Sights at Lake Como

Panoramablick auf den Comer See

Sights at Lake Como

Spectacular mountain panoramas, glistening lake water and traditional villages – Lake Como is synonymous with that “La Dolce Vita feeling”. A holiday on Lake Como transports you to a world of Mediterranean lifestyle and Alpine dream landscapes. It’s no wonder that Lake Como, or “Lago di Como” in Italian, with its special charm and impressive landscape has been attracting and inspiring aristocrats, celebrities and famous artists for centuries and has shaped today’s holiday destination.

We show you the most beautiful sights on Lake Como and the most popular excursion destinations and activities. Let yourself be enchanted by this dreamlike holiday scenery.

Historic villas

Holiday guests interested in culture should not miss out on the sights of Lake Como. At least one of the famous historic villas on Lake Como should be on your list. The villas are picturesquely situated on the lakeshore, often surrounded by beautiful parks and gardens. Be it Villa Erba in Cernobbio, Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo with numerous works of art and a beautiful, romantic park and botanical garden or Villa Monastero, which is particularly impressive with its original and unique, almost 2 km long garden park with exotic plants, statues and pavilions.

Villa und exotische Pflanzen
Kirche, Boote und Häuser um Ufer des Comer Sees

Places of interest

  • Abbey of Piona: The Abbey of Piona, is situated on a hill on the bay of Piona in Oligiasca near Colico. The abbey is situated directly on the lake and you can visit the church, the capitular hall and the famous cloister. There is also a small shop where you can buy products made by the monks, such as medicinal herbs, honey or brandy.
  • Castello di Vezio: The Castello di Vezio is an early medieval castle dating from the 11th century near Varenna on Lake Como. The castle has a castle tower with fantastic views over the golden lake triangle, high walls, a central keep and a drawbridge that is still in working order. The castle is situated on the mountain surrounded by olive groves. There is also a restaurant in the grounds and regular highlights include bird of prey shows.
  • Fuentes Fortress in Colico: The present ruins of the former fortress complex near Colico were used in the 17th century as an important strategic liaison point for the Spanish governor of Milan to control the communication routes to Valtellina and Valchiavenna. The fortress was a u-shaped complex consisting of accommodation rooms for the soldiers, the governor’s palace, the church, a mill with a furnace, some water tanks and underground storage rooms. Today the Spanish fortress is owned by the province of Lecco. In the ruins you can still see the original fascinating structure, embedded in the magical peace and beauty of the landscape of the north end of Lake Como.
  • Boat Museum in Pianello: The “Museo della Barca Lariana” Boat Museum, located in Pianello del Lario, was founded in 1982 and takes you on a journey through the maritime history of Lake Como with a collection of over 160 boats, including rarities such as high-speed motorboats, historic boats, equipment and accessories, as well as the famous working and fishing gondolas of Lake Como, also called “Lucia” barges.
  • Como Cathedral: Called the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta or Duomo di Como, it is a cathedral of the diocese of Como. Construction began in 1396, and continued for about three and a half centuries. Due to the long construction period, numerous architectural styles were incorporated into the cathedral, although the original late Gothic and early Renaissance styles dominate. The façade of Como Cathedral is divided into three parts by four vertical interlace bands in the Lombard and Byzantine tradition and decorated with numerous tendrils, sculptures and a window rose. The cathedral is decorated with many works of art and tapestries from the 16th and 17th century path from Florence, Ferrara and Antwerp. The cathedral is famous for its holy water font, paintings by Gaudenzio Ferrari and Bernardino Luini, and the organ.

Places, destinations and activities

  • Bellagio: Bellagio is located at the most central point of Lake Como and the famous golden lake triangle, where the two arms of the Y divide. The town scores with wonderful lake views in all directions, picturesque houses, winding alleys and a picturesque lakeside promenade. The town is home to the Serbelloni (built in the 15th/17th centuries) and Melzi (1802) villas with their admirable parks. Here you will find medieval alleys with inviting restaurants, pizzerias and pretty boutiques and small shops. The lakeside promenade is also beautifully planted and enchants with its splendour of flowers and blossoms, one of the many sights on Lake Como.
  • Varenna: The lakeside promenade of Varenna is one of the most famous images of Lake Como and truly a postcard motif: the former fishing village combines all Italian holiday dreams in winding alleys, Mediterranean and colourful house facades, cypresses and plane trees against the backdrop of Lake Como.
  • Como: The town, which also gives its name to Lake Como, lies on the southern shore of the western arm. The former silk capital impresses with many historical buildings, above all the cathedral, a beautiful historical city centre and a large pedestrian zone with many shops and boutiques for shopping.
  • Menaggio: The elegant town with its historic centre and romantic alleys on Lake Como and the mountain has an ideal location near the centre of Lake Como and is one of the cornerstones of the famous golden lake triangle. There are fine restaurants and quaint pizzerias in Menaggio and a lovely lakeside promenade with small cafés. The piazza at the fishing harbour is the centre of social life, the meeting place for locals and one of the special sights on Lake Como.
  • Boat trip: Boat trips and excursions are particularly recommended to experience Lake Como at its best in a relaxed way – the lake is often even more beautiful from the water. Also, sometimes it’s just more practical to be on the road without a car. There are many picturesque towns along the lake shore, Menaggio, Cadenabbia, Bellagio or Varenna, each of which is worth a visit. Ferries or passenger ships call at almost any of the charming resorts. Viewed from the seaside, you get a completely different impression of the unique lake and mountain landscape.
  • Como funicular: The Comic-Brunate funicular (Funicolare Como-Brunate) first takes you up through a long tunnel. As soon as you come out of the tunnel, a magnificent panoramic view opens up over Como, Lake Como and the surrounding area. If you feel like it, you can drive on from Brunate to San Maurizio and make a detour to the Volta lighthouse. To get back, either take the cable car again or follow the footpaths that wind their way down to the lakeshore.
  • Orrido Gorge in Bellano: A welcome cool change, especially on hot days. You start this tour at the parish church of Santi Nazaro e Celso in the village of Bellano and follow the steps up to the Orrido di Bellano next to the bell tower. The Bellano Gorge is an impressive waterfall, with the Pioverna torrent having eroded and hollowed out the rocks over the course of 15 million years.
Familie fährt auf Motorboot über den Comer See
Bunte Häuser an der Küste vom Comer See an einem Sommertag

Insider tips Lake Como

  • If you fancy something a little special, we recommend hiring a boat on Lake Como or taking a taxi boat from A to B. From a boat you can experience and enjoy the lake in a completely different way, and jumping into the lake for a refreshing dip is also fun, or taking a boat to one of the many restaurants directly on the lake for dinner is an experience in itself.
  • Our simplest and yet wonderful secret tip for your holiday on Lake Como: find a quiet spot by the lake in the evening, perhaps with a bottle of wine, and let the magical atmosphere work its magic on you: Usually a gentle breeze, the sound of the waves and the sea of lights through the mountains you can see lights of the houses and villages up high. The mood makes you forget everything for a moment. Because one of the obvious highlights of Lake Como sightseeing is the time spent together in the picturesque natural surroundings.

Most beautiful market on Lake Como

The markets and weekly markets on Lake Como are always worth a visit and are definitely among the sights of Lake Como. The mix of fresh fruit and vegetables and other food, clothes, leather goods and bric-a-brac is very interesting and entertaining and also always a social event, everyone gets together and meets.

In almost every larger town there is a weekly market once or twice a week.

The markets in Menaggio, Gravedona and Dongo are particularly beautiful and somewhat more clearly arranged, as are markets on special occasions, such as the traditional Easter market in Como or the so-called “Mercatini Estate”, wonderful summer night markets with a special flair in the evening atmosphere.

Schmuck direkt aus Como
Weg entlang des Comer Sees

Places of interest for children on Lake Como

  • Castello di Vezio: Ideal for a holiday with children – a trip to the famous Castello di Vezio near Varenna. Here, children can marvel at the ancient fortifications, underground passages and falcon shows.
  • Boat museum in Pianello: Also exciting and interesting, for children and adults alike, is the “Museo della Barca Lariana” ship museum in Pianello del Lario. Historical boats, old high-speed motorboats, as well as accessories and equipment are shown here.
  • Motoguzzi Museum: Mandello del Lario has been the headquarters of the Moto-Guzzi factory, which has been producing its legendary motorbikes here since 1921. In the associated museum, numerous production models and racing motorbikes, as well as prototypes and engines, are on display.
  • Another exciting experience is a trip on a rented boat to the blue Grotta dei Bulberi near Lezzeno. The grotto fascinates with enchanting light effects and the legend that the sea monster of Lake Como, the “Lariosaurus”, could be discovered here.

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Blick auf die beleuchtete Uferpromenade und Bergkette am Ufer des Comer Sees

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