Many visits to the Lake start in the town of Como, as it is something of a transportation
hub. The town was originally
inhabited by a Celtic tribe and the Romans subsequently chose this location as
an outpost. More urban and less scenic than the other well-known lake
towns, Como is a genial place. Even if you are just passing through,
try to make time to see its elegant Duomo. The town of Como offers a wide
variety of lodging and has
boat service to the other settlements along the Lake's shores.
Although there are any number of attractive villages along Lake Como's shores, Bellagio and Cernobbio
are generally regarded as the most beautiful and intriguing of Lake Como's
Bellagio, shown above, is a fascinating place that sits at
the apex of the two southern arms of the lake. Its highest
points offer beautiful views of the lake and the snow-capped alps.
There are a number of interesting sites in Bellagio and you may find
some information of interest at the town's
Save time for a visit to the
Basilica of San Giancomo (in the Borgo), which dates from the 12th
century. In addition, the Villa Serbelloni and the Villa Melzi D'Eril
offer fine gardens. Both are available only as part of formal tours,
so make arrangements in advance if you hope to see these beauties.
Finally, Via Garibaldi, the city's main street, offers fine
shopping. Bring your walking shoes, as everything is up the hill -
but you will be able to coast back down to the boat. Of
course, the town has several fine hotels if you want to spoil
Star Wars fans may remember Lake Como as the
backdrop for the wedding in the second movie of the series. (If
interested enter Lake Como and Star Wars in your favorite search
engine for more information.)
If you are in mood for a fine but
expensive indulgence, consider making a reservation at the sumptuous
Villa d'Este in Cernobbio (above). Unfortunately, the only way
to explore the stately grounds and
beautiful interior is to reserve a room at the Villa. The present day hotel was originally a
grand villa for Tolomeo Gallio, the cardinal of Como in the 16th
century. Since then it has been owned by a who's-who list of
royalty, but was converted to a hotel in the late 19th century.
The hotel is closed in the heart of winter. In spring and
summer its gardens are especially attractive.
The town of Cernobbio is delightful, offering several fantastic
restaurants and fine shopping. You may also want to take the
time to see Villa Erba and Villa Pizzo for their gardens.
Cernobbio is about two hours from Bellagio by steamer.
If you need information about another travel destination, try
Destination Guide Index
or Googling ThereArePlaces.
Click here to return to our page on the Italian Lakes.