Lake Como – 14 Things You CAN NOT Miss!

Escape to the tranquility of Lake Como, renowned for its postcard-perfect scenery of glittering blue waters backed by snow-capped peaks.
Written By: Andrea Spallanzani
Reviewed by: Rick Orford
How & Why We Created This Article

This article has been written, reviewed, and fact-checked by Rick and I. We live in Italy and travel throughout the country to help you make the best choices for your trip. We wrote this piece because we want to ensure you have the best trip possible on your next trip to Italy. Portions of this article have been written using assistive AI tools to help with tasks like research, spell-checking, grammar, and translation.

Last Updated March 22, 2024

In this article, you'll learn how:

  • Lake Como is a popular tourist destination in Italy known for its beautiful scenery, mountains, historic towns, and high-end villas.
  • The weather is mild most of the year, with average summer temperatures around 22-25°C and winter temperatures around -3 to 3°C.
  • Popular activities in Lake Como include boating, swimming, hiking, biking, visiting villas, and enjoying the scenic train ride on the Bernina Express.

Are you planning to visit Lake Como and wonder what to see and do while you’re in the area? Rick and I love Lake Como, and put together this guide to explain where it is, and help you make the most of your trip. Indeed, these are among our favorites of things to see and do while you’re in the area.

Lake Como is in Lombardy, Italy. It is Italy’s third-largest and deepest lake after Lake Garda and Lago Maggiore. The nearest major city is Milan, which is about 50 miles away. Other nearby towns include Bergamo and Brescia; the distance from Bergamo is about 40 miles, and Brescia is about 70 miles away.

Lake Como cannot be missed if you plan a trip to Italy. Everyone we’ve taken here said it’s a highlight on their trip to Italy. With its crystal-clear water and stunning mountain scenery, it’s no wonder that this area is a popular tourist destination. The Alps surround the lake. Guests may enjoy activities like swimming, boating, and fishing, or sit back, relax, and admire the area’s natural beauty. Lake Como has been a popular tourist site since the 19th century, attracting many famous people.

Lake Como has been an aristocratic vacation destination since Rome’s times and a popular destination for vacationers discovering its many artistic and cultural treasures. The lake is known for its picturesque landscape, and mountains and hills surround it.  

What is the Weather like in Lake Como

Lake Como weather is typically relatively mild, with average temperatures ranging from 22-25 degrees Celsius during summer.

However, occasional heat waves can push temperatures up into the high 30s. The winter months are generally more chill, with average temperatures ranging from -3 to 3 degrees Celsius. Snowfall tends to be erratic and depends on the highest point. Rainfall is heaviest during the spring and least during the winter.

Towns Around Lake Como

For a good reason, Lake Como is a popular tourist destination in Italy. With its stunning lakeside towns, villas, villages, and natural attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this picturesque region.

One of our favorite things to see in Lake Como is its beaches. Several public beaches are located around the lake’s shores, and private beaches can be accessed by hiring a boat or taking a walk along one of the many nature trails that run along the lake’s edge. Compared with other seasons, summer is the best time to go to Lake Como because the weather tends to be warm and dry.

Let’s explore some of Lake Como’s most famous towns:


Como town is a small city in northern Italy known for its beautiful lakeside setting and charming old-world atmosphere. The town has a long and storied history, evident in its well-preserved architecture and lively cultural scene.

Situated at the base of the Alps, Como is a popular tourist destination known for its natural aesthetics and slow pace of life. In addition to its lovely lakeside setting, Como town is home to several interesting historical attractions. Como became Lombardy’s third most visited city, with 1.4 million visitors in 2018.


The classic tourist destination of Bellagio is located in Lombardy, Italy. It lies on the banks of Lake Como and is renowned for its distinguished villas and luxurious hotels. Bellagio has been a popular tourist destination for centuries and is a favorite spot for celebrities and the wealthy. Most places of interest are within walking distance, making visiting Bellagio as a day trip destination easy.


Situated overlooking the picturesque Lake Como, Varenna is a commune in the province of Lecco in the Lombardy region of Italy. With its medieval streets and stone houses, Varenna is one of the most picturesque villages on the lake. It’s a popular tourist destination, with visitors exploring its historic quarters and old-fashioned structures.

The village has several restaurants and cafes and a couple of small shops. Varenna is a beautiful place for any traveler planning to visit one of the more beloved and frequently visited towns on the lake.


Nesso, Italy, is a commune in the Como, Lombardy province in northern Italy. The commune is located on the western shore of Lake Como. Nesso is about 68 kilometers north of Milan and 19 kilometers northeast of Como. When looking at the picturesque village of Nesso, nestled on the banks of Lake Como in Italy, It seems unlikely that such a place could exist. With its pristinely clear water and snow-capped mountains in the distance, Nesso is undeniably one of Europe’s most beautiful villages.


Located in the province of Como, Menaggio is a town on Lake Como’s shores. The city is well known for its villas and gardens, which are open to the public. Menaggio town’s beauty is found in its natural surroundings and the well-preserved and picturesque old town center. Menaggio is a popular tourist destination thanks to its stunning views and tranquil atmosphere. The town’s narrow streets are lined with historic buildings.

Gravedona ed Uniti

Gravedona ed Uniti is a small town in the province of Como, in northern Italy. It’s located on the east coast of Lake Como. The commune has about 4,222 inhabitants, and it’s a popular tourist destination thanks to its lake views and location close to other well-known towns, such as Como and Bellagio. The main attraction of Gravedona ed Uniti is its historic center, which is well preserved. While strolling through the streets of Gravedona, You can’t help but be amazed by the architecture of ancient Gravedona.


Lecco is a charming town located in Lake Como, Italy. The city is at the base of the mountain range known as the Grigne. Lecco is a popular destination for tourists who want to enjoy the beauty of Lake Como and the surrounding mountains. The town has a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as several historical landmarks, and is famous for its beautiful scenery and friendly locals.

Here are some of the best things to see and do in Lecco:

If you’re interested in history, visit the Teatro Della Societa, a large theatre that has been around since the 1800s, and it’s still used today for performances. Lecco is also known for its beautiful scenery and its many landmarks. Lecco’s most famous landmarks include the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo di Lecco. The Ponte Vecchio is also one of the most iconic landmarks in Lecco. The bridge spans the Adda River and has been a town symbol for centuries. The Duomo di Lecco is another famous landmark. The cathedral is located in the center of town and is known for its beautiful architecture.

Activities to do while visiting Lake Como

Lake Como is a beautiful place to visit; plenty of activities keep you busy. You’ll love the fresh air and stunning views by hiking or biking around the lake. If you prefer a more laid-back trip, going for a boat ride or swimming will be much more comfortable. You can try skiing in the nearby mountains in the winter.

There are also several charming villages around the lake where you can enjoy a meal or go shopping. Whatever your interests, Lake Como has something to offer. Following are the activities you can do in Lake Como:

Bernina Express Scenic Train To St. Moritz and Tirano

Bernina Express traveling from St. Moritz to Tirano

Lake Como is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. The views of the snow-capped Alps, the clear blue waters, and the charming villages are breathtaking. A great way to explore this magical region is by taking the Bernina Express scenic train.

The tour starts in the morning in Como, and you’ll be bussed to St. Moritz. There, you’ll be able to visit the lake, shop, and try some of the local delicacies.

In the afternoon, you’ll board the Bernina Express train and enjoy the views through a panoramic carriage while it takes you to Tirano. This narrow-gauge railway winds its way through some of the most picturesque countryside in Italy. For example, you’ll see the incredible glacier in Morteratsch, pass by lakes and waterfalls, and of course, cross the mountain pass at 2253 meters.

You may also witness locals shepherding their sheep or goats if you’re lucky. This train is a great way to taste the authentic Swiss Alps.

While in Tirano, don’t miss the Sanctuary of the Holy Virgin before returning to Como on the bus.

Boat trips on Lake Como

a boat on lake como

Lake Como is a great place to take a boat trip. You can take many different trips to find the perfect one for you. A tourist boat trip is ideal if you want to see the lake’s beautiful scenery and historic towns. A boat trip may include swimming and diving stops if you’re seeking an adventurous vacation. No matter your boat trip, you’ll have a fantastic time on Lake Como. Many companies offer boat trips on the lake, so you can find one that fits your schedule and budget.

Bike tours

Lake Como is a beautiful place to take a bike tour. There are many different routes, and the scenery is spectacular. You can explore small villages, lush forests, and rugged mountains. Plenty of places to stop for a break or a picnic lunch exist. The people of Lake Como are amiable and welcoming, and they will be happy to show you around their hometowns. If you are ready to find an excellent and unforgettable cycling ride, a trip to Lake Como is great! 


Lake Como is an excellent place for a hiking vacation. Many well-maintained trails wind through the hills and mountains around the lake. The sight of the lake and the Alps is spectacular, and there are plenty of places to stop and take a break for a picnic or to enjoy the scenery. The trails are not too difficult, but there are some steep sections, so hikers should be in good shape. There is also some elevation gain, so those not used to hiking will find it challenging.

The Lake Como region doesn’t have to be a full-time adventure. But, combining all the above activities, you can enjoy a relaxing stay in Lake Como.

Villas To See In Lake Como

When visiting Italy, one thing you’ll find is that there are a lot of villas. Interestingly, many of these villas are open to the public for free or at a minimal cost in Italy. So, on your next trip to Lake Como, visit some of these villas and relive how the nobles lived.

Villa del Balbianello

The Villa del Balbianello is a villa overlooking Lake Como in Lombardy, Italy. The Villa del Balbianello is one of Lake Como’s most significant and best-preserved villas. The villa was designed in a classic, neoclassical style. The Italian state now owns the estate, which is open to the public. Thanks to its spectacular views and terraced gardens, Villa del Balbianello will leave you breathless.

Villa Olmo

The Villa Olmo is a neoclassical villa in Como, Lombardy, Italy. The villa was designed by the architect Simone Cantoni and completed in 1797. The estate was named after an elm tree, now long dead. It is one of the most important examples of neoclassical architecture in Lombardy. Marquis Innocenzo commissioned the villa. In 1924, the Comune of Como acquired the estate, and it became public only during exhibitions, while the gardens were freely accessible during the daytime.

Villa Monastero

Villa Monastero is a breathtaking sight atop a bluff overlooking the crystal clear waters of Lake Como in Italy. The villa was originally built in Nordic style and has been remodeled and added to over the years. The villa is now used as a museum and cultural center, with exhibits on art, nature, and local history. The gardens of Villa Monastero are also worth a visit, with terraces, fountains, and sculpture gardens.

Tips for making your trip to Lake Como even better

woman standing near body of water in Italy

Here are a few ways to make the most of your visit to this spectacular destination.

  1. Make sure you have enough time to enjoy the lake. The best way to experience all that Lake Como offers is to relax and take it slow. Spend at least two days visiting the towns and villages that dot the shoreline, or sit and take in the incredible views.
  1. Be sure to rent a boat or kayak and explore the lake. There are some fantastic spots to discover, and it’s a great way to get up close and personal with the scenery.
  1. Take the opportunity to try some of the delicious cuisines famous throughout the region. You’ll find a wide variety of restaurants and cafes. Of course, there are some fantastic gelato shops, too!
  1. There is so much to do and see on Lake Como, and you will never run out of things to do. You can have lots of time to relax in the sun and still have room for more.
  1. Lake Como’s sunsets are breathtaking; you’ll never tire of watching them.
  1. You can quickly get to the region by train or boat anywhere in Italy. It’s also easy to get around from there by car as well.
  1. The region is effortless to get around in, and there are hundreds of different things to do, see, eat, and visit. Lake Como has it all!


Lake Como is worth a visit to anyone traveling to Europe. Quiet, unspoiled area with beautiful scenery and wonderfully welcoming people. There’s so much to do in the area that visitors will never tire of new adventures. Whether you’re interested in experiencing the quiet scenery or are looking for a lively place to party, Lake Como is the place to go. So be sure to add this magical location to your travel bucket list!