LAKE COMO — Overview

Lake Como is found in the Lombardy district in Northern Italy and it is part of the Italian Lake District. It starts at the town of Como in the southwest and Lecco in the southeast and continues up to Colico in the north. The land around the beginning of the lake is relatively flat but becomes more mountainous towards the northern shores. It has been a favourite holiday spot for visitors for over 100 years due to its natural beauty and wonderful climate. There are many charming towns along the shores of the lake which are great for a short visit or as a base for your vacation in this part of the world. Some of the more attractive towns include Tremezzo with its Villa Carlotta and wonderful botanical garden and Griante with magnificent views of the lake from the small church of Santuario della Madonna delle Grazie di San Martino which is found on the side of a mountain. Other towns are Mennagio which is the main town on the western shore; Varenna with its lovely villas of Cipressi and Monastero and one of the most popular towns — Bellagio which is a hub for the boat service on the lake.

Getting There
The main access to Lake Como is by train from Milan or Bermago. There are regular trains from Milan to the town of Como which has two stations — Como San Giovanni and Como Lago. There are also trains from Milan and Bergamo to Lecco, Varenna and Colico. You could also hire a car and drive to the lake and there are many hire companies in Milan but just remember that this can be a little daunting for an overseas visitor as the roads can be quite narrow in places.
For information about the trains visit the website at http://www.ferroviedellostato.it/homepage_en.html

If you are arriving at Bergamo Airport (Orio al Serio) you can take the Lake Como Express bus service to Como-Menaggio which will take around 2 hours and cost you around €10. It is best to reserve these tickets in advance from the website.
For more information about the Lake Como Express visit the website at http://www.lakecomoexpress.it/en/Home/tabid/662/language/en-US/Default.aspx

Probably the most scenic way to travel around Lake Como to the towns you find along its shores is by ferry.
For more information about the ferry visit the website at http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/eng/c_crociere.asp

You can also take a bus from Como to the towns along the shores of Lake Como.
For more information about the buses around Lake Como visit the website at http://www.asfautolinee.it/en/Linesandtimetables/Findapath/tabid/286/language/en-US/Default.aspx

Traveller's Tip

Lake Como has been the inspiration for various movies over time including the setting of Naboo in the Star Wars movies and Villa Balbianello was the place where Armidala and Anakin were married. The front of Villa La Gaeta in San Siro and Villa Balbianello was the setting of the James Bond movie, Casino Royale.
  • Several celebrities have made Lake Como their home including Richard Branson who owns a large villa near Villa Balbianello and George Clooney who owns Villa Oleanda at Laglio and this was used in the movie Oceans Twelve.