozzo.
Lombardia, 22021, Italy
© Agriturismo Sorsasso
Agriturismo Sorsasso is a family-owned wine estate in Domaso on Lake Como that produces wines that are characterized by intense flavors that reflect the rich heritage of the land from which they grow. Situated on the hills of Alto Domaso Lake Como, the winery uses modern wine-making methods to produce wines characterized by intense scents and tastes reminiscent of the homeland, ranging from white and reds to roses, grappa and sparkling wines. The Antico Cantinone di Domaso is the farm’s ancient cellar, which dates back to 1600 and was formerly used as a wine-growers’ cooperative of Domaso. Today, the cellar is used as a unique tasting location, taking guests on a sensory journey through the flavors of Domaso and Lake Como. Crotto Sorsasso Farmhouse is an ideal spot for special celebrations and can be reserved for wine tastings, lunches, and dinners.
Via Gaggio, 1/bis, 22013 Domaso CO, Italy, Phone: +39-33-97-95-49-95
12.Ittiturismo da Abate
© Ittiturismo da Abate
Ittiturismo da Abate is an elegant family-owned and operated restaurant that serves a menu of seafood caught fresh from the lake. The restaurant is based in the lovely lakeside village of Lezzeno at the foot of the mountains that was once the center of the fishing industry and shipbuilding industry. The restaurant serves a menu of traditional and typical lake cuisine with an array of fresh fish, fish-based dishes, fresh salads, and decadent Italian desserts. The cuisine is accompanied by a variety of fine Italian wines, local and imported beers, handcrafted cocktails made with high-end spirits, and locally made grappa. Ittiturismo da Abate is open for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday, and Sunday lunch.
Via Villa, 4, 22025 Lezzeno CO, Italy, Phone: +39-0-31-91-49-86
© La Colombetta
Located in a former church in Como town, La Colombetta is a cozy Italian trattoria owned by three Sardinian sisters that serves gourmet Italian cuisine. The elegant restaurant boasts comfortable, country-style décor, soft lighting, and an intimate ambiance and serves an array of traditional Italian cuisine prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients using recipes passed down by older generations. The menu features traditional Italian fare such as antipasti platters, wood-fired pizzas, ample helpings of handmade pasta, and fresh seafood platters. The cuisine is accompanied by an array of fine Italian wines, local and imported beers, handcrafted cocktails made with high-end spirits, and locally made grappa. La Colombetta is open for dinner, Monday through Saturday.
Via Armando Diaz, 40, 22100 Como CO, Italy, Phone: +39-0-31-26-27-03
14.Agriturismo La Selvaggia
© Agriturismo La Selvaggia
Located in a hamlet of Mandello del Lario, Agriturismo La Selvaggia is a beautiful farm overlooking the lake that offers romantic outdoor dining against a backdrop of breathtaking views. The farm also has a romantic indoor dining room with an impressive stone fireplace for winter dining and serves organic, farm-to-table cuisine made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients using age-old recipes passed down through the generations. Guests can dine in a romantic spot overlooking the lake, which is reached by a winding path through the woods, and the food is accompanied by an array of fine Italian wines, local and imported beers, handcrafted cocktails made with locally-made spirits. Agriturismo La Selvaggia is open for lunch and dinner daily.
Via Santa Mari, 23826 Frazione Somana, Mandello del Lario LC, Italy, Phone: +39-33-81-74-00-83
15.Locanda La Tirlindana
Located in the enchanting hamlet of Sala Comacina on the water’s edge of Lake Como, Locanda La Tirlindana is a cozy and romantic restaurant that seamlessly blends traditional Mediterranean flavors with French accents. Restaurant owner Chef Patricia uses traditional recipes and fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create a menu of creative cuisine, which includes steaming bowls of handmade pasta, fresh seafood, prime grass-fed beef and lamb, freshly baked bread and decadent desserts. The cuisine is accompanied by an array of fine Italian wines, local and imported beers, handcrafted cocktails made with high-end spirits, and locally made grappa. Locanda La Tirlindana is open for lunch and dinner daily.
Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 5, 22010 Sala Comacina CO, Italy, Phone: +39-03-44-04-19-87
16.Ristorante Aurora Lezzeno
© Ristorante Aurora Lezzeno
Ristorante Aurora Lezzeno boasts a stunning location right on the waters of the lake with a large terrace and breathtaking views of the Villa Balbianello. The restaurant is a culinary destination with one of the most beautiful and evocative panoramas in the world and serves a creative menu of gourmet Italian cuisine. Owned by the Gregorio Family, the menu features dishes prepared in the Larian tradition with plates of steaming pasta, fresh seafood, wood-fired pizzas, succulent meats, fresh salads and vegetables, and mouthwatering desserts. The splendid terrace of the Aurora Restaurant is perfect for celebrating romance and is often used for unrivaled wedding receptions and cocktail gatherings. Ristorante Aurora Lezzeno is open for lunch and dinner daily.
Località Sossana, 2, 22025 Lezzeno CO, Italy, Phone: +39-0-31-91-46-45
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17.La Vita e Bella
© La Vita è Bella
Nestled in a tranquil area near Como's waterfront, La Vita è Bella is a friendly, easy-going spot that serves bountiful, creatively topped salads, handmade pasta with sauces, fresh seafood, and grilled meats, and some of the most exquisite paella in the region. The small restaurant has a lovely glassed-in terrace for romantic wining and dining, and the cuisine is paired with an array of casual Italian wines, as well as other vintage from around Europe, handcrafted cocktails made with high-end spirits, and craft beers. La Vita è Bella is open for lunch and dinner daily.
Piazza Domenico Croggi, 4, 22100 Como CO, Italy, Phone: +39-0-31-30-26-67
18.The Market Place
© The Market Place
The Market Place is a cozy restaurant with an intimate atmosphere that serves gourmet cuisine in an elegant environment. Opened in 2011 by Chef Davide Maci, the restaurant serves a classic and gourmet set menu, as well as à la carte options, featuring dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients and international flavors. Drawing inspiration from the lake, signature dishes include freshly caught fish from the waters of Como, and the cuisine is paired with an array of fine Italian wines, local and imported beers, and handcrafted cocktails made with high-end spirits. The Market Place is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
Via Giuseppe Rovelli, 51, 22100 Como CO, Italy, Phone: +39-34-23-66-41-09
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18 Best Things to Do in Lake Como, Italy
- Duomo of Como, Photo: Marco/stock.adobe.com
- Villa del Balbianello, Photo: e55evu/stock.adobe.com
- Taxi Boat Varenna, Photo: photomic/stock.adobe.com
- Jungle Raider Park, Photo: Jungle Raider Park
- Basilica of Sant'Abbondio, Photo: Renáta Sedmáková/stock.adobe.com
- Museum Moto Guzzi, Photo: isaac74/stock.adobe.com
- Botanic Gardens at Hotel Villa Cipressi, Photo: frimufilms/stock.adobe.com
- Forte di Fuentes, Photo: Paolo Goglio/stock.adobe.com
- Enoteca Principessa, Photo: Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com
- Sentiero del Viandante, Photo: Franco Bissoni/stock.adobe.com
- Agriturismo Sorsasso, Photo: Agriturismo Sorsasso
- Ittiturismo da Abate, Photo: Ittiturismo da Abate
- La Colombetta, Photo: La Colombetta
- Agriturismo La Selvaggia, Photo: Agriturismo La Selvaggia
- Locanda La Tirlindana, Photo: Pixel-Shot/stock.adobe.com
- Ristorante Aurora Lezzeno, Photo: Ristorante Aurora Lezzeno
- La Vita e Bella, Photo: La Vita è Bella
- The Market Place, Photo: The Market Place
- Cover Photo: luisawhr/stock.adobe.com