Some localities, more than others, earn a place in our collective subconscious, becoming the emblem of something memorable. In the case of Menaggio, this is particularly true: a concentration of beauty, a must-see town for anyone looking for the perfect entry in their travel journal.
Stop dreaming about the perfect holiday: Menaggio is just behind the corner.
How to get to Menaggio
Despite its picturesque and strategic location, Menaggio can be easily reached by public or private transportation, without sacrificing any comfort.
By train and bus
The point of departure is Milan: from the station of Milano Cadorna, catch the first train bound to the railway station of Como Lago (€4.80, don’t forget to validate your ticket using the yellow machines!). From there, cross the road and find the Stazione Autolinee, from which the majority of local buses depart. Look for the C10 bus, connecting Como to Menaggio for a fare of €2.40, and in about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
A good alternative is to start the journey from the station of Milano Centrale: for the same price and in a slightly shorter time, the train to Chiasso will stop at Como S.Giovanni, and guess what? The bus line, ticket cost, and travel time are exactly the same you’d find at Stazione Autolinee. Find more info about trains and stations here.
By ferry boat
For those who consider traveling a pleasure, rather than just a way to reach the destination, here’s the perfect option. From the railway station of Como Lago, walk 200 meters and reach the town’s harbor (Imbarcadero). Catch a ferry boat for Bellagio, relax on the ship’s deck, and, in around 50 minutes, step onto the beautiful Menaggio’s lungolago. Tickets can be purchased for €10.40, with a €4.40 surcharge for speed ferry boats. For discounts, timetables, and much more, visit the official website Navigazione Laghi.
LCE Tip: all good things come in three. Consider departing from Milano Centrale with the train to Varenna-Esino. Get off in Varenna and indulge in your wanderlust, visiting one of the most gorgeous villages in Lake Como. Catch a special ferry from Varenna to Menaggio, which allows the most seasoned explorers to cross Lake Como with their own private transportation. This option is warmly suggested also the other way around, and it represents the most popular day trips from Menaggio.
4 wheels, a road, and a pair of keys: that’s all it takes to feel the taste of freedom. From Milan, follow the freeway A8 – Varese/ A9 Como- Chiasso, merging into the E35. Enjoy the 1-hour trip, exit at Como, and find the indications for Menaggio (SS340 road, known as Via Regina), running along the Lake and offering superb views. The SS40 crosses Menaggio after a further hour of drive.
Things to do in Menaggio
A small village can be relaxing, but it won’t offer much to do. Nothing could be further from the truth! Menaggio hides some of the most soul-lifting things to do on Lake Como: lazy walks on its promenade and through the boutiques of the center, adventures in the most pristine wilderness, and exciting one or two-day trips to must-see natural and urban localities on Lake Como, one of Italy’s most shiny jewels. In short: what to do in Menaggio will only depend on the severity of your wanderlust.
Explore Menaggio’s center, the lake promenade, and the old town
Failing to visit it would be a crime. Start from Piazza Garibaldi, overlooking the blue waters of Lake Como. Take a stroll along via Calvi, dotted with typical craftsmen’s boutiques able to satisfy the wildest Italian shopping dreams. Visit the gorgeous St. Marta’s church and its ancient paintings, and dig deep into Menaggio’s history, by walking up to the upper old town: its stones buildings, castle ruins, and fascinating alleys whisper stories of ancient times.
Finally, don’t miss the chance of taking a walk on one of the most beautiful promenades on Lake Como: Menaggio’s lakefront is absolutely stunning and full of romance, and alone it would 100% justify traveling to Lake Como. That’s amore.
Be bewitched by Villa Mylius Vigoni
A living concentration of art and history, with the usual touch of the intimacy of Lake Como’s villas. Villa Vigoni was originally a farmhouse, until 1829: in that year Enrico Mylius purchased it and transformed it into a collection of paintings, statues, and pieces of interior design. Villa Vigoni is nowadays a fully-fledged museum, but also a treasury of botanical and architectural beauty, thanks to local and exotic plants, fountains, marble statues, and neoclassical temples hosted by its English-style park.
Play golf Menaggio Cadenabbia Golf Club
Founded in 1907, it is the second-oldest golf club in Italy, but arguably one of the most beautiful ones. In addition to a par-70 course, the club offers a wide range of activities, such as classes and activities for kids. The cherry on top is an exclusive clubhouse with a restaurant, library, and a shop. An oasis of peace and leisure for all the family!
Hike to Parco Val Sanagra, Rifugio Menaggio, and other natural sanctuaries
Unquestionable natural beauty, just behind the corner of your accommodation. Hike through the multiple paths of Parco Val Sanagra, hiding some of the most valuable fauna and vegetal treasures of Menaggio such as the Rogolone (the biggest secular oak of Northern Italy). From the small village of Breglia, hike up to the mountain shelter Rifugio Menaggio, open every day from May to September: it offers a jaw-dropping terrace overlooking Lake Como and its mountains. Heaven on Earth for nature lovers.
Sunbathe at Lido di Menaggio
Who wouldn’t enjoy a chill moment under Lake Como’s sun? Find the answer at Lido di Menaggio, a place where everything is designed to provoke utter relaxation. Rent a beach chair, work on that tan while lying on Menaggio’s golden beach, swim in the lake, and have a refreshing Margarita while watching the swans lazily swimming all around you.
LCE tip: We highly suggest booking your spot at Lido di Menaggio. Do so by following the instructions here.
Sail the waters of Lake Como renting a boat or undertaking a boat tour
One of our favorite things to do. Menaggio enjoys a privileged location for multiple interesting destinations. Plan the perfect one-day cruise to some must-see destinations of Lake Como and Italy such as Bellagio or Varenna. For a real VIP experience, book an Italian wooden classic boat, and be welcomed with a bottle of delicious Prosecco. No desire is excessive, on Lake Como.
Where to eat
Italian cuisine is surely one of the most appreciated all over the world, and one of the reasons is the variety of its specialties. This unique quality is masterfully exemplified by Menaggio: let’s see some of the best local restaurants.
A superb veranda with a stunning view of the lake will be the perfect entrée for a dinner at Ristorante Lago. The best of the Italian cuisine is matched with the finest cafeteria, delicious pizzas, and, of course, a wide selection of the finest wines. Mamma mia.
Paolo, Andrea, Alessia, and chef Aurelio are more than the staff of a restaurant. United by a common passion for genuine ingredients and local food secrets, they bring joy, taste, and a pinch of their enthusiasm to every table they serve. A 100% authentic experience: even the bread is homemade.
Water and land are the absolute protagonists of La Vecchia Magnolia, specialized in one single task: delighting the taste buds of any guest lucky enough to sit at its tables. The freshest fish from the lake is accompanied by exclusive preparations from the surrounding mountains, fields, and woods. We’d love to spend more words on the astounding view or the courtesy of the personnel, but we’d rather let you be the judge.
Bonus tip: the enchanting village of Tremezzo and Tremezzina is just within a stone’s throw of Menaggio. Have a look at our article about Tremezzo and discover the best local restaurants, such as Terrazza Gualterio Marchesi and Casa Acquadulza.
Where to sleep
Everyone loves a good night’s sleep or a lazy afternoon spent on the side of the pool. Luckily, Menaggio offers one of the widest choices of hotels, B&Bs, and accommodations on the entire Lake Como, allowing its distinguished guests to feel as everyone should: welcome and appreciated.
The highest level of luxury can be elevated to. The Grand Hotel Victoria is a neoclassical vision transformed into reality, where the art of hospitality is sacred. From the exclusive suites to the gourmet restaurants, from the peaceful gardens to the relaxing spas: everything, at Grand Hotel Victoria, is centered around the guest.
A historical symbol of local hospitality, in the beating heart of Menaggio. The rooms and suites provide a view of the uttermost elegance and beauty, while the strategic position of the Grand Hotel, together with its bar, restaurant, and amenities, offers an all-around, fine hospitality experience.
Stop dreaming about dolce vita, as it will become a tangible reality at Villa Castelli. This private accommodation conjugates the vintage taste of its interiors with all the modern facilities, complemented by a private patio, pool, and a terrace with breathtaking views.
A dramatic and magnificent piece of contemporary design, built on the ruins of an old shipyard, and exuding pure luxury from any single room and environment. Suitable for large groups, it will make anyone feel like a true celebrity while celebrating the four elements in all their forms thanks to its colors and amenities. For those who believe that style and comfort are not negotiable.
In the small village of San Siro, there’s a place where the magic happens. It’s Villa La Gaeta, and if you think it looks familiar, it’s because some famous 007 scenes were shot there. The reason why? Well, just look at how beautiful it is! A lectio magistralis of local architecture, with a royal terrace overlooking the lake, a private beach, a park immersed in tranquility, and a modern but delicate interior design.
Menaggio: history and fun facts
Menaggio is an Italian commune located on the western shore of Lake Como: it comprises the three fractions of Croce, Loveno, and Nobiallo.
The ruins spread around Menaggio and its fractions witness entire millennia of glorious history: the area was conquered by the unstoppable Romans around 196 B.C., who built the Via Regina (“Road of the Queen”).
Did you know? At Lake Como Experiences, we like to say that strolling around Italian cities is like walking on history: as a matter of fact, in many localities of the Bel Paese, Roman roads are still used nowadays. This is the case of Via Regina, connecting Como with the upper villages of its lake and with the Alps.
In the Middle Age, Menaggio was progressively transformed into a stronghold: its strategic position along Via Regina looked extremely appetizing for many local warlords.
During the Renaissance, Menaggio knew a period of constant territorial wars: the castle was destroyed, and the village was conquered and dominated by the Spaniards for around two centuries. It is just in the 19th century that Menaggio was given back to the newborn (and departed) Kingdom of Italy, progressively becoming the vacation resort it is today.
Finally, in 1945, Menaggio was a shelter for the escape attempt of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. He hid in the local primary school for one night, before traveling up to Lake Como, where he was captured and killed by the Italian resistance (Partigiani).