Visit Lake Como
Lake Como is one of the lakes in the north-west of the Lombardy region and north of Milan. It is one of the largest of the popular lakes of northern Italy, and also one of the most popular with visitors because of its beautiful towns and villages and the scenery, with the lake surrounded by hills and mountains.
The lake is long and thin and about 50 kilometres long from north to south. The southern half of the lake, to the south of Bellagio, is divided into two separate 'branches' (like an upside-down "Y") with Onno and Lecco on the eastern fork and Como and Cernobbio at the base of the western fork.
Explore Lake Como
Italy This Way comment: Lake Como is part of every tour and trip that comes to the region, because of the imposing villas and gardens, the pretty port towns and the lovely lake scenery, but of course this can make it quite a busy destination!
The central area of Lake Como is the most visited part of the lake, and although the north and south areas of the lake also have their places of interest these are generally less impressive: of course, having all the main attractions quite close together is also convenient for visitors with limited time.
Note that sometimes towns are close together - but separated by the lake! No problem, there are regular ferries across the lake so travelling around is easy (car ferries are less frequent and operate from less ferry terminals than passenger ferries).
If we had to choose our own favourite town on Lake Como, we would probably choose Varenna and the monastery garden in the town, and our favourite villa is perhaps Villa Balbianello...or maybe Villa Carlotta
Central Lake Como
Two more villas are open to the public at Bellagio (Villa Serbelloni and Villa Melzi), as well as two villas at Varenna (Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero). The villas around the lake, with their gardens and marvellous veiws across the lake, and an important highlight of your visit.
South Lake Como
The large town of Como is at the south-western tip and has has a pleasant town centre based around the Piazza Cavour, and you can also admire the harbour and the important cathedral in the town centre.
Cernobbio and Moltrasio are among the small ports to visit nearby. The south-east branch of the lake is less visited and has the town of Lecco and the nearby village of Malgrate at its southern point.
North Lake Como
The northern part of the lake will be appreciated by visitors wanting a more quiet 'Lake Como' experience and the chance to enjoy the activities and watersports available or to explore the mountains that surround this part of the lake.
If you have the chance to pass more than a flying visit to Lake Como you will find there are many smaller villages, quiet valleys, walks and places of great scenic beauty all around the lake.
More active visitors will find that there are numerous walks that head into the verdant hills around the lake, with more chances to enjoy lovely views and to appreciate the environment.
I have not said much about restaurants above, but of course one of the main pleasures of a visit to the Italian lakes is the chance to enjoy a meal while sat on a terrace overlooking the lake. There is a wide choice of restaurants available in all the main destinations.