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Lake Como

Lake Como

If you think Lake Como’s good looks resemble a film set then you’d be right. The location was chosen as one of the settings for the James Bond Casino Royale film thanks to its undulating mountains, charming hillside villages and serene expanse of water that’s surrounded by head-turning Neo-Classical villas.

Don’t miss the 16th century Villa del Balbianello which is loved for its exquisite terraced gardens as well as the charming lakeside towns of Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio and Como itself. Come dinnertime, make sure you try the local dish of perch with risotto, which is made with fish caught in Lake Como.

A holiday to Lake Como is a must for everyone. Immortalised by the Romantics through their lyrical poetry and eloquent prose, glittering Lake Como never ceases to inspire, and it’s easy to see why. Gleaming against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountains, its sinuous shoreline is delicately embroidered with charming villages and ancient villas with their iconic stone balustrades. Attracting the likes of everyone from George and Amal Clooney to Bill Gates and Richard Branson, this ethereal beauty is not to be missed.
To help you plan your Lake Como holiday, we hand-picked the best and most exciting package holiday deals, each of them showcasing the true beauty of the area and the best of what it has to offer. Explore Bellagio, one of Italy’s most romantic towns, stroll through the quaint, cobblestone streets of Como town, or marvel at the beauty around you from the comfort of a boat as it gently glides through the lake. If you need a bit of holiday inspiration and tips on what to do and see, we have plenty of those too!

Best Places to Stay


You won't find many lakeside towns whose beauty and charm can rival that of Bellagio. Bellagio oozes elegance combined with that Old World appeal.

The town is surrounded by enchanting panorama thanks to its position on a promontory jutting out into Lake Como. You’ll love strolling through its cobblestone lanes lined with colourful houses and criss-crossed with pretty stairways, lively cafes and shops.

Grab a coffee or an Italian-style breakfast at the art nouveau Caffe Rossi, relax at the pergola garden at Ristorante Silvio and, of course, don’t forget to visit Villa Serbelloni, famous for its 18th Century terraced garden and gorgeous lakeside views. Your Lake Como holidays simply won’t be complete without a visit to Bellagio, so be sure to stop by, even if it’s for a couple of hours.


A vibrant town on the lake, Como is a delightful place filled with charming shops, lovingly manicured buildings and quaint piazzas.

Relax and grab a bite at Piazza Cavour, stroll along the lakefront promenade or laze on the beach at Lido di Villa Geno, a heavenly little alcove with gorgeous views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. There are also plenty of private and public boat tours to choose from (all tours depart from a pier near Piazza Cavour).

For those of you who‘d like to learn a bit about the local history, there are plenty of museums and historical sights to discover, including Como’s Roman baths dating back to 1st-2nd centuries, the Art Museum housing the works from Medieval times to Renaissance area, and the Giuseppe Garibaldi historical museum.


Sat on the Western banks of Lake Como, right by Bellagio, Tremezzina is filled with history and charm. Here, you can visit the famous 18th C Villa Carlotta, rising majestically over the lake. The villa is surrounded by botanical gardens, speckled with tropical plants and colourful blooms, including rhododendrons and azaleas which look especially gorgeous in the spring.

Don’t forget Villa Balbianello, sat on the neighbouring hamlet of Lenno. Its stone-carved terrace overlooking Lake Como is where Star Wars: Episode II scenes were famously shot. If you’re up for a bit of a hike, look no further than a walk along Greenway del Lago di Como, a stunningly picturesque trail which runs along several lakeside towns, following the Roman Via Regina.

Things to do


A boat tour is an experience not to be missed on your Lake Como holiday. There’s something magical about cruising along Lake Como as the mountains and hillside villages stretch all around you.

Sail through the deep blue waters and watch the lake’s beauty unravel before your eyes as you pass by the luxuriant shores lined up with opulent villas and manicured gardens, set amongst fig and pomegranate trees.

There are plenty of group tours to choose from as well as more intimate, private boat hire options available. Whatever your preference or budget, you’re in for an unforgettable experience.

Boat Tour


Breathlessly beautiful and filled with ethereal charm, Villa del Balbianello is surrounded by a stunning terraced garden and tall pine trees, boasting unforgettable views of Isola Comacina.

Built in the 18th century by Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, it’s now a frequent setting for weddings and films (including James Bond and Star Wars Episode II). Stroll along the famous, beautifully carved stone terrace where you can admire the lake views, and don’t forget to explore the garden, a true highlight of the visit.

You can get to the villa either by foot, by walking down a 1km footpath starting at Via Degli Artigiani, or by a water taxi leaving from nearby Lenno beach which is, of course, a much more relaxing option. If you choose the latter, prepare to be amazed as you approach the villa, hanging above the lake in all its glory.

Villa del Balbianello

Italian food is famous for its mouth-watering flavours. Lake Como is especially known for its Michelin Star restaurants, and it’s a perfect place for foodies to indulge in local staples. Curious to explore Lake Como’s flavours? Here are some of our favourites:
1. Pizzoccheri
One of the region’s best-loved dishes is Pizzoccheri. Made from buckwheat flour, this flat ribbon pasta is typically lightly fried in butter and dressed with garlic before being layered with potatoes, Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, and savoy cabbage. If you’re keen to try some pizzoccheri there is no better place to go than Ristorante La Punta. With an impressive menu and uninterrupted lakeside views, simply look for the vintage boat atop the restaurant's roof to find your way.
2. Sun-dried Lake Shad
Another traditional dish, Shad are much like sardines and can be found in Lake Como. Seasoned with salt for several days before being hung to dry, they can be found on any traditional Italian menu under the name ‘Missoltino’. Best paired with bread as an appetiser, this fish dish is not to be missed. Stop off at Da Abate and try their speciality linguine with missoltino and tomatoes.
3. Fragole con Gelato
Try Italy’s world-famous gelato and order the favourite flavour of locals and indulge in succulent fresh strawberries atop a generous helping of fine Italian ice cream. Be sure to head to Gelateria Lariana for some of the best flavours across the lake.
Local Cuisine

Best Ways to Get Around


If you’re travelling to Lake Como from Milan by public transport, you can take a train from either Milano Centrale or Milano Porta Garibaldi to Como S. Giovanni, or travel from Milano Cadorna to Como Nord Lago.

The perk of arriving at Como Nord Lago is that you'll be greeted by the sight of Lake Como pretty much as soon as you step off the train - a truly perfect start to your Lake Como holiday!

The train journey will take roughly 1h or, if you prefer to travel by car or a taxi, 1h 20min depending on traffic. For those of you travelling from Milan airport, Starfly bus connects the airport to Milano Centrale in mere 15 min.

Lake Como

Frequently Asked Questions

  • While temperatures at Lake Como are mild all year round, the result of its Mediterranean-like sub-climate, the best time to visit is between March and end of October, with temperatures reaching their peak in July and August.

    In the summer, the temperatures average at a very pleasant 22C, accompanied by balmy sunshine (please note that occasional summer showers are not uncommon!).

    In winter, they range between 1- 6C and do occasionally fall below 0 on the coldest nights. The snow may fall on the odd occasion but that usually only happens in higher elevation. January is the coldest month, with average temperatures dropping to 1°C.

  • This depends entirely on the experience you’re after. Como is known to be one of the most vibrant and popular towns, with lively cafes, bars and gelaterias, perfect for indulging in la dolce vita. Another benefit of choosing Como as a base is its excellent train connection to Milan.

    Bellagio is considered one of the most famous - and the most beautiful towns in the area. Famous for its stunning villas, lush gardens and dreamy landscapes, it’s smaller than Como but there’s still a lot to do.

    Tremezzo is another travellers favourites, filled with grand hotels and luxury villas. Just a stone throw from Bellagio, its famous for the gorgeous Villa Carlotta and the Church of St Maria. Varenna, a small fisherman's on the Eastern Shore of Lake Como, boasts a traditional Italian charm. Smaller and quieter than the other towns, it boasts equally stunning lakeside views and is filled with restaurants serving local specialities.

    If you prefer to escape the crowds and experience a more 'authentic' side of Lake Como, head to Lecco. Rich in baroque and medieval architecture, it's a lovely place to explore. Foodies will be happy to enjoy the town’s authentic Italian dishes.

  • Take a train from either Milano Centrale or Milano Porta Garibaldi to Como S. Giovanni, or travel from Milano Cadorna to Como Nord Lago.

    The perk of arriving at Como Nord Lago is that you'll be greeted by the sight of Lake Como pretty much as soon as you step of the train - a truly perfect start to your Lake Como holiday! The train journey will take roughly 1h or, if you prefer to travel by car or a taxi, 1h 20min depending on traffic. For those of you travelling from Milan airport, Starfly bus connects the airport to Milano Centrale in mere 15 min.

    Another option is taking Trenord’s Malpensa Express or Frecciarossa train from Malpensa Airport to Lake Como. The journey can take between 1.09min to over 2h, depending on the number of changes. If you're transferring from Bergamo, take either Orio Shuttle or Airport Bus Express to Milano Centrale where you can catch a connecting train to Como. The journey from Bergamo Airport to Milano Centrale takes 50 min and costs only 5 Euros.
    Alternatively, you can, of course, hire a car, take a taxi or arrange a private transfer with your hotel.
  • From boat trips and lazing on the beach to exploring Lake Como’s stunning villas, you certainly won’t be short of things to do. For detailed tips on what to do and see, read out expert insider guide to Lake Como.
  • Yes, you can swim in the lake but you have to remember that it is a lake so in parts won't be ideal for swimming.