Lake Como can be found in the northern part of Italy in a place called Lombardy. It comprises of many villages and villas as well as some amazing places to visit. It is shaped like an inverted Y and is the perfect vacation choice whether you want to relax or enjoy an adventure. The area itself covers approximately 146 square meters. The city of Como itself is where you’ll find lots of Renaissance architecture as well as stunning views of the mountains.
Below you will find our favorite places to visit in Lake Como and the surrounding area as well as why these places are so special. The region is steeped in history and stunning views of the mountains. There are places of interest to suit the most adventurous person as well as fine dining and casino venues for those looking for fun and entertainment. There are nature trails, fabulous gardens, and so much more, that every day of your vacation will be filled with excitement.
Villa del Balbianello | This beautiful estate can be found on the western bank of Lake Como and offers stunning views of the area. To get there you can choose between a boat trip or a short hike if you’re feeling energetic. Visitors will find an amazing garden filled with beautiful flowers and plants. The villa itself dates back to the late 16th century and together visitors will enjoy a combination of art and nature that is hard to find. Villa del Balbianello is a must see for nature and history lovers and those just looking to explore. www.villabalbianello.com
Duomo of Como | Duomo is a beautiful cathedral and another must see if you are visiting Lake Como or Milan. Admission is free and the outside of the building as well as the inside are exceptional. Tourists can also enjoy the restaurants and bars that are located in the square in front of the Duomo and take in the stunning views. The cathedral itself is considered the most important church in the diocese. Visitors can see the Bishop’s chair inside. There are masses held Monday to Friday and on Sunday too and you can find the times on the official cathedral website as well more information on the cathedral and it’s religious standing in the community. www.comoanditslake.com
Basilica of Sant’Abbondio | Basilica of Sant’Abbondio dates back to the 5th century AD and is one of the oldest churches in the Como area. The interior lacks décor but this is made up for by the apse which features wonderful frescoes that date back to the mid-14th century. The building itself has been constructed over different time periods and visitors can see the differences and how the overall basilica has been shaped by the varying trends and eras. This is a must see for art and history lovers. It is located just outside the Como town walls. The church was dedicated to Sant’Abbondio. He was a former bishop for Como and his remains are buried here. Benedictine monks reconstructed the church starting in 1010. A new Romanesque style church was built in 1095. Modifications have been made throughout the years. The Law Department of the University of Insubria is housed in the cloister beside the church which belongs to the Como municipality. www.santabbondio.eu
Botanical Gardens | The botanical gardens can be found at the Hotel Villa Cipressi. This fantastic building on Lake Como was built in the 1400s and the garden is open to the public. The rest of the building belongs to the hotel though. It was once the property of the Serponti Family a noble family in 1163. Towards the end of the 18th Century, it belong to the Baron of Isimbaldi. It was bought through a public voluntary subscription in 1980 and is now managed by Engie in Italy. The botanical garden found here is over 100 years old and touches the lake. It contains a wide range of plants and flowers that nature lovers will thoroughly enjoy. The garden is located on different tiers which overlook the lake and is definitely a sight to behold. www.hotelvillacipressi.it
There are botanical gardens in Villa Carlotta also where visitors will find a wide variety of plants. This Italian garden dates back to the 17th century and features terraces, water fountains, statues, and more. The park also contains large trees with stunning views and impressive architecture. There are lots of sections to visit including the terraces and Italian garden, the azaleas, the camellias, rhododendron woods, theatre of greenery, the bamboos garden, ferns valley, the rock garden, the old garden, and the museum of agricultural tools. www.villacarlotta.it
Casino di Campione | The Casino di Campione was designed by Mario Botta and is divided into three big blocks. The central block is ten floors high and what makes it unique is the materials that have been used for its alternating stripes of golden rocks. The first casino in Campione in 1917 but it closed in 1919. It reopened in 1936 and was a great boost for the economy of this small Italian town. It became very popular with gamblers all over the world. The new casino is impressive and comes with comfortable rooms where gamblers can enjoy Roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and a great range of slot machines. Special events are often held at the casino too. It is well worth the visit even if you just play online.
More Reason to Visit Lake Como | There are so many reasons to visit this part of Italy. The surrounding areas are beautiful and the town of Como combines the charm of Italian architecture with Mountain View’s and Alpine atmosphere. It easy to get there too. Como is approximately 50km from Milan and you can get there by train in less than 40 minutes. There’s lot to do as well including boat trips, taking a cable car to Brunate, street markets, and more.
Those looking to relax can enjoy long walks by the lake and there are plenty of wonderful restaurants to eat in too. In all, Como is charming, clean, and beautiful and visitors can enjoy stunning views of the mountains as well as the Alpine atmosphere. If you are planning to visit Northern Italy, Lake Como should be at the top of your list.