Northern Italy seems completely different to the rest of the country. It offers a lifestyle different to anywhere else in the world. Imagine the Italian lakes surrounded by the mountains of France and Switzerland.
The lakes can make poets rhyme and attract Hollywood A-listers. It also has some of the world’s top holiday destinations. Here you can enjoy beautiful views, great wine and perfectly prepared local cuisine.
We’ve listed our top 8 things to do at Lake Como in Italy…
1. Feast your Eyes on the most popular and third-largest of all the Italian lakes – Lake Como. Close to Milan and Switzerland, it is just a short trip via bus or train. So you can plan a day or weekend trip. Here, you will get the perfect mix of lakeside Italian Villas, historic gardens and clear blue water surrounded by snowy alps.
2. Hop on a slow boat to Comune di Bellagio (about 11 Euros one way). Ferries and hydrofoils depart to many scenic spots up and down the lake. Commuting on the water is part of the experience. Bellagio is known as the ‘Pearl of the Lake’. The village is famous for its location at the intersection of the three branches of Y-shaped Lake Como. It has been said to be the most beautiful town in Italy. We can definitely understand why!
3. Walk up to Sacro Monte di Varese, one of the nine sacred mountains of Northern Italy (UNESCO protected since 2003.) It offers a viewpoint of the lakes in the area and the Swiss Alps. Take a walk through historic chapels built in the 17th and 18th century. These chapels are considered to be places of reflection and prayer.
4. Smell the Italian Cypress trees. Strolling around the historic village you will enjoy the beauty and the smell of the Italian gardens. Walk along the promenades and breathe in the scent of olive, lemon groves, cypresses and oleanders.
“This lake exceeds anything I ever beheld in beauty”. Percy Bysshe Shelley
5. Have the ultimate Italian Foodie experience. The best part of exploring a country’s history and culture is by tasting the local cuisine. Lake Como offers tasty options for everyone. Eat a hearty Italian salad at one of the many lakeside ristorante. Or, you could try a local dish like Versata (pork and savoy cabbage) or delicious Gnocchi.
6. Visit a cantina to taste popular local wines like Bardolino (a dry red) or Chiaretto (a light pink rosé). Another famous drink is the pre-dinner cocktail called a Flora. It is a twist on a Spritz – made with Aperol, mint and Champagne topped with creamy passion fruit foam (about 9 Euros).
7. Learn how to sail. There is absolutely no end to what you can do at Lake Como. You can go mountain biking, villa hopping and make handcrafted soap. Something fun to add to your list is sailing. Contrary to popular belief, sailing is for everyone! If you can drive a car and walk – you can sail. Excursions last anything from 5 hours to 2 days. So, in a relatively short amount of time you can learn the basic ability to sail a boat.
8. Kick back and relax. The water and surroundings make you want to switch off completely. Just go with it! It is exactly what the locals, tourists and Hollywood A-listers do. Act like a local and enjoy one of the most relaxed destinations in the world.
Lake Como is definitely a wish-list destination! It is one of our favourite locations to travel to.