The town of Cernobbio is on the shores of the south-western end of Lake Como, only a short distane north of Como and easily reached by ferry if you are exploring the towns of the lake by ferry.
Italy This Way comment: although Cernobbio is not one of the most important destinations on Lake Como, it is a pleasant place to disembark from the ferry and spend an hour or two exploring
After getting off the ferry in Cernobbio you are likely to start with a stroll along the waterfront, followed by exploring the old town.
The main lakeside promenade heads left from the centre, where the boats are dragged on to the quay. There are benches and plenty of shade from the sun under the trees, so a pleasant place for a picnic. There are also nice views across Lake Como to the mountains from here.
One unexpected surprise was the garden walk through the garden called the the Giardino della Valle. Apparently this was an abandoned area of wasteland on a stream until quite recently, but volunteers have completely cleaned it up and created a lovely oasis of a garden that is a pleasure to visit.
One of the most luxurious villas on Lake Como, called the Villa d'Este and now a luxurious hotel, is at Cernobbio - indeed, it was once voted 'best hotel in the world'! If you do stay here you will be able to stroll around one of the loveliest gardens that can be seen on Lake Como, with lots of statues and water features to admire, but for most of us the hotel price tag of 600-2000 euros per night is rather too expensive!
Another of the upmarket villas on the shores of Lake Como is also now a convention centre closed to the public. You can admire the grand Villa Erba (and also the Villa d'Este) from a boat trip on the lake.
After your promenade along the lake you can explore the old town of Cernobbio, which is small but quite pleasant. The main monument here is the church with its baroque facade and tall clocktower, and there are various streets with colourful houses.
A short distance of Cernobbio you can explore the important town of Como.
The challenge of the Via dei Monti Lariani trail starts from Cernobbio and continues about 80 miles along the western side of the lake to Sorico. Far from being a gentle stroll, the hike will take you about 10 days to complete on quite rough tracks through the hills. Hardened hikers can stay in refuges and traditional local accommodation while softies can walk down to the lake shore each day and stay in a nice hotel...
You can discover the principal places of interest around the lake in the Lake Como guide.
Map of Cernobbio and places to visit
Places to visit near Cernobbio
See more places nearby in the Lombardy guide