11 enchanting places on Lake Como

11 enchanting places on Lake Como

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.

Golf vacation in Italy, Lake Como, Lago di Como, Lombardy, Italy, map golf courses Lake Como, golf hotels on Lake Como
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.

Como Cathedral, Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy
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, Broletto Town Hall, Como, Lombardy, Italy
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.

Tempio Voltiano, Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy
Aerial drone shot of the famous landmark Tempio Voltiano in Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy. (photo © Shutterstock.com)

4. cernobbio

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, sights in Lombardy, Italy
Cernobbio on Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

5. lenno

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
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.
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 mountains in the background, Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy
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.

Beachfront-from-Menaggio-Lago-di-Como-Lombardy, restaurants in Italy.
Menaggio beach promenade, Lago di Como, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

9. lecco

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, Lake Como, City of Lecco, Lombardy, Italy
Lago di Como. Evening aerial panorama at sunset over Lake Como of the city of Lecco, Lombardy, Italy. (photo © Shutterstock.com)

10. brunate

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.

Faro Voltiano, Brunate, Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy
Aerial view of Voltiano lighthouse of Brunate and Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

11 Laglio

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.

Villa Oleandra, Laglio, Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy
Villa Oleandra, Laglio on Lake Como in Lombardy, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

Lake Como / Lago di Como

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Lake Garda, vacation on the largest lake in Italy

Lake Garda, vacation on the largest lake in Italy

Lake Garda, vacation on the largest lake in Italy

A tour to discover the most atmospheric places that should not be missing in your itinerary on Lake Garda.

Rich in a thousand years of history that began in the distant Middle Paleolithic and cradle of ancient peoples such as the Romans and Lombards, Lake Garda, with its picturesque villages, beautiful villas and enchanting castles, is the perfect destination for those seeking a vacation among fairytale villages, small streets and unforgettable views.

Lake Garda (Italian: Lago di Garda), also called Benaco, is the largest lake in Italy with an area of 370 square kilometers. Due to its enormous size, it is divided between the Province of Trento in Trentino-Alto Adige, the Province of Brescia in Lombardy and the Province of Verona in Veneto.

It is visited by millions of tourists every year and is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy. Exceptional is the variety of landscapes that make this lake the perfect destination both in summer and winter with its high snow-capped mountains, rolling hills, small islands and clear beaches that offer a different but always impressive sight throughout the year.

Riva del Garda, Lake Garda, Trentino, Italy

Panoramic view of the beautiful Lake Garda in autumn. Riva del Garda, Lake Garda, Trentino South Tyrol, Italy. (photo © Shutterstock.com)

Hundreds of villages are able to make your stay on the lake unique and in the first place, on the Lombard shore, we find Sirmione, considered one of the jewels of Lake Garda. With its magical atmosphere, which in history has attracted writers and poets such as Catullus and Joyce, Sirmione is one of the most exciting destinations to be found on Lake Garda.

This small village owes its uniqueness mainly to the famous Scaliger Castle, located on the outskirts of the town, which can be reached only through the drawbridge of this impressive fortress founded on the water.
The castle of Sirmione, built around 1250 A.D. by Mastino I Della Scala, is one of the best preserved castles in Italy and can be visited today in its entirety.
Inside you can visit many rooms, see the two crenellated towers overlooking Lake Garda and climb the 146 steps that lead to the footbridges from which you can admire the surrounding landscape.
Like all medieval castles, the castle of Sirmione is surrounded by macabre legends that tell of ancient murders and restless spirits that roam its corridors on stormy nights.

Another famous attraction in Sirmione that will delight all lovers of history are the Caves of Catullus. Surrounded by olive trees and nestled in a wild nature near the lake, the “Grotte di Catullo” are the remains of an ancient Roman villa from the first century AD, which according to tradition was owned by the family of the famous Veronese poet Catullus.

The villa, which covers more than two hectares and was once built on three floors, is now open to the public. Inside you can visit the ancient ruins, a vast olive grove with more than 1,500 olive trees and a museum that collects archaeological findings from the areas of the lake from prehistoric to Roman times.

World famous for its wonderful thermal waters are also the Terme di Sirmione, whose discovery by Procopio dates back to 1889. Characterized by mineral water that is considered bacteriologically pure, these spas are the perfect destination for those seeking relaxation and wellness.

Castello Scaligero, Sirmione, Lake Garda, Lombardy, Sights in Italy

Rocca Scaligera Castle in Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy. (photo © Shutterstock.com)

Also in Lombardy is Limone sul Garda, a small town known for its citrus groves on panoramic terraces that surround the entire town.

The most famous is the Limonaia Castel, where lemons, grapefruits, tangerines and citrons grow abundantly thanks to the microclimate of the lake.

Sports enthusiasts in Limone sul Garda should not miss the panoramic bike path, a route built high above the lake that will captivate you with its breathtaking views.

Near Limone sul Garda lies Tremosine, a group of small hamlets built on a plateau and known for their picturesque streets and spectacular terraces, such as the Strada della Forra, which was carved into the rock of the mountain, and the Terrazza del Brividowhich overlooks the lake.

Going up the eastern shore of the lake, you come to Salò, known for its historical importance during the events of World War II. A must-see is the Salò Cathedral, built in 1453 in late Gothic style and rich in priceless works of art by Paolo Veneziano and Moretto. The lake promenade, the longest on Lake Garda, also offers a postcard-perfect backdrop.

Just a few kilometers from Salò is Gardone Riviera with the Vittoriale degli Italiani. The burial place of Gabriele D’Annunzio, this huge villa was commissioned by the poet to the architect Giancarlo Maroni, who worked on the construction for almost 15 years and completed the work in 1938.

This “little citadel” houses the Prioria, a house-museum with richly decorated rooms and dozens of extravagant objects, a large park with fountains, statues and ponds, various museums, an amphitheater and an auditorium that can hold more than 200 people. Among the most evocative places to visit in the Vittoriale are the Nave Puglia, the mausoleum where the remains of the poet are kept, and the Museo D’Annunzio Segreto, where all the memorabilia of the Vate’s life are collected.

Malcesine, Lake Garda, Lombardy, Italy, golf hotels on Lake Garda, map golf courses on Lake Garda

Isola del Garda Borghese, Lake Garda, Italy. (photo © Shutterstock.com)

On the shore of Trentino, in a fjord surrounded by the Alps, Riva del Garda is the most picturesque and much visited town. The historic center is a must-see, climbing up the hill in narrow, characteristic streets that lead to Piazza 3 Novembre, the heart of the city. Within this square overlooking the lake is the Apponale Tower, which dates back to 1220 A.D. and can be entered with a ticket that allows you to climb the many steps to the top, from where you can admire the whole city from above.

Another destination near Riva del Garda is the medieval town of Arco, with its castle perched on the rock, considered one of the most beautiful in the Alps, and its botanical garden, commissioned by Archduke Albert of Habsburg and rich in rare plants.
Still in Trentino, between Lake Garda and Lake Tenno, lies Canale di Tenno, one of the oldest and best preserved medieval villages in Italy, with its unmissable views and steep streets full of history and traditions.

On the Venetian shore lies Malcesine, the pearl of Lake Garda. This small village with its colorful houses and medieval castle is the starting point of the cable car that takes you to Monte Baldo, the highest peak of Lake Garda, which offers the best view of the entire lake and from which many trails lead for hiking enthusiasts.
Still in the Veneto region, not far from Malcesine, is Cassone with the Aril River, which at 175 meters is the shortest river in the world.

To be visited at sunset and considered the most romantic place on the lake, Punta San Virgilio was the heart place of writers like Goethe and never ceases to amaze with its delicate landscape of cypresses and old lemon houses.
It also houses one of the oldest inns in Italy, which has hosted countless illustrious personalities over the centuries, and has one of the most famous beaches on the lake: the Baia delle Sirene.

If you are passionate about viticulture, Lazise and Bardolino are the perfect destinations for you. Villages famous for the production of fine wines such as Bardolino and Chiaretto, here you can visit vineyards, wine cellars and participate in various tastings.

The town is also home to the Wine Museum, which tells the story of wine production with ancient and modern exhibits and comprehensive explanatory panels. Lazise is also very popular with young and old because of its numerous amusement parks which are located in the surroundings of this beautiful Lake Garda resort.

 

Limone sul Garda, Lake Garda, Italy

Limone sul Garda, Lake Garda, Lombardy, Italy. (photo © Shutterstock.com)

Malcesine, Lake Garda, Lombardy, Italy, golf tournaments on Lake Garda.

Malcesine, Lake Garda, Veneto, Italy. (photo © xbrchx / Shutterstock.com)

Part of the immense landscape of Lake Garda is also the Isola del Garda, the largest of the five islands of the lake. 200 meters from the coast and accessible only by boat, on this island you can visit Villa Ferrari, the hermitage of St. Francis of Assisi and dozens of Roman remains such as tombstones and temple ruins scattered throughout the area.

If you are near Torbole, you can’t miss a visit to the Marmitte dei Giganti: huge holes dug in the mountain by the melting of the glaciers more than 130,000 years ago, more than 5 meters wide and about 12 meters deep. Visiting this place really means witnessing the wonderful feats of nature.

Other very worth seeing places on Lake Garda are San Felice del Benaco on the western shore of Lake Garda, Peschiera del Garda on the southern shore of Lake Garda and also Desenzano sul Garda, as well as Torri del Benaco, Gargnano, Brenzone, Manerba del Garda, Moniga del Garda, Tignale and the town of Garda which gave its name to Lago di Garda.

Not only villages and castles, but also the traditional cuisine of Lake Garda is full of delicious dishes to try. Typical are, of course, the dishes based on fish from the lake, such as bigoli con le sarde, a typical dish of fresh egg pasta, sisàm, a sweet and sour mixture of dried buttonholes and white onions, and risotto with tench fried and beaten in butter.

The menu also includes meat dishes such as lesso con pearà (boiled meat with pearà), prepared with beef and pork and served with a breadcrumb sauce, polenta and mortadèla and canederli in meat broth, bread balls filled with eggs and meat.

Lake Garda, thanks to the varied nature of its territory, is also the perfect destination for all sports enthusiasts. From sailing to windsurfing, from climbing to trekking, from cycling to paragliding a round of golf on one of the numerous, beautiful Golf courses on Lake Garda – the Benaco is considered the Mecca of outdoor sports and here there are a thousand ways to go, walls to climb and waves to plow through.

Many and many more are the surprises that this wonderful land has to offer its visitors and if you are looking for a place for your next vacation, do not hesitate to discover Lake Garda, which I am sure will remain forever in your heart.

 

Riva del Garda

Salò

Malcesine

Sirmione

Limone sul Garda

Torbole

Arco

Isola del Garda

Lazise

Bardolino

Monte Baldo

Lake Garda

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