Just a short distance from bustling Milan lies Lake Como (called Lago di Como in Italian), one of the most private and tranquil areas of Italy. A fashionable weekend retreat for the Milanese, the area around Como offers an absolutely stunning view from the craggy hillside across the blue waters. Four towns – Bellagio, Menaggio, Tremezzo and Varenna – are situated around the lake. All four towns can be accessed by boats or buses from the shore and travellers spending time here should explore each one. Each town has a host of cultural sites, breathtaking scenery, beautiful villas to admire and restaurants in which to while away the hours with some classic Northern Italian fare.
Travellers visiting Lake Como are generally looking for a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of Europe’s bigger cities. Flights to Lake Como arrive in Milan where tourists can take buses or cars to their respective villa rentals or hotels. Renowned for its exquisite villas and secluded location, it’s no wonder Lake Como is a favorite spot for celebrities. George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are just a few of the Hollywood A-listers who retreat here.
Take a boat trip round the lake and stop wherever you wish with a special pass bought in Como. It is a wonderful journey with the mountains that surround the lake always in sight.
Visit Bellagio which is cobbled street heaven and has been called the prettiest village in Europe. Arrive by boat for maximum impact, and get the whole sweep of the two directions of Lake Como. All the restaurants are welcoming whether you are looking for simple pasta and pizza dishes or something more elegant.
Climb up to Mount Bregagno for a breath-taking view. The hike takes about one and a half hours from Breglia (on the western side of Lake Como) just above Menaggio.