Lake Como: Where Beauty Comes in Different Colors and Forms
If you ever visit Italy, keep Lake Como in the list of your destination. With it’s peaceful beauty, the lake is the most popular one in Italy in terms of tourist number. Lake Como looks like an inverted Y. The deepest lake of Italy has picturesque villages and towns all around it’s shoreline.
With the exotic beauty and the foods and wine to offer, Lake Como is an ideal romantic destination for the couples. The lake is located in the North of Italy in between Milan and the border of Switzerland. Lake Como has towering mountains and green hills all around it.
How to get there and move around?
Lake Como offers a very convenient transportation system for the travelers. It is in the middle of the train line in between Switzerland and Milan. There is a station in the town of Como where the train stops. There is another exclusive train line between Milan and Como which is known as Ferrovia Nord Milano. Malpensa Airport of Milan is only 40 miles away. You can reach Como from the airport by train.
Once you reach Lake Como, you will find a wonderful transportation system to get around the lake. There are multiple ferries that runs among the villages and towns around Lake Como. These ferries are not just a great way of transportation; it is also great for sightseeing purpose. There are buses that connect the areas around. You will find several funiculars to go into the mountains. Also, you can rent cars from local rental services.
The weather around the lake
Italy has an amiable weather for tourists almost throughout the year. July and August is the most busy time for Lake Como. If you want less crowd and pleasant weather, schedule your tour in Spring or Fall. If you visit the place in winter, you will miss some activities, but you can enjoy skiing in nearby ski slopes which is not possible during other seasons.
What to do.
Lake Como is a really vibrant and festive place. All over the year, different festivals take place here. The Sagra di San Giovanni is a colorful festival that is celebrated in the last weekend of June in Como and Ossuccio. Wonderful folk arts, fireworks and boat race are the main attractions of this festival. There is a regular musical gig in summer during the LakeComo Festival. Food festival and Drama festival also take place in different times of the year.
Where to visit
Among the attractions of Lake Como, Bellagio is probably the most popular one. It is called the pearl of the lake. Three branches of Lake Como meet together in Bellagio. The town named Como is another place to visit. It is a walled town with rich history. The town bustles with cafes and shops. There is a funicular from Como that goes to the village of Brunate. Brunate offers a grand view of the lake and the Alps mountain. Villa d’Este is one of the most pleasant villas of Lake Como. It is now turned into a lavish hotel with 161 uniquely designed rooms. If you are an outdoor sports enthusiast, don’t forget to visit Menaggio. Menaggio offers all kinds of adventures- hiking, windsurfing, swimming, rock climbing and what not. If you appreciate art and nature, Villa Carlotta has many things to offer to you. This place has a lot of amazingly beautiful gardens. The town also boasts some original Victorian age furniture and pieces of art. Among other places around Lake Como, Lenno and Varenna both worth a visit. Besides places to go, you also have things to do in Lake Como. Biking, hiking, paragliding, windsurfing, swimming and skiing in the winter- Lake Como always has something for the tourists. You can even go on Cruises during the summer, mainly on weekends. Shopping in the surrounding towns is another delight for the tourists. You will find many beautiful and handmade crafts here.
The food around the Lake Como
Now let’s come to the best part about visiting Lake Como- food and drinks. Italians are known worldwide for their taste in food and wine. Exclusive restaurants around Lake Como offer some of the most delicious Italian dishes. Good food and drink being in the center of Italian lifestyle, it’s no wonder that here you can find restaurants offering foods for every occasion. Imagine a typical Lake Como restaurant kitchen- the unique aroma of fresh tomatoes, basil, pasta and fish caught from the lake. Each town around the lake has their own special recipe for preparing grilled fish. The most popular freshwater fish offered by Lake Como is Lavarello. You cannot imagine any place in Italy that does not offer varieties of pastas and pizzas. Lake Como is no exception. In addition to that, Lake Como boasts its very own exclusive cuisines – Polenta, a kind cornmeal, and Mataloc, a delicious sponge cake.
Wine areas around the lake
Northern Italy is not as renowned as the Tuscan region of Italy for the production of wine. Nevertheless, there are places around Lake Como which make some finest quality wines available in the world. Particularly, Valtellina valley on the border with Switzerland presents a vast landscape of vine. In the valley of the Alps, vine is found in abundance since the weather is perfect for harvesting grapes. Valtellina has a green soothing view of vineyards with red terraces. Wine is produced from a grape variety known as Nebbiolo which is also called Chiavennasca locally. Valtellina Superiore DOCG is the most famous wine produced here. There are also other varieties available that come with different flavors mixing the aromas of raspberry, violet and moss wet. Leonardo Da Vinci was an admirer of Valtellina wine. Whether you are a wine aficionado or not, if you visit Lake Como and don’t go for a wine tour, you are sure to miss a lot.
written by Gabriele Monti