Cernobbio is a little town of luxury and grace, with a strategic position for visiting Como, and recognized worldwide as a prestigious destination. But there’s more to it: Cernobbio is also a privileged travel hub on Lake Como, allowing you to reach many other exciting destinations, as well as a little chest of some rare dolce vita jewels: let’s discover them together.
How to get to Cernobbio
Getting to Cernobbio will be like taking candy from a baby: its position makes it one of the easiest villages to reach on the entire Lake Como.
By public transport
The starting point will be Milan, more specifically the railway station of Milano Cadorna (green/red metro lines). From there, trains bound to the station of Como Lago depart twice per hour, for a price of €4.80. Make sure you validate your ticket before traveling (keep an eye on the yellow machines around the station or, if you are given a paper ticket, make sure you fill it up with a pen), and, after just over an hour of relaxing trip, the still waters of Lake Como will unveil themselves.
A valid alternative is starting the trip from the railway station of Milano Centrale: same price, same duration, different station of arrival (Como S. Giovanni). Always check the official website for accurate information, possible variations on the routes, and special discounts.
From Como, Cernobbio can be reached in the blink of an eye. The C10 bus departs both from Como Lago and S. Giovanni: it offers 1-2 trips per hour for a price of €1.70. The trip usually lasts 10 minutes.
LCE tip: Cernobbio is connected to Como through a pleasant and scenic promenade, a potential stage of a proper dolce vita tale. Have a glass of prosecco while staring at the sunset, jump onto a bike and cycle towards Cernobbio, enjoying the nice weather and the greetings from the swans lazily floating on the waters. At your arrival, find a welcome dinner ready at your accommodation of choice. How does that sound?
Get behind the wheel and boost some tunes, a new road trip is about to start!
From Milan, get the A9/E35 freeway, exit at Como, and switch to the SS340 road. After about 1.6 miles, Cernobbio will appear in all its beauty. The total duration of the trip will be around 1 hour.
Things to do in Cernobbio
For centuries, Cernobbio has been Lake Como’s favorite travel destination of aristocracy and bourgeoisie from Como and Milan. The inheritance of such a bright past is nowadays spread around the town, studded with ancient villas and gardens. But Cernobbio can also be a trendy and vibrant place, which perfectly embodies Lake Como’s delicate mix of history, nature, relaxation, and luxury. Let’s see together the best Cernobbio has to offer.
Have a walk on the lake promenade and have a coffee at Harry’s bar
A timeless classic of any proper experience on Lake Como. A romantic walk on the promenade and enjoying Cernobbio’ beach can neutralize any worry or preoccupation, gently blown away by the soft summer breeze from the lake. For a proper grand final, stop by the Harry’s Bar: a cozy atmosphere with a ‘60s aftertaste will add some extra flavor to your lunch, coffee, or Bellini.
Visit Villa Pizzo
Cernobbio resonates with luxury and elegance, values that are embodied by the charming Villa Pizzo. The mansion was built during the 17th century, on the promontory of the Cernobbio Gulf.
Did you know? Villa Pizzo takes its name from the rocky spur on which it dwells: in the local dialect, “Piz” means point or projection.
Sail through centuries of history and taste the opulence of the powerful people who walked its floors, and get enchanted by its majestic gardens. The Villa can be admired in its entirety just from the waters of Lake Como, so we definitely suggest considering the idea of spending a day like a local sailor, indulging in an amazing boat trip.
Tickets for guided visits to the Villa can be purchased for €15, with advantageous discounts often applied: find them all by visiting the website, linked above.
Oh, we almost forgot: if you are planning to spend the rest of your life with your better half, Villa Pizzo can become the location of an exclusive wedding, overflowing with the purest Italian sensations. A place like no other to mark the start of a life together.
Discover Villa Bernasconi
A quirky and innovative museum experience in Cernobbio. The Villa itself will be the narrator of its own history, telling all the secrets and vicissitudes of those who walked its floors. Entrance tickets can be purchased for €8.00, with free entrance for people under 14 years old and above 75 years old.
Bonus tip: Do you feel adventurous? Hike along the first portion of Via Dei Monti Lariani. This is an ancient trail from back in the centuries by local farm workers. The full trail starts in Cernobbio and reaches the village of Sorico, in the uppermost part of Lake Como. We suggest starting with the first part of the hike, connecting Cernobbio to the village of S. Fedele D’Intelvi. It takes a full day to get there, but the nature surrounding you and the jaw-dropping views will widely pay you back for your effort. Moreover, you can easily stop before reaching S.Fedele, have an amazing picnic in the peace of the woods, and descend to Cernobbio for some well-deserved relaxation.
Where to eat in Cernobbio
Imagine a perfect fusion between style, elegance, and the universally acclaimed Italian cuisine. Cernobbio’s restaurants offer the best of local and national gastronomy, always with a unique touch of experimentation.
The only limit imposed to creativity is the absolute rigor in only picking the finest seasonal ingredients. Ristorante Materia is a lighthouse of gastronomy in Cernobbio, proudly gleaming with the brightness of 1 Michelin Star, and proposing an enlightening, almost spiritual food adventure.
It is the main restaurant of Villa D’Este, one of the most celebrated luxury 5-stars hotels all over the world. La Veranda offers a fine composition of the best Italian preparations, paying a tribute to the lands, seas and mountains of the Bel Paese. A selection of over 500 wine labels and the delicious view of the Villa’s private garden will be the final touch.
It is hard to identify the most memorable feature of Il Gatto Nero: could it be the breathtaking panorama offered by the wide terrace overlooking Lake Como? Or maybe the exquisite quality of the courses prepared by chef Stefania, constantly searching for the rarest pearls of Lombardy’s food culture? We don’t have an answer. What we are 100% sure of, is that Il Gatto Nero is the place of choice of George Clooney and many other international stars, whenever they happen to be in Cernobbio; we are quite sure it’s not a simple coincidence.
The vision of two brothers from Southern Italy was materialized in Casa Perrotta, one of the most interesting restaurants in Cernobbio. Here, the Italian regions are no longer separated by their boundaries: a mix of different regional traditions will give you the unique gift of traveling through Italy, comfortably sitting at your table. Buon appetito.
A rock-solid food reality, appreciated by travelers and loved by locals. Trattoria del Glicine is specialized in transforming simple recipes into proper gourmet preparations, complemented by a delicious outdoor patio guaranteeing a delightful visual experience on Lake Como, and friendly service on top. More than a restaurant: a shortcut to a paradise for your senses.
Where to sleep
When it comes to private accommodations and hotels, Cernobbio lives up to its name, offering a wide range of luxurious and prestigious selections for the most demanding travelers.
“Here everything is noble and touching, everything speaks of love”. That’s how French writer Stendhal described Villa D’Este, known for being one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. The Villa is a luxury 5-star dream where perfection is pursued and achieved in every little nuance of hospitality, from the royal suites and the private villas, passing by the floating pool on Lake Como and the amazing sports areas to private docks where to arrive in style on board of a classic Italian wooden boat. The apotheosis of luxury.
This family tradition was passed throughout generations and transformed into a top-notch hospitality experience. Hotel Miralago is located in the very center of Cernobbio, a few steps from the shores of Lake Como. Raffaella and Giuliano look after their guests as if they were family, combining coziness, exclusivity, and a taste of familiarity. Your stay at Miralago will make you feel closer to home than ever.
Located in the neighboring town of Moltrasio, Grand Hotel Imperiale is one of the most charming resorts on Lake Como, featuring views of immeasurable beauty, fine suits, and a spa so relaxing it makes its guests forget about the existence of the outside world.
Another gorgeous accommodation in Moltrasio, less than 5 minutes from Cernobbbio. It’s the ideal solution for those who cherish their privacy, without renouncing all the luxuries of a stay on Lake Como should guarantee. From the ancient frescoes to the marble fireplace, any space of the house is designed to make you feel royal, allying comfort, and modernity.
The best view in Cernobbio, hands down. The perfect position of Hotel Asnigo endows it with a unique view over Lake Como and the surrounding mountains, all while enjoying a refined and laid-back atmosphere and snuggling in one of the newly renovated suites. Stress is strictly forbidden, at Hotel Asnigo.
Cernobbio: history and fun facts
Cernobbio is an Italian commune in the province of Como: throughout the decades, the quick urbanization process of the area connected it with the town of Como which, from Cernobbio, can be reached in 5-10 minutes.
The historical roots of Cernobbio can be traced back to the 12th century: the village was given the typical castrum (Roman for “campsite”) structure and an efficient fishing sector soon thrived. Moreover, being a strategic junction between Como and the more remote parts of the lake, Cernobbio became soon one of the wealthiest villages in the area: during the Middle Age, it could even boast a totally independent government and legislation.
In the XVIII century, the rising Italian bourgeoisie rediscovered Cernobbio as an idyllic vacation site, and the village greatly benefitted: during the past decades, Cernobbio quickly developed a contemporary and luxurious urban tissue, becoming a destination famous worldwide for leisure and business trips.
Nowadays, Cernobbio is a hub for the most prestigious events of Lake Como, often hosted in the sumptuous framework of Villa Erba. A bright example is the yearly Economic Forum, which hosted personalities such as Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Henry Kissinger, and many more.