Lake Como is a breathtaking destination hidden in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. With charming towns and natural beauty, this lake is the third largest in Italy and has been captivating visitors for centuries. Wondering what to do in Lake Como? To help you get started, below is a guide to our favourite things in Lake Como…
On the western shore of Lake Como, Villa del Balbianello is enchanting and historic. With a renowned beauty, lush gardens and picturesque position on the shores of the lake, the villa has been featured in several notable films, including James Bond’s Casino Royale. Villa del Balbianello is open to the public so you can explore the interior, gardens, and terraces. Guided tours are also available to provide insights into the villa’s historic past and beautiful architecture.
Did you know that Milan is just over an hour away from Lake Como so you can enjoy a day trip to Italy’s fashion capital? With our Milan Excursion from Lake Como, you can enjoy a guided tour starting from the Castle of the Dukes before heading into the historic centre with highlights including the Scala Opera House and the iconic Duomo. After a day of sightseeing and shopping at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, you will return to the shores of Lake Como.
Taking part in a cooking class in Lake Como offers a wonderful immersive culinary experience where you can learn how to prepare traditional Italian recipes while soaking up the scenery. Find yourself in a traditional Italian kitchen, a historic villa or a family-run restaurant for your cooking class and get ready for some culinary fun. Many cooking classes also include a wine tasting so you can pair a glass with your dish.
Exploring the local markets around Lake Como allows you to immerse yourself in the flavours and scents of fresh local ingredients as well as sample artisanal products. Each market offers a unique experience and you can expect to find fresh produce like fruits and vegetables as well as local delicacies and handmade crafts. Be sure to try some of the street food, you’ll find stalls with arancini (rice balls), fresh seafood and regional snacks.
The largest town on Lake Como, Como, serves as the gateway to the lake and the surrounding area. Situated at the southwestern tip of the lake, it is around 40km north of Milan and exudes a charm that has been well-preserved since medieval times. Taking pride of place at the centre of the town is Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta. This cathedral has an intricate façade and an even more stunning interior that should not be missed. Wander through the narrow streets and soak up the beauty of this charming lakeside town.
Lake Como is in the region of Lombardy and offers a delicious range of Italiane cuisine that focuses on fresh ingredients and rich local flavours. Lake Como is known for its freshwater fish and whitebait fish, Agoni, which is deep fried as an appetiser, a loved speciality. Trout is another popular choice and is often prepared with just olive oil, lemon and herbs – simple, but delicious!
It is really easy to explore all the towns and villages along the lake. Take the ferry from any resort and visit the charming lakeside towns and villages.
Visit the beautiful gardens of Villa Carlotta, Ville Melzi, Villa Cipressi, and Villa Balbianello.
Take the train from Como and visit Milan for the day. The Bernina Express guided tour is a must!