Known around the world as a luxurious and beautiful playground for the rich and famous, Lake Como exemplifies some of Italy’s most loved and sought-after characteristics – stunning scenery, beautiful weather, a charming and traditional atmosphere, friendly locals and a rich and fascinating history. Join us as we explore this unique area and give you our guide to discovering the glamour and beauty of Lake Como.
Summer By The Lake
Nestled in the foothills of the Alps in northern Italy, Lake Como and its surrounding areas are beautiful all year-round, but it’s during the summer that the area really bursts into life. The glamorous crowds start to flock to the villages and towns surrounding the lake from March, and wherever you choose to visit you’ll be greeted with spectacular scenery and shimmering water. You’ll find plenty of luxury waterfront villas dotted around the lake’s shores, and while many of these remain the private domains of the area’s most privileged occupants, there are many that are available to visit and even stay in.
There are countless picturesque towns and villages dotted around Lake Como, and some of the finest are located around the lakes mid-section. Historic Bellagio is a small village that is particularly popular with tourists, and its popularity is certainly justified – the village offers some of the most beautiful views and romantic architecture in the area and makes the perfect place to spend a relaxed summer afternoon. Menaggio, also popular with tourists, offers a similarly relaxed and luxurious atmosphere, while Varenna’s picturesque lanes and old fishermen's houses offer a more rustic atmosphere. If you’re looking for a slightly faster pace then Como is definitely one of the liveliest, busiest and the largest retreats on the lake, and there are plenty of charming and historic attractions to see.
History and Craft
The areas surrounding Lake Como are impressive not only for their aesthetic beauty and classic Italian charm, but also for their rich and fascinating history. Como and the nearby areas have been inhabited since the Bronze Age, but many of the city’s buildings have a more recent history - in 1127 the Milanese conquered Como's forces and ordered the destruction of all walls and buildings with the exception of its churches. Despite this initial setback, the Milanese rule of Como actually helped shape its identity; centuries later, Como built its wealth on the silk industry and it remains Europe's most important producer of silk products. In fact, you’ll still find some of Europe’s most impressive silk products made by artisans around Lake Como.