Lake Como – Luxury and Nativeness
The breathtaking mountains of the Alps, idyllic towns, native landscapes and Mediterranean vegetation make Lake Como an attractive travel destination. Magnificent villas and exquisite wines provide an element of luxury.
Geography - Italy's third largest lake
Lake Como (Italian: Lago di Como) is a lake in the north of Italy and lies in Lombardy between the provinces of Como and Lecco. With an area of 146 km², a maximum depth of 425 metres, a length of 51 kilometres and a width of 4.2 kilometres, it is the country's third largest lake after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. Its form, which resembles an upside down Y, is particularly characteristic. It causes the lake to have a shore line of 170 kilometres of length, which is much longer than those of Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. The main tributary of Lake Como is the Adda, which issues into the lake near Colico and flows out of it near Lecco. The climate in the area around the lake is sub-Mediterranean and causes mild winters and pleasantly warm summer months.
Nature - Subtropical vegetation in the southern Alps
Lake Como arose as a result of the melting of ice age glaciers and is enclosed by the wonderful mountains of the Alps. Thanks to the mild climate, the vegetation is very lush and subtropical plants like citrus, laurel and olive trees, cypresses and palms grow at the lake's shore. Travellers can enjoy their beauty in the scenic gardens of the many magnificent villas. In the higher regions, you find beeches, spruces, larches as well as pasture grass, wild flowers, rhododendrons and junipers. The unspoiled and native nature of this region can be explored in the Riserva Naturale Pian di Spagna e Lago di Mezzola, for example. Its territory (1,500 hectares) is equipped with numerous hiking and educational trails, which make the visitor familiar with the region's flora and fauna.
Culture - Magnificent and luxurious villas
Lake Como has always fascinated people and does so to the present day. While the Ligurians, Etruscans, Greeks and Romans were impressed with the scenic landscape of the inland water in ancient times, stars such as George Clooney and Donatella Versace appreciate the Mediterranean area around the lake today. Therefore, it is not surprising that great magnificent villas are as characteristic of the region as the numerous small idyllic towns with their historical town centres (Varenna, Como, Bellano, Colico, Lecco). Famous villas at Lake Como are the Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo, the Villa d'Este in Cernobbio as well as the Villa Serbelloni (now a luxury hotel) and the Villa Melzi in Bellagio. Many of the luxurious estates date back to the 15th century, the time when the silk industry made the region rich. The Villa del Balbianello in Lenno, on the other hand, was built in the 18th century. It became known as the film set of "Star Wars Episode II" and the James Bond film "Casino Royale".
Experience - Lombardian cuisine and local wines
The menus at Lake Como are not very different from those in the rest of Lombardy. Hearty dishes with polenta or rice as a side are common. Travellers can order and enjoy the popular veal pot roast ossobuco in the restaurants at Lake Como. To it you usually have a glass of wine from the region. Local red and white wines such as Rosso di Bellagio or Valtellina complement many meals and are a great souvenir for friends and family back home.
Activities - Steamboat tour on the Lago di Como
Lake Como is a true paradise of leisure activities, in which water sports fans in particular can pursue their hobbies. Windsurfing, kitesurfing, diving, sailing, water skiing, bathing and swimming are only a few of the sporting activities which can be done in and on the water. A popular experience is a steamboat tour on the lake, during which you can see the magnificent villas from a different perspective. While the impressive mountains offers excellent conditions for going hiking, mountaineering, climbing and mountain biking, golfers get their money's worth on the region's golf courses.
The best time for travelling Lake Como is from May to October. As Milan is only 50 kilometres away, holidaymakers can arrive at Malpensa International Airport. Ships and ferries are the best means of transport for reaching the numerous parks and villas, many of which can be visited from spring to autumn.
Active and luxury holidaymakers get their money's worth on a trip to Lake Como. While the nature offers excellent conditions for a number of leisure activities, the luxurious villas and idyllic towns create a special holiday atmosphere.