An Enchanting Escape: Visiting Lake Como for the first time
Picture this: sparkling turquoise waters, charming towns with pastel-colored buildings, and lush green mountains and villas that look like they’ve straight out of a fairy tale. Welcome to Lake Como, a dreamy destination where charm and casual elegance come together. Our founder, Christina, recently had the opportunity to visit this amazing place for her babymoon and is excited to share her top tips for visiting Lake Como.
The Pool at The Grand Hotel Tremezzo
Best Time to Visit
If you’re looking to beat the crowds, then you’ll want to visit Lake Como during the spring and fall. However, be prepared that May and June are often Lake Como’s rainiest months, so plan accordingly. Summer tends to be the busiest, with tourists visiting from all over the world. Winter can also be a nice time to visit, but be aware not everything may be open during your stay.
The most convenient way to reach Lake Como is by flying into one of the nearby airports—Milan Malpensa or Milan Linate. From there, you can take a train, rent a car or hire a private car to reach one of the lake’s main towns, like Como or Lecco. Tip: To make the most out of your time, you’ll probably want to rent a car to make visiting the other neighboring cities easier. But if you don’t have one, you can take the ferry to most of the towns easily - just pay attention to the schedule!
Where to Stay:
There's a wide variety of accomodations depending on your budget. Consider staying on the western side for easy access to ferries and some of the top spots to see. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo and had the best time! Check out Tripadvisor to get reviews on all the options.
Exploring the Towns:
Lake Como is lined with charming towns that are all worth exploring. Here are a few of our favorites:
Bellagio: Quite possibly the most picturesque of them all, Bellagio is situated on a peninsula where the lake's three branches meet. Known for its romantic vibes and stunning views, you can spend a whole day exploring the narrow streets, visiting gardens, and enjoying the views.
Bellagio is also where we did a combo branding and maternity photoshoot. If you’re looking to hire a great photographer there, consider Matt from Lake Como Couples.
Varenna: A quaint village with colorful houses and a romantic lakeside promenade, Varenna exudes a charming atmosphere. Be sure to check out one of the many gelato shops. Pistachio and chocolate were our favorites!
Is there such a thing as too much gelato? We think not!
Menaggio: Located on the western side, Menaggio offers a relaxed vibe and is an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area. Be sure to check out Il Ristorante di Paolo for one of the best meals you’ll have in all of Italy!
The most incredible ricotta "meatballs" in Menaggio
There’s a lot to see and do in Lake Como. You’ll definitely want to plan at least 3-5 days while there to get the most out of it. Make sure to include these in your itinerary:
Villa del Balbianello: Perched on a hill overlooking the lake, this stunning villa features beautiful terraced gardens and has served as a backdrop for various films, like Star Wars and Casino Royale.
Villa Carlotta: Located in Tremezzo, this historic villa boasts gorgeous botanical gardens with stunning lake views. There's two walking paths - one 30 minutes and one 75+. That day, Christina walked 6+ miles in her new Joyasol sneakers and didn't get a single blister or have any discomfort!
Lake Como offers a wide range of activities for just about anyone.
Water Taxi: For the best views around Lake Como, consider hiring a water taxi for a one or two-hour tour around the lake. You’ll get to see some of the villas up close and your guide should be able to give you a local's perspective and history about the area. Must see: visit the waterfall in Necco for the most incredible view!
Cooking Classes: What could be better than learning to make pasta from scratch in Italy? We booked a private cooking class through our hotel, where we learned how to make pasta, veal Milanese, and tiramisu from scratch. It was one of the highlights of the trip!
Learning to make fresh pasta!
Hiking: Discover the area's natural beauty by hiking the trails that surround the mountains. The Sentiero del Viandante and the Path of the Wanderer are popular routes.
While we couldn’t possibly include everything on this list, it will give you a good start should you ever visit this bucket-list destination.
Have you been to Lake Como? We'd love to hear!
If you drink, don't forget to try their famous Aperol Spritzes!