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Lake Como - the beauty of the Italian Lakes region | Print |  E-mail
Written by Antonio Violante   
Friday, 23 September 2011 09:25

Lake Como is Italy’s deepest and most popular lake.  It is shaped like an inverted “Y” and is surrounded by magnificent hills, mountains, resort villages, hiking paths, and villas.  The lake is located in the province of Como in Lombardy and is part of the Italian Lake District, lying between the city of Milan and the Swiss border.  Needless to say, it is a popular romantic travel destination and is known for boat trips and several water activities.

Getting In and Getting Around Lake Como

Lake Como or Lago di Como in ItaliaThe main access to Lake Como is by train from Milan and Bergamo.  One can also get to Como by crossing the border from Lugano, Switzerland and then stopping by at the lake at Menaggio.  In the North, you can get to the lake through the Splügen pass or from St. Mortiz, both from Switzerland.

If you want to get around Lake Como, you can take one of the frequent buses, which run up the Western shore to Menaggio or even to Colico.  There are also ferries that link the lake to major villages and towns around it.  These ferries are great when you want to do a lot of sightseeing.

There is a frequent boat service between the three most popular towns – Menaggio, Varenna and Bellagio – in the center of the lake.  During the tourist season, a boat service is available for the central lake and runs hourly from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  There are also boats and hydrofoils that travel less frequently down the Eastern Leg to and from Lecco.
It is best if you check with the tourist information offices for the timetables of these boat services.

You can also hop on a train, which runs regularly up and down the Eastern Shore starting from Lecco all the way to Colico and Varenna.  If you want to tour around the lake on your own, there are cars, motorcycles and bicycles that you can hire or rent.

What to Do in Lake Como

There are a lot of things you can do and a lot of places you can go when you’re in Lake Como.
You can go up the hillside trolley or funiclare and enjoy the magnificent view of the area from the top.  Then you can go on a hike over to the Volta Lighthouse, which gives you an even better view.

In Como, you can visit one of the beautiful villas that serves as an art museum and is within easy walking distance from the boat ramps.

You can engage in some water sports on the lake.  Depending on which lakeside town you are in, you can go boating, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and water skiing.  However, if you want to stay dry, you can play a round of tennis or golf at the Villa D’Este or Montecillo golf club.  Or, you can fly over the lake by getting on a seaplane from Aero Club.

You also shouldn’t miss taking a long walk in the mountains and enjoy tons of fresh mountain air.  You can choose from various routes, depending on where you want to start.
You may also want to visit Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo, which offers spectacular views of the lake from its lush gardens. The villa is also a museum that houses a few artworks.
It would also be great if you travel to Lake Como in time for one of the several town festivals.

The last weekend of June, for instance, is time for the Sagra di San Giovanni where there will be folk arts and fireworks in the town of Como and a festival, boat race and boat procession in Ossuccio.   Then there’s the Palio del Baradello, which is a historical reenactment, and a traditional rowing race called the Palio Remiero del Lario, both in September.  There are also a number of gastronomic festivals during the fall and drama performances from January to April.

 

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