What to see in Lake Como

Nestled in the heart of the Italian Alps, Lake Como is a haven of beauty and tranquillity. The shimmering lake, surrounded by charming towns, majestic villas, and lush landscapes, offers a unique blend of natural wonders and cultural treasures. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the best things to see and to do in Lake Como, from exploring historic villas during a scenic boat cruise to immersing yourself in the rich cultural landmarks that dot the region.

Nesso Waterfall: Lake Como’s most famous bridge

Lake Como is home to one of the most beautiful scenes thanks to Nesso’s bridge. Overlooking a stunning waterfall, Nesso’s Ponte della Civera, an emblematic bridge on the shores of Lake Como, stands as a testament to the village’s rich history and architectural charm. 

Locals enjoy a swim during the summer months, and the most brave don’t hesitate to even jump from the bridge! You can enjoy it during a boat tour that takes you to Nesso. 

Discover Nesso, Lake Como’s waterfall

Como’s Cathedral

Situated in Piazza del Duomo, Como’s Cathedral is located right in Como’s city centre. Thanks to its impressive blue dome, the  Cathedral, known as Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta, is a magnificent Gothic masterpiece that dates back to the 14th century. The beautiful structure impresses with its intricate façade adorned with statues and bas-reliefs. Inside, visitors are captivated by the stunning stained glass windows, remarkable frescoes, and the ornate altar, all contributing to the cathedral’s status as a cultural and architectural gem.

The Duomo is open to visiting weekdays from 10.30 am to 5.00 pm, and holidays from 1.00 pm to 4.30 pm.

Villa d'Este: Where Luxury Meets History

In a world where everything happens so fast and in which our lives flow at a hectic rhythm, sometimes we just feel the need for a place to escape. 

Without any doubt, Villa d’Este is one of the best locations to do so, as it is universally acknowledged as one of the best hotels in the world. Located in the small, peaceful village of Cernobbio, Villa D’Este is a living temple of Lake Como’s prestigious lifestyle, as well as an architectural and historical masterpiece where a highly trained staff pursues a daily mission: providing their guests an experience able to match the hotel’s centennial reputation. 

Discover Villa d’Este

Villa del Balbianello: A Historical Gem on the Western Shore

This elegant villa, located on the western shore of Lake Como near Lenno, boasts immaculate gardens and terraces. The villa itself has been featured in several films, and its stunning architecture and picturesque setting make it a must-visit cultural site.

Discover more about Villa del Balbianello

Villa Carlotta: Art and Nature in Perfect Harmony

A stone’s throw away from Villa del Balbianello, in the gorgeous village of Tremezzina, there’s another place where charm is at home: Villa Carlotta. It is one of Lake Como’s most renowned landmarks, as it features a rare combination of unique vistas, fine art and blossoming gardens, thanks to which Villa Carlotta became famous in Italy and all over the world. 

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Villa Balbiano: Lake Como’s most glamorous retreat

Not to be confused with Villa del Balbianello,  Villa Balbiano has welcomed the movie House of Gucci, which fascinated the world with one of Italy’s most captivating and dramatic stories. 

The  historic mansion on Lake Como’s western shore, exudes opulence with its neoclassical and Renaissance architecture. Dating back to the 16th century, the villa features meticulously landscaped gardens and offers stunning lake views. Recently renovated, it serves as a luxurious venue for events and weddings, retaining its timeless elegance.

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Villa Monastero: A paradise of eclecticism on Lake Como

Villa Monastero, located on the shores of Lake Como, is a historic mansion dating back to the 12th century. With its blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, the villa is surrounded by enchanting gardens overlooking the lake. Renowned for its botanical garden and hosting cultural events, Villa Monastero stands as a timeless symbol of elegance on the picturesque shores of Lake Como.

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Villa Erba: A timeless architecture masterpiece on Lake Como

Villa Erba, nestled on the shores of Lake Como, is a historic mansion that traces its origins back to the 19th century. Boasting a harmonious mix of neoclassical and Renaissance architectural styles, the villa is surrounded by impeccably manicured gardens with stunning lake vistas. Today, Villa Erba serves as a prestigious venue for various events and maintains its status as a symbol of timeless elegance along the shores of Lake Como.

Did you know that the Nespresso’s famous starring of George Clooney and Jean Dujardin was filmed in this villa?

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Villa Oleandra: When the Italian sophistication meets glamour

Villa Oleandra in Laglio, situated on Lake Como, is a luxurious mansion with a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Boasting a blend of neoclassical and Renaissance architectural styles, the villa is surrounded by enchanting gardens and features a distinctive clock tower. Internally, it showcases opulent details such as intricately adorned ceilings, antique furnishings, and a private art collection. Notably, Villa Oleandra has gained fame as the residence of Hollywood actor George Clooney, contributing to its exclusivity and attracting attention for its association with prominent figures in the entertainment industry.

Villa Serbelloni: Renaissance Grandeur on Lake Como

Villa Serbelloni, a 15th-century masterpiece on Lake Como, showcases Italian Renaissance splendour. With its neoclassical architecture, terraced gardens, and panoramic lake views, the villa once hosted noble families like the Sfondrati and the Visconti. Now a cultural centre, it invites visitors to experience its opulent interiors and rich history, offering a glimpse into the timeless allure of Lake Como.

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Villa Sola Cabiati: An enchanting retreat on Lake Como

Today part of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo group, Villa Sola Cabiati, a 16th-century gem on Lake Como, harmonises neoclassical grace with modern luxury. Nestled amid lush gardens and offering breathtaking lake views, this private residence showcases opulent interiors adorned with fine art and period furnishings. With its historic charm and exclusive allure, Villa Sola Cabiati epitomises the timeless sophistication of Lake Como’s prestigious estates.

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Villa Melzi: A Symphony of Elegance

Villa Melzi, a neoclassical gem on Lake Como dating back to the early 19th century, is celebrated for its timeless elegance. Set amidst lush gardens, the villa offers a peaceful escape with stunning lake and mountain views. Adorned with exquisite art and furnishings, Villa Melzi invites visitors to explore its enchanting gardens, complete with sculptures and vibrant blooms, creating a serene oasis on the shores of Lake Como. Open to the public during specific seasons, it provides a glimpse into its rich history and cultural significance.

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Boat Cruises: Sailing Through Elegance

Lake Como, with its picturesque landscapes and rich history, provides a myriad of experiences for every type of traveler. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or someone seeking a romantic escape, Lake Como has something special to offer. Our in-depth guide ensures you make the most of your visit, providing up-to-date information on opening hours, ticket prices, and insider tips to enhance your experience.

As we wrap up our exploration of Lake Como, we hope this guide has ignited your wanderlust and provided valuable insights into the enchanting offerings of this Italian gem. Whether you’re captivated by the historic villas, mesmerized by the scenic boat cruises, or immersed in the cultural landmarks, Lake Como is a destination that promises unforgettable memories. Plan your trip wisely, soak in the beauty, and let Lake Como weave its magic on you. Safe travels!

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