The main municipality around Lake Como is Como, the city that gives its name to the lake, with its important landmarks, beguiling old town and interesting perspectives. A trip by boats and hydrofoils are a phenomenal opportunity to appreciate the city and fully appreciate the beauty of the landscape. However, there is no better way to see a more comprehensive representation of the city than that by funicular.
From Como to Brunate. Here you will find the most beautiful sights that you can see on Lake Como. A trip to Lake Como in the Lombardy Region is a must for lovers of nature and the magnificent buildings of the past. They are splendid cities that rise on its shores, all rich in an artistic, cultural, historical and scenic heritage, worthy of the beautiful country of Italythat is not called the “bel paese” for nothing.
Lago di Como, Lombardy, Italy. (photo © Shutterstock.com)
1. the Como Cathedral
Como Cathedral, perhaps the most charming landmark of northern Italy, is an amazing and extraordinary building, begun in 1396 and completed in 1740 with the raising of the vault by Filippo Juvara, builder of the King of Sardinia.
The building in Como, built to replace the Romanesque church of Santa Maria (1015) and introducing various stylistic elements (Gothic facade, side walls and Renaissance side doors), offers a friendly and surprisingly uniform whole.
The floating facade with towers and zeniths is rich in sculptural improvements, generally carried out by the workshop of Giovanni Rodari, to whom we owe in particular the two aedicules dedicated to the Latin authors Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger, and the embellishments of the three gates, the left one of which is called “della Rana”, in view of a frog depicted on the pilaster segment of the entrance, which, jumping out of a lake, scales the foliage to amaze a butterfly.
Aerial view of Como Cathedral the city cathedral, near Lake Como in Lombardy, Italy. (photo © Shutterstock.com)
2. palazzo del Broletto
Right next to the cathedral is another building of great historical and cultural interest. We are talking about the Broletto, also known as Palazzo della Ragione. The town’s meetings were held here, including those of the merchant society, and, above all, justice was administered here.
The adjacent bell tower was used to convene the various meetings, while the proximity to the cathedral symbolized the bond between civil and religious power. However, the former gets the short end of the stick compared to the latter. When the construction of the “new” cathedral was commissioned in 1396, the Broletto was reduced in size, although it continued to perform its civic function until 1764.
Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the old town hall Broletto, Como, Lombardy, Italy. (photo © Claudio Divizia / Shutterstock.com)
3. volta temple
A mausoleum donated to the city by the industrialist Francesco Somaini, who chose the architect Federico Frigerio as designer. The latter designed a neoclassical style temple, clearly inspired by the Pantheon in Rome with the aim of making it a municipal museum to house the original models, reconstructions of scientific works and other memorabilia of the scientist from Como.
Aerial drone shot of the famous landmark Tempio Voltiano in Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy. (photo © Shutterstock.com)
At the beginning we mentioned how Lake Como is appreciated by the international scene and jet set. From this point of view, Cernobbio is one of the most exclusive destinations in Italy, and not only that. The merit is, of course, the enchanting landscape in which the town is located at the foot of Monte Bisbino on the western shore of the lake.
Very special are also two historic buildings, namely the single-moored Villa Erba and the proud Villa d’Este. Both are now used for ceremonies, banquets and conference tourism. Villa d’Este, for example, hosts the annual Ambrosetti Forum, attended by ministers, heads of state, and the best in academia, especially in the field of business.
And that’s not all, because Cernobbio has long attracted many trekking enthusiasts. In fact, one of the most popular hiking trails in Italy begins here: it is called“La Via dei Monti Lariani” and winds for 100 km at an altitude between 600 and 1200 meters. In short, relatively easy (as long as you heed the usual warnings for trekking and hiking enthusiasts) and with countless breathtaking views in terms of scenic beauty.
Cernobbio on Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)
Lenno is another enchanting seaside resort, located in a suggestive bay called “Gulf of Venus” for its beauty, ending at the headland of Punta Balbianello, where the fantastic FAI villa of the same name stands. A leisurely stroll along Venus Bay to admire the beauty of the lake waters and a stop at Villa del Balbianello to see the beautiful gardens and luxurious interiors is a great idea for romantic couples looking for a breathtaking view.
Villa del Balbianello, Lavedo, Lenno, Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)
6. tremezzina on lake como
Tremezzina contains a number of places of unusual splendor and charm. After negotiating the twists and turns and bottlenecks of the Regina state road by car, when you emerge in the Tremezzina area, you are overwhelmed by the excellence of the residences, private and public accommodations and restaurants that leave the lake to the left. One is inclined to be transported by a time machine to a time when class, sophistication and serenity prevailed.
Another must-see stop in Tremezzina is currently Parco Olivelli, a jewel of design and organics whose amazing staircase and dramatic fountain was the catwalk for one of Dolce and Gabbana’s style shows. In Tremezzina, a visit to the gardens of Villa Carlotta is a must.
Villa Carlotta, Lake Como, Tremezzina, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)
7. Varenna on Lake Como
Varenna is a delightful fishing village located a short drive from Lecco, offering visitors a maze of cobblestone streets and a wonderful “Love Walk” from the center to the pier.
This beautiful path, which partially floats above the cobblestones of the lake, offers a spectacular setting at any time of the year, an ideal place for romantic couples seeking tranquility and beauty. Another attraction not to be missed in Varenna is the beautiful Villa Monastero and its botanical garden, rich in rare plants and flowers.
Varenna old town with the mountains in the background, Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy. (photo © Shutterstock.com)
8. menaggio on lake como
It can be easily reached by boat from Varenna or Bellagio. Among flowerbeds, palm trees and wrought iron balustrades with delicate curls that offer views of the lake in a refined and tranquil setting, you can certainly catch a glimpse of the elegant lakefront that Menaggio offers.
Inside there are churches and villas, like Villa Mylius Vigoni, surrounded by an English garden. For those who like walking, in this charming town you can take the ancient Strada Regina up to La Crocetta, a panoramic point 500 meters above sea level, from which you can enjoy an enchanting view of Lake Como.
Menaggio beach promenade, Lago di Como, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)
It is the town that gives its name to the eastern arm of Lake Como and here everything reminds of the famous Alessandro Manzoni and his novel I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed), which he wrote inspired by these places.
There are many important monuments in Lecco, including the Basilica of San Nicolò with its bell tower, the symbol of the city called “Il Matitone”, the Palazzo delle Paure, Villa Manzoni, which was the paternal residence of the writer and which is now a museum about Manzoni, the church of Saints Vitale and Valeria as the parish of Don Abbondio.
Very curious is also the presumed house of Lucia Mondella, located in via Caldone at number 19, while in via Resegone, from the courtyard of an old trattoria, you can clearly see the hill of the palace of Don Rodrigo. Finally, the Azzone-Visconti Bridge, built in the Renaissance, served to connect Lecco with the Duchy of Milan and is still the access to the city for those coming from Milan or Como.
Lago di Como. Evening aerial panorama at sunset over Lake Como of the city of Lecco, Lombardy, Italy. (photo © Shutterstock.com)
Brunate is easily reached by the Como funicular, a real attraction originally intended for the rich Milanese bourgeoisie who owned the prestigious villas in this village almost 800 meters above sea level.
Over the years, the destination has become increasingly international and today tourists from all over the world use this mode of transport. “The Balcony of the Alps” is the name of Brunate, known for its Art Nouveau villas, all of which can be admired along a footpath that offers spectacular views of the Western Alps. In Brunate there is also the Faro di Volta (Volta Lighthouse) named after Alessandro Volta.
Aerial view of Voltiano lighthouse of Brunate and Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)
The village of Laglio has only 905 inhabitants and the famous actor George Clooney bought a villa there. Laglio is located on the western shore of the lake and is directly on the route of the ancient Roman road Via Regina, which connected Como with Chiavenna. A must-see in Laglio: the church of San Giorgio and Villa Oleandra, built in the 18th century and now Clooney’s summer home.
The whole town is ideal for walks thanks to the lake and the surrounding hills with vineyards and olive groves that offer an impressive panorama. In addition, the area of Monte di Torriggia is ideal for birdwatchers. Here you can admire hawks and migratory birds that migrate in flocks to Switzerland and northern Europe.