There are plenty of reasons to come to Lake Como in these articles. Starting from its location: it is not only extremely convenient to reach it, but you will find yourself in one of the most evocative places in Italy. From here you can move comfortably to reach places like Milan, considered one of the best Italian cities and neighboring Switzerland. In Saint Moritz, already known 3,000 years ago for its summer hot springs, await the state-of-the-art ski facilities that have already hosted 2 winter Olympics.
Lake Como is an environment suitable for truly satisfying every type of holiday. Those looking for a little relaxation can rest lulled by the sound of the waves in an unforgettable landscape setting, enjoying the delicious dishes that this region has to offer. Art lovers will have the opportunity to visit an area that has welcomed and enthralled among the greatest artists and will be able to visit the ancient parks and the numerous vintage villas that are its flagship. Those who love sports can not choose a better place: here you can practice many activities of water, land and air. Are you a beginner but do you want to dive and try? You will find many schools with qualified teachers ready to help you, starting from the first steps up to the most experienced sportsmen.
An unforgettable holiday awaits you!
The territory of Lake Como is located in the heart of the Lombard Prealps, north of Milan, from which it is only 50 km and a few steps from Switzerland. The area is divided between the provinces of Lecco and Como, whose capitals are 30 km apart. It is located in a strategic geographical position, easily accessible by any means of public and private transport. The proximity to the main stations, airports and high-speed roads, allow you to reach Lake Como using the means of transport deemed most suitable for your needs.
The territory of Lake Como can be visited using the efficient public transport service: the historic boats that, furrowing the waters of Lake Como, reach the most famous tourist resorts; the buses that connect the cities to the wonderful villages clinging to the slopes of the mountains, to the suggestive and intriguing valleys that contain knowledge and ancient knowledge of this territory.
Do not forget the Como-Brunate funicular and the many Lecchesi cableways, which allow you to reach panoramic points of breathtaking beauty.
Arriving by car
Lake Como is easily reachable by car from the main cities of Lombardy and from Switzerland.
Lecco is only 60km from Milan and you can get there comfortably in just under an hour, taking the Nuova Valsassina Superstrada (SS36). Continuing along the eastern coast you will reach in less than half an hour the last town of this shore, Colico, which is only 40 km from Lecco.
Important tourist hub Colico is a destination for water sports enthusiasts and kitesurfing thanks to the winds that characterize the area, but also for those who want to relax along its shores or walk through its mountains. Its strategic position allows quick and fast connections also with the Valchiavenna and the famous alpine resorts such as Madesimo, Bormio, Livigno and St Moritz.
Arriving by train
The whole territory of Lake Como is served by an efficient railway network, which allows you to quickly and comfortably reach both the main localities of the territory and the main surrounding cities such as Milan, Bergamo, Monza and Lugano.
The service is managed by Trenitalia (EuroCity), Trenord (regional and suburban lines) and TILO (Milan-Bellinzona international line).
Reaching Lecco will be very easy using the railway network from Milan, Como, Bergamo and Sondrio.
Trains start hourly and travel time varies from 40 minutes to 1h.
If you want to reach Colico in about 1 hour and 30 minutes the direct regional train will take you here from the center of Milan, with an average frequency just over the hour. From Bergamo, however, you need to change at the Lecco station and take the train to Sondrio.
Arriving by plane
Lake Como is well connected to the three main Lombard airports of Linate, Malpensa and Orio al Serio. Train or shuttle bus allow quick and efficient connections.
From Orio al Serio to Lecco are only 40 km. From the airport you will find the ATB N.1 bus for Bergamo railway station. From here direct train to Lecco every 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can use the shuttle service (every 20 minutes) that takes you to Milan Central Station. From here the connections with Lecco or Colico are frequent.
From Linate to Lecco are 60km. The airport has a daily shuttle bus service connecting with Milan Central Station. The frequency is about 20 minutes.
From Malpensa it is also available a direct train connection with the Central Station of Milan.
If you prefer you can take advantage of the car rental service. At all airports, you will find the staff at your disposal to help you find the car that best suits your needs.
To reach Colico from Malpensa and Linate or Orio al Serio you can reach the Central Station of Milan and take the train towards Lecco-Sondrio-Tirano. From Orio al Serio you can reach the Bergamo station, take the train to Lecco where you change for Sondrio-Tirano.
Another nearby airport is Lugano Airport, just 20 minutes drive from the city of Como, which offers seasonal and low cost flights to many Italian cities.
Arrive by boat
Thanks to the navigation system of Lake Como, with its own fleet of boats, it is possible to reach Lecco in an evocative way, enjoying fantastic landscapes and views.
Possible different types of ticket to use the service according to your needs.
The Imbarcadero di Lecco is located in the historic center, so it is convenient for those wishing to enjoy a city visit.
In Battello you can easily reach Colico from Lecco, Como and Bellagio.
Reaching Lake Como has never been so simple, you can choose the means of transport that best suit your needs, without neglecting the economic aspect, for example: a Ryanair flight from Düsseldorf to Orio al Serio, to spend a week in April , it will cost you around € 50 per person, round trip.
Traveling the Lario with the boat from one shore to the other is an unmissable experience, to the magical discovery of the territory from a new perspective: its uncontaminated landscapes, its banks dominated by lush vegetation, the sumptuous sixteenth century villas, the small villages of rare beauty where tourism, history, art and nature blend harmoniously. Thanks to an efficient navigation service that connects all the places, the tourist can move freely on board boats, ferries or steamboats.
Inaugurated in 1894, the Como-Brunate funicular is one of Como’s most famous attractions. The route, 1084 meters long, begins in a tunnel and then continues outside, where the two small carriages climb up a steep hillside slope allowing to see the splendid panorama. It allows you to reach in little less than 7 minutes the small village of Brunate called the “balcony” of the Alps for its enchanting views of Como, the whole branch of the lake, the Lombard plain, the Alps with Monviso and Monte Rosa.
BERNINA EXPRESS from Tirano to St Moritz
The Bernina red train runs every day along the Tirano-St Moritz route, defined as one of the most beautiful routes in the world.
Tirano, in the province of Sondrio, is only 1h and 40 minutes from Lecco, and is the railway terminus of the section from Milano Centrale and the only Italian station on the Bernina line, which will lead you across the border after just one kilometer. The journey from the breathtaking view, in general, lasts about 2 hours and 30 minutes, but you can also plan intermediate stops, visit the stations you prefer and go back on board with one of the following trains. It will take you up to 2256 meters of the Bernina Pass, passing through enchanting forests and mountain pastures, up to the luxurious St. Moritz “the Montecarlo of the Alps”, a city full of charm and prestige, famous all over the world for its ski resorts and the high fashion showcases.
The building erected on the Lungolago celebrates the figure and the work of the great physicist from Como, Alessandro Volta. The museum, conceived and financed by the industrial and patron Francesco Somaini, was erected on the occasion of the first centenary of the death of the inventor of the pile (1927) to house the scientific instruments belonging to him.
The architect Federico Frigerio was chosen as the designer, who created the work in neoclassical style explicitly referring to the Pantheon.
Many of these are original, others are reconstructions of those that the fire of 1899 destroyed during the great Voltiana Exposition set up in Como for the Centenary of the invention of the pile. In the central hall on the ground floor are exhibited the apparatus, machines and devices used by the illustrious scientist for experiments in physics and electrology, and for the study of gases and their properties. The loggia on the first floor, on the other hand, displays relics, letters, publications, portraits of the scientist, politician and professor Alessandro Volta, and the awards given him during his life and after his death.
BASILICA DI S ABBONDIO
Built in Como at the end of the 11th century on the area of the early Christian church dedicated to the Saints Apostles Peter and Paul, the Basilica of Sant’Abbondio is a magnificent example of Lombard Romanesque architecture as well as a masterpiece of the masters of Como, or those masons – architects – sculptors who spread the Lombard style, not only in Italy but also throughout Europe. Built by the Benedictine monks, the church named after the fourth bishop of Como underwent considerable changes since the 1500s, which altered its original appearance, fortunately recovered thanks to the restoration carried out in the 19th century.
From Cernobbio to Varenna, the shores of Lake Como offer the visitor’s gaze majestic architectures surrounded by lush gardens that slope down to the shore: these are the sumptuous villas that once hosted not only the Lombard nobility but also the foreign travelers, the artists and statesmen who visited Italy. Their parks are cared for down to the last detail with plant types from all over the world, while the rooms collect unique wealth and assets.
Do not miss the appointment with Villa Carlotta, majestic palace with prestigious works of art, including valuable sculptures by Antonio Canova and paintings by Francesco Hayez and a wonderful botanical park not to be missed especially in spring.
Villa Olmo, Villa Monastero and Villa Erba are equally prestigious.
Considered one of the most beautiful monuments of northern Italy, the Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta, elegantly overlooks the historic center of Como. Built in 1396 by Lorenzo degli Spazzi and completed in 1740 with the dome of Filippo Juvara, it results a complex and articulated building that, although presenting different styles (Gothic facade, sides and Renaissance side portals), preserves a harmonious and grandly unitary whole. The imposing façade is rich in sculptural decorations, most of which are the work of Giovanni Rodari’s workshop.
The abbey of Piona, or more precisely, the Priory of Piona, a typical building of art in squared stone, also reachable from the lake by boat, is a rare jewel of Lombard Romanesque architecture.
Located on the Olgiasca peninsula, in front of Gravedona on the extreme point of the Lecco branch, it offers a splendid panoramic view on the west coast of Lake Como, as well as the chance to savor the tranquility and peace enjoyed by the Cistercian monks who still live there today. .
Consecrated in 1138 and dedicated to the Virgin, the first mention of the Cluniac monastery dates back to 1169 with the title to San Nicolò.
THE COMACINA ISLAND
The only island of Lake Como, the island Comacina is a place of great charm where history, nature, art and archeology intertwine in this small fragment of almost uninhabited land. You can admire the remains of its illustrious past of fortified citadel (first Roman then Byzantine), of important religious center of the diocese of Como, of powerful Comune del Lario until the twelfth century when the Comaschi, to punish their loyalty to Milan, razed it to the ground (1169).
If you want to choose the right time to go there we recommend end June, during the Feast of St. John the Baptist with the re-enactment of the Larian medieval wars of the island fire, one of the most characteristic events in the area that ends with a fireworks show wonderful (better to book a hotel first, for the lake is an event that attracts many people). The last owner, Cavalier Caprani, donated it to King Albert I of Belgium who, moved by the desire to make it the seat of a colony of artists, offered it to the Italian State that entrusted it to the Brera Academy of Fine Arts (1920) .
Among the “treasures” of the islet the ruins of the grandiose Romanesque church of Sant’Eufemia stand out, of which are visible the division with three naves and three apses, the beautiful crypt and the portico with wings in front, the remains of a period marble colonnade preserved under the church of S. Giovanni, and the three Houses for Artists realized between the years 1936-40 by architect Pietro Lingeri in Rationalist style on the example of Le Corbusier, destined to host internationally renowned artists for short periods of time inspiration.
Fishing village dating back to the eleventh century, a jewel among the most important tourist destinations of Lake Como. Varenna preserves that noble and characteristic breath. Walking through the alleys you can admire views of exciting and unique landscape.
Built on a rock at the foot of a mountain that leaves the view of the ancient castle free.
Castle of Vezio
It is one of the most beautiful castles of the Lario. It is a Romanesque fortification of the 5th century, fenced and developed around a square tower with rebuilt battlements that have a real drawbridge. The enclosure has three open towers and other walls that are difficult to delineate between the plains and the olive trees. The legend tells how the construction of the castle is linked to a will of the Lombard queen Teodolinda who spent the last years of her life in these areas.
The castle of Vezio is home to a falconry and a permanent exhibition on the lariosaur, or the dinosaur of the lake, whose history – along with some exhibits – is told by the explanatory panels on the walls of the castle.
LECCO: MANZONIAN ITINERARY
The city that gives its name to the eastern branch of Lake Como. The fame of Lecco is inextricably linked to Alessandro Manzoni who drew inspiration from these places for the events of the “Promessi Sposi”.
Here a little of everything is reminiscent of the famous novel and its author: Pescarenico, the village of Lecco explicitly cited by Manzoni, where traces of the convent of Fra ‘Cristoforo are found, the districts of Acquate and Olate, identified as the villages of Renzo and Lucia, the presumed house of Lucia in Olate and the church of S. Vitale and Valeria, considered the parish of don Abbondio, the promontory of Zucco on which until 1938 one could admire the sixteenth century palace of don Rodrigo, now completely transformed. There is also the monument to Manzoni erected in the square and the Manzonian museum housed in the villa where the writer spent his childhood and adolescence, where heirlooms, manuscripts and rare editions of the famous literary work are exhibited. We recommend a guided tour thanks to the presence of tourist guides prepared for a more complete experience with insights, anecdotes and continuous links to the story of the novel.
Piazza XX Settembre, the ancient Piazza del Mercato, with the Visconti Tower (XVI century), the Basilica di San Nicolò, now the city’s Duomo, the nineteenth-century Town Hall (Palazzo Bovara) and the Azzone Visconti Bridge with its arcades are also worth a visit. . Built during the Renaissance, the bridge served to connect Lecco to the Duchy of Milan and still today represents access to the city for those arriving from Milan or Como.
Charming town, known for its enchanting position and the characteristic old town, Bellagio is an exceptional tourist destination. The so-called “pearl of Lake Como” rises romantically on the tip of the promontory that divides the lake in the two branches of Como and Lecco, in an enchanting landscape context.
Rich in gardens, with numerous parks and ample green spaces but also colorful houses, picturesque alleys, characteristic stairways, ancient churches that make the old village a place of great charm.
COUNTRY FESTIVALS AND HISTORICAL RE-EVENTS
The strong bond with the territory, its traditions and its identity is expressed through a variety of events or testimonies gathered in sites and museums but not only, which bring us back to the oldest forms and expressions of polar culture. In many places are still very significant some recurrences and re-enactments throughout the year, of historical, religious, but also simply related to the rituals and the passing of the seasons.
An example of this is the “Pesa Vegia”, held every year in January in Bellano: it is an unmissable event for the Christmas holidays, an event that celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2006. A historical re-enactment that represents a successful mix between the sacred and the profane, with its splendid costumes and over two hundred extras for a dip in the past.
“Premana relives the ancient”, the re-enactments in costume of medieval Como, which brings to life the ancient tradition of local craftsmanship handed down from generation to generation during the month of October.
The Feast of San Giovanni (late June) at Isola Comacina and the Festa del Lago (July) in Varenna, joined by the latter two, from the history of the conquests of these lands by the Barbarossa;
Very ancient is the Carnival of Schignano in which you will witness an incredible journey through the traditions and memories of an entire community. Its parades and marches of February and March, following the Roman rite, for years attract thousands of tourists in this corner of paradise nestled in the green Val d’Intelvi, just a few minutes by car from the shores of Lake Como. During the final parade, the “fat tuesday”, the traditional and long-awaited escape of Carlisepp will be staged. The puppet that personifies the Carnival, will then be promptly regained and burned at the end, at the end of the drumming evening made of dances and typical dishes of gastronomy.
Still present in different locations are traces of ancient propitiatory rites, probably of Celtic origin, linked to the expulsion of winter and to the hope of a prosperous spring with an abundant harvest. Permanent testimonies of the origin and culture of these lands are collected in various ethnographic, historical and archaeological museums, which through artefacts and artifacts can tell the daily life of the local populations, from the earliest settlements.
The variety of the territory of Lake Como, from the water to the mountains, from the city to the gentle hills of Brianza, from the wild and uncontaminated places of the mysterious valleys, allows sportsmen of all ages to practice their favorite sport, but also to experiment with new activities and try new emotions in a unique ‘location’ in the world.
Countless sports can be practiced on the waters of the lake.
Throughout the Lario there are many schools that offer water sports courses at affordable prices without having to purchase the equipment.
We point out the Kts40 in Colico, ideal destination for lovers of water sports, as characterized by mild summers and breezy.
Kitesurfing: Kts40 offers a wide range of courses, aimed at satisfying the different needs of each client, from the test-day that allows you to appreciate the beauty of this sport in a single day, up to courses for more expert kiters.
Windsurfing: sport that requires solid technical bases. Kts40 offers courses consisting of a succession of small steps with an alternation of theory and practice, which leads the student to improve without too much effort with a combination of technique and fun even for the little ones.
The Practice area for these sports is really very wide. It extends between Colico, Dervio and Domaso.
The Sesitec System 2.0 Cable Park is a must, an aquatic park installed on an artificial lake just a few minutes from the center of Colico and surrounded by the greenery of nature. This is the first cable park in Lake Como, where you can try wakeboarding, water skiing and more experienced kiters can train even in the absence of wind, using ollie boxes and kickers for breathtaking evolutions. A steel cable, suspended at 6 meters above the lake level, reproduces the towing of the traditional boat and an electric motor gives the propulsive force that allows it to glide on the water.
Sailboat: On Lake Como you will have the opportunity to attend courses at all levels or simply hire a boat for the more experienced. You can be carried away by the wind in an exciting adventure immersed in the beautiful landscape offered by Lake Como, which especially in the north offers excellent breezes ideal for experienced sailors.
Rafting: a fun and exciting activity, which does not require special courses or physical skills, a simple and affordable means to live an unforgettable river experience, along the course of the Adda or the Lambro.
Scuba diving: Lake Como offers many diving spots for each level. Scuba diving in which you can explore caves and wrecks abandoned on the seabed or visit the Christ of the lake. It is according to many decidedly more fascinating than diving at the sea. It also offers the possibility of getting a preparation that allows you to deal with any environment: it is known that the lake adds difficulties compared to the classic immersion in the sea.
In this frame you will find routes of all types and levels, from short and simple routes suitable for the whole family, to those very demanding, ideal for the most experienced and prepared cyclists.
Panoramic roads, along the lake or in the mountains, passing through the paths immersed in the green of the plain.
Leave the traffic and pollution for a few days to enjoy a holiday full of sport and fun.
Paragliding: Lake Como, thanks to its particular currents, is an ideal destination for those who want to experience the thrill of dominating the sky using only the force of the wind. Several flight schools, in fact, offer the opportunity to practice this exciting sport in total freedom and allow newcomers to perform two-seater flights accompanied by qualified assistants. In the province of Como:
Brevart – Club Parapendio Altolario: in Sorico, at the northern end of the lake, a specialized center and meeting point for experts and enthusiasts. Possibility of two-seater flights with landing directly on the lake’s surface. In the province of Lecco:
Monte Cornizzolo Aeroclub: in Suello, a few kilometers from Lecco, a renowned flying school makes Monte Cornizzolo its point of reference for take-off and landing. It offers advanced courses and two-seater flights with breathtaking views of the city of Lecco and the whole of Brianza.
Trekking: Lake Como offers numerous suggestions for hiking and trekking, from those easy for families to the most demanding for mountain lovers. Walking along the routes that we present allows you to discover ancient paths, old paths and at the same time to admire unique landscapes for the beauty of the territory. For those who want to make use of mountain professionals, there are references to mountain guides, mountain guides and associations of reference such as the CAI, the House of Guides, Mountain Guides of Lario and Grigne. Per who, after spending a day on the mountains along the alpine routes, intends to stay at high altitude, there are also well-equipped shelters. The Monte Legnone is a particularly well-known destination for trekking enthusiasts, enjoys the distinction of the top most seen and recognized by paths, mountain pastures and peaks of the Rhaetian side of the middle and lower Valtellina. With its 2610m is the highest peak of the Orobie lecchesi and is well recognizable thanks to its pyramidal shape.
Wild mountain and apparently severe in its terminal part is one of the most popular peaks of Lecco, in particular the path that leads from Roccoli Lorla to the summit. From here you can enjoy a spectacular view of the central and western Alps and the Prealps of Lecco. On the eastern side, the military roads of the Cadorna Line, dating back to the First World War, which connected Pagnona (Valvarron) and Delebio (Valtellina) are clearly visible and passable.
Traveling on Lake Como means not only crossing its natural and cultural wonders, but also appreciating the different tastes and culinary traditions that intertwine in its varied landscape.
Lovers of typical cuisine will find a reality ready to satisfy every type of palate.
The local gastronomy is influenced by the conformation of its territory, which can be divided into three fundamental areas: the lake, predominant, then the surrounding mountain and valley and, finally, the Brianza, degrading between hills and plains.
In the kitchen of the lake the protagonist is obviously freshwater fish.
You can taste the risotto with fillets of perch, which is the “national dish” of Lario, while for lovers of tradition, a dish that comes out from the popular memory is the “Misultin”, Italianized in Missoltini: are the agoni fished at early summer, dried in the sun and pressed with salt in the so-called “missolte” of wood from which they take their name, then grilled and eaten with polenta. And not to be missed: the carpione fish, fried and marinated in water and vinegar flavored with “segrigiola” grass, a type of wild thyme that grows on the rocky walls near the lake, where the sun beats. The fried bleak, a small fish from the lake, a poor dish par excellence, of which the fishermen were fed, which over time became a delicacy to be enjoyed as an aperitif or, in larger portions, as a main dish accompanied by a green salad. The smoked trout in oil, the white wine wash and the Tremezzina fish soup with pike, trotella, chub, burbot and perch.
From the valleys instead, as in all the rest of the alpine arc, is the polenta that is the owner in the kitchens. It accompanies not only fish, but also meat, game, cheeses and sausages.
These are the areas that are guardians of that poor but genuine tradition, which has its symbols in the polenta taragna, buckwheat and the “polenta uncia”: a mess of polenta and cheese, washed down with a mixture of butter, garlic and sage grass.
Another typical dish to try is the “Tocch” a special uncia polenta cooked with butter and cheese, eaten with your hands and accompanied by meats, meat and missoltini.
In the Larian valleys the breeding of cattle and the dairy tradition have developed a production of local cheeses, which even today are produced in many varieties: from the more delicate and soft, to the zincarlino, a variety of spicy ricotta topped with oil and pepper, goat’s cheese from Valsassina, Taleggio pasta with raw and uniform dough, until the aromatic Quartirolo Lombardo.
You can then finish with the “Ragell”, a digestif made with red wine, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, pieces of apple and brandy, and then flamed in the “tocch” pot.
In the Brianza area you can enjoy excellent and robust meat dishes. Typical of this area are the “verzata” (“fuckeula” or “casoela”), whose main ingredients are the cabbage and the less noble parts of the pig, such as rind, legs, head and ribs. Another ingredient, used very sparingly and only as a “natural dye” is tomato paste (or tomato sauce). The “busecca” or “foiolo” based on tripe, beans, tomato sauce, carrots and celery. The polenta and birds, the “cotecotti” a sausage to cook for about an hour, boiled or under the ashes. Tradition wants it boiled in chestnut water. It goes well with polenta or boiled potatoes. The “rustisciada” typical dish of Brianza made with pork loin and sausage browned with onions; the inevitable polenta; the brianzola rabbit cooked with butter, salt, pepper, white wine, a splash of Marsala, brandy, juniper berries with chopped parsley, walnuts, garlic and lemon zest; the California beef, very tasty stewed chump.
The Laghi Lombardi extra-virgin olive oil comes from the Ossuccio basin, with a geographical indication of Lario: the temperate microclimate characteristic of the shores of the lake favors the cultivation of olives.
For lovers of desserts we recommend the “miascia”, a cake with very ancient origins: it is made by mixing stale bread, milk, eggs, sugar, butter, apples or pears, pine nuts, raisins and, at the discretion, crumbled amaretti, bitter chocolate, Lemon peel.
The “masigott” is a rustic and crumbly dough, with a characteristic hemispherical shape, white flour and buckwheat, sugar, butter, eggs, raisins, pine nuts, candied orange and yeast.
As far as oenological production is concerned, today there are no real DOC bottles, but there are scattered vines that produce light-colored wines such as Bellagio’s red-ruby Chiaretto or wines with intense aromas like Domasino.
In Brianza instead the famous dry white of Montevecchia is produced.
If you move to the nearby Valtellina you will discover that wine has, for perhaps 2 millennia, been one of its main assets and was certainly, for many centuries, the main source of income for almost half of its population. The wines of Valtellina can boast of three Denominations of origin: Sforzato or “Sfursat” of Valtellina (the first Italian dry red passito to be able to boast the DOCG), Valtellina Superiore DOCG and finally Rosso di Valtellina DOC.
A territory rich in tradition and taste awaits you!