10 Best Things to Do in Como Italy

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Como Italy
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Are you someone who likes vacationing in nature? If so, Como in northern Italy is the perfect destination for you. It’s renowned for its beautiful scenic views, where the wonders of nature can be exquisitely witnessed Como Italy has been the retreat for the royals and wealthy for decades.

The emerald-green waters and stunning views of this town are soothing to the eyes.

Lake Como Italy is known for its stunning architecture, which includes beautiful Cathedrals, elegant villas, and picturesque Botanical gardens.

The town’s popularity also comes from its association with celebrities, who have visited, shoot movies, or lived in the town.

Lake Como is an ideal destination for its warm weather, sparkling shoreline, and great outdoor activities like swimming or sunbathing by the Lake.

1. Best Time to Visit Como Italy

The peak tourist season for Lake Como is from May to September when the weather is warm and the scenery is at its most beautiful. During this time, the trees are in full bloom and the lakeside towns are bustling with tourists.

If you’re looking for a lively atmosphere and plenty of activities to do, then this is the perfect time to visit.

But, if you prefer a quiet vacation and don’t want to waste your time because of the crowd then you shall visit lake Como in the off-season, which is from October to April.

Even though the weather would be cooler, you can still enjoy all activities.

Lake Como Italy
By: Steffen Lemmerzahl / Unsplash, Copyright 2020

So, if you’re convinced about when to visit Lake Como.

2. How to Reach Como Italy?

There are different ways to reach the Lake Como area. You could choose your transport based on budget or time taken to reach your destination.

One option is to fly into Milan and then take a short flight to Lake Como, which takes just 35 minutes. Also, you could choose to drive, which allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.

Another option is to take a train to reach Lake Como. There are daily trains available to Como, which take around 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on where you’re coming from.

While taking a bus is a budget-friendly option, it may not be the most comfortable or convenient way to travel. Whichever way you choose, you’re sure to be amazed by the beauty of this stunning destination.

3. Where to Stay? 

Lake Como is a stunning destination that offers a variety of towns to stay in, each with its unique charm and atmosphere.

Even if you choose to stay in one particular town, visiting other towns is convenient, as you can easily travel by ferry or boat to different parts of the lake.

The two most popular towns for visitors to stay in our Bellagio and Varenna, although the best choice for you will depend on who you are traveling with and the type of vacation you are looking for.

 If you are with family or friends, you may want to choose a town with more family-friendly activities, while couples may prefer a quieter and more romantic atmosphere.

You could choose to stay at a hotel or an Airbnb depending on your comfort and budget.

By planning your trip carefully and choosing the right town, you can make the most of your time on this beautiful lake.

4. 10 Things to Do at Lake Como Are:

4.1 Explore Lake Como on a Boat Trip

Boat tour on Lake Como
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Lake Como has the most breathtaking views, amazing landscapes, and beautiful towns on its shoreline. This can be witnessed from different locations, but each has its charm.

To enjoy Lake Como’s stunning views, one needs to get on boat trips.

There are many options for having a boat trip by Lake Como, you could take a ferry or boat taxi or even book a private boat. The cost of which is high during peak summer months, so you choose the one that suits your holiday the best.

Ferry ports are easily accessible in every town on the lake. The ferry tickets cost around 2 Euros to 12 Euros. The tickets for boat trips range between 5 Euros to 25 Euros depending on the distance you travel. A private boat trip on Lake Como costs around 100 Euro/hour.

It’s your choice to simply enjoy a scenic boat ride or make a stop at any town center and take guided tours for exploring the town.

4.2 Explore “Pearl of Lake Como” Bellagio

Back alleyway in Bellaggio
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The most Instagrammable town of Lake Como, Italy is Bellagio. Bellagio is the famous town of Lake Como for its location at the center of the lake and offers gorgeous views of lake Como from every place in the town.

Bellagio is a perfect town to be explored on foot for its cobbled streets and cute little cafes offering local cuisine. It is the host to the historical museum and the lush gardens of Villa Melzi.

If time permits you shall visit Villa Melzi botanical gardens which is just a 10 min walk from the town center. The gardens are open only in the summer season which is from March to October. The ticket to visit Villa Melzi gardens cost around 8 Euros.

Visiting Bellagio town center for a wide variety of shops, small boutiques, and classy restaurants with amazing views.

You could use google maps while you are on your own. The back alleys ways of this town have the best picture-perfect spots.

Don’t forget to grab a gelato while exploring.

4.3 Take a Day Trip to Varenna

Varenna, Como Italy
By: Sies Karnen/ Unsplash, Copyright 2022

The city of Como has another beautiful village that is Varenna. It’s one of the quietest and most traditional villages in Como Italy.

This village is popular amongst tourists as its accessible by train from Milan which takes around an hour. You could even access another town Bellagio by ferry which is just 20 mins from this village.

This village is home to some of the best accommodations and public beaches.

For a relaxing afternoon, you could enjoy swimming at the beaches of Varenna. The popular one is Olivedo -Lido. This beach is free and accessible to all.

If you like visiting attractions, Villa Monastero should be on your list while visiting Varenna in Como, Italy. The luscious botanical gardens are worth exploring. The ticket to this garden is 8 Euros.

Castello di Vezio is another attraction that can’t be missed when in Varenna. The Castle is known for its ghost sculptures and magnificent views of lake Como. It’s said that Ghost sculptures are made each year before the peak seasons.

4.4 Visit the Como Cathedral 

Como Cathedral at Como Italy
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This is a religious site the construction began in the 14th century. Is last Gothic Cathedral built by Roman Empire is Como Cathedral. This Cathedral is dedicated to the blessed virgin mary.

The architecture of the Church is of the Gothic facade. Cathedral interiors are decorated with paintings from Renaissance, Baroque, and romanesque periods.

Don’t miss out on getting your eye on wonderful glass statues of Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger.

It is the church visited by locals of Como Italy. To have the best views of Lake Como you can go to the top of Cathedrals Dome for a bird-eye view.

4.5 A Day Trip to Como City

Villa at Como Italy.
By: Laura Lugraesi / Unspalsh, copyright 2020

The city has a border with Italy and Switzerland. The view of the city of Como is a blend of the alps and small towns by the lake. Como city is famous for its architecture, historic monuments, and museums from the Roman Empire.

You could book guided tours to see attractions and learn about them. You shall visit Basilica di Sant’Abbondio, Como Archaeological Museum, Villa Olmo, Villa Carlotta and Piazza Duomo.

The Como Archaeological museum has artifacts from the Greek Period. When you visit, you can feel the history and learn about each artifact on display.

Visiting the other towns of Lake Como from Como city is quite easy, you could hop on a boat or ferry to the next location.

There is a museum dedicated to the silk industry which is there since the 18 century. You can shop for some silk articles from here.

But that’s not all, a shopaholic can treat oneself by buying some of the best quality fashion items from here. They are usually cheaper than in Milan. You could shop for a wide range of clothes, scarves, bags, and shoes.

You could indulge in some outdoor activities like jet boating, kitesurfing, or kayaking by Lake Como.

4.6 Tour of Volta 

Did you Know? The inventor of the electrical battery Alessandro Volta was from Como, Italy. The Volta tour is dedicated to his story and life. The guided tour of Volta would take you through Alessandro’s house, school, and other places.

The two main stops on this tour are Volta Museum and Life Electric. And finally, you would be then taken to Volta lighthouse.

Volta lighthouse is at the top of the hill, Brunate from where you get amazing views of the Lake. The lighthouse is Surrounded by Como city views and all nearby areas.

4.7 Visit the Town of Cernobbio

Villa d’Este
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Cernobbio is a small town located in Lake Como, Italy. This town is less busy compared to other towns on Lake Como.

If you are looking for a place to relax and explore Lake Como, it could be a preferred destination.

It is a short distance by boat from Como city. The boat trip takes nearly 15 mins. This town center is surrounded by beautiful outdoor cafes, restaurants, hotels, and parks.

This is an ideal town if you would want to walk and explore. The walks around this city will take you from the narrow alleys of old buildings and homes. The streets have shops and small local cafes all along. You could shop or relish Italian coffee at one of the cafes.

The town is home to some magnificent villas such as Villa Bernasconi, Villa Erba, and Villa Pizzo. Entry to these Villas is not permitted to the general public but can be visited when they host some events.

These villas are open during the summer season and hold events. While you are traveling, keep an eye out for them, and you might be lucky enough to get a chance to visit.

Villa d’Este is a luxury 5 Star hotel in Lake Como and is famous among celebrities from around the world. They most likely pick this for their stay at Lake Como.

After exploring the town, you could relax on the benches near the shoreline overlooking Lake Como and enjoy the scenic views during sunset.

4.8 Go for a Wine-Tasting Tour

Wine tasting in Como Italy
By: Kevin Kelly/ Unsplash, Copyright 2019

If you’re interested in learning about how wines are made in Lake Como, Italy, you should book a private or group tour. The tour duration is usually 1.5 – 2 hours. The cost of this group wine tour is around 40 Euros.

During the tour, you will visit a winery and learn about the wine-making process in the cellar. You will also get to taste some of the finest wines of Como city paired with local specialties.

They take you to the vineyard where they grow their produce.

The winemakers share the story of how their families began growing wines in Lake Como and started a winery. Also, give you some tips for having wine with different delicacies it tastes different.

You get to taste about 3 of their special wines from their winery.

4.9 Funicular Ride to Brunate

Although Brunate is not technically part of Lake Como, it is still an important destination in the area.

You can take the Funicular ride from Como city to Brunate. The funicular is the old way of transport between the two cities, it was built in the 19 Century.

The ride on the funicular is scenic and covered with lush trees all around. It’s a local transport for the locals to travel between Como city and Brunate.

The ride is not more than 10 mins. It costs around 5- 6 Euro for a round trip. You could take the panoramic view of lake Como from the top. Also, explore some parts of the city of Brunate.

Make sure you don’t miss the chance to see the sunset views of Lake Como, from the top. The views are spectacular.

4.10 Visit Menaggio

Lakefront, Menaggio
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Visiting Como would be incomplete without a trip to Menaggio. It is a town in Lake Como, Italy. It is one of the less popular ones among tourists and has fewer crowds even in the high season.

Menaggio town center is surrounded by bars, cafes, and gelato shops which is close to the ferry port.

You could take a ferry to reach this town which is a 30 min ride. Take a walk at Menaggio lakefront and relax.

If you’re looking for a fun activity to try during your vacation, consider enrolling in a mini golf course in Menaggio.

Conclusion

Lake Como has popular destinations, to make the most of it your itinerary you shall be here for 3 nights to visit the city, villas, parks, and gardens.

There are many other things you could do like touring the city on a bike or trying your hands on learning to cook local specialties in Bellagio.

To experience Italian culture with the locals, visit the local bar and enjoy an aperitivo drink before dinner. This is a cultural tradition in Italy where people have pre-dinner drinks before enjoying their meal.

Plan your trip to Lake Como to avoid high prices in the peak season. Ideally, you shall book tickets 3 months in advance and also finalize your accommodation.

You could easily spend more than 5 days at this destination without getting enough of this city. I hope you are convinced to visit Como city and it is already on your bucket list

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