Five Must-See Lake Como Villages and Towns

Italy has incredible architecture, beautiful cities, and amazing historic sites. It also has stunning coastlines and rolling vineyard-covered hills.

It is often forgotten that there are beautiful lakes and mountains in the north of Italy. Lake Como, for example, is a beautiful lake located at the foothills of the Rhaetian Alpines. It is surrounded by an exceptional environment and is considered to be the most beautiful lake Lombardy has to offer.

What is Lake Como known for?

It is Italy’s third largest lake, after Lake Garda or Lake Maggiore. It is also one of Europe’s deepest lakes at 410m. This lake, which is shaped like an inverted “Y”, and surrounded by mountains, is home to picturesque villages and stunning villas.

The air is clean and the scenery exudes tranquility. This is despite the fact that it’s only an hour north of Milan which is Italy’s financial centre.

It’s no surprise that it was a popular retreat for aristocrats. This reputation for being a haven for the social elite has been growing over the centuries. Many celebrities, such as Madonna and George Clooney, choose Lake Como to be their second home.

Artists from all walks of the globe have been inspired by the combination of beauty, elegance, and nobility. Here are artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Stendhal and others who wrote, painted and composed.

Lake Como Villages and Towns

Lake Como has many small villages scattered around the area, whether they are on the shores or hidden in the mountains. These are the top five Lake Como villages and towns that you must see.

You can admire the stunning views from the water of the lake by ferry connecting them all.

Como: The Base Town to Explore the Lake

The town of Como, located at the southern tip of the lake is a popular place to base yourself for exploring the rest of the region. Because of its strategic location, it is an historic town that played a major role in the Roman Empire’s military campaigns.

Como is now a tourist destination with upscale hotels and excellent restaurants. It is worth visiting the charming medieval city, which offers beautiful views and long walks along the riverbank.

The Duomo is the city’s cathedral. It is a three-nave basilica with beautiful terraces. This square is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a beverage. This is a bustling area of the city, but it’s also peaceful.

Piazza De Gasperi is another square from which you can take the funicular to Brunate. You can see Como and Lake Como from here.

Torno: A Charming Little Village

This pretty village is located between the mountains and Lake Como after crossing it by boat. It’s one of the most close villages to Como, and it combines all the elements of history, art and great food.

Torno is a city that has roots back to ancient times. Its peak period was between the 13th-16th centuries. The Middle Ages are the era that has given Torno its most notable architectural achievements.

Two of the most prominent monuments on the lake are the churches of Santa Tecla (and San Giovanni) This charming village is characterized by a Romanesque tower.

Bellagio: Also known as The Pearl of the Lake

Bellagio, located at the junction of two lower arms of Lake Como, is one of Lake Como’s most picturesque villages. This ancient village is known as “The Pearl of the Lake” and exudes a majestic character.

It was the chosen location by the Lombardy bourgeoisie in 1800 to build their magnificent mansions. Its central location in the lake made it a highly-contested enclave over the centuries. You can still find important remains of old fortifications.

The village’s heart is reached via a maze of narrow streets and steep stone staircases. The beautiful pastel-coloured houses overlook the lake, which is surrounded with cypress trees.

Bellagio offers many restaurants that offer the finest regional cuisine. It is important to remember that we are in Italy, and that one of the delights of visiting this region will be to taste its exquisite gastronomy.

It has excellent ferry connections to Menaggio and Varenna, making it a great stop on any itinerary.

Varenna is a traditional fishing village

From Bellagio, you can easily reach Varenna by boat. It is just as stunning from far as it is close up. This traditional fishing village, with fewer than 900 residents, is located on Lake Como’s eastern shore.

Its beautiful colors and picturesque, medieval profile make it romantic and peaceful. The harbor is adorned with pastel-colored facades. A charming promenade leads you along the shore towards the village’s center.

Many terraces offer bars and restaurants that invite you to enjoy the breathtaking views while sipping a cocktail.

Varenna is home to old fishermen’s homes and narrow, steep streets that lead to the sea. You can also enjoy the sun on small, stony beaches. Varenna is home to many beautiful villas, including Villa Monastero and a few houses for fishermen. It is also close to the historical center.

The Castle of Vezio is a magnificent 12th-century structure with breathtaking views of the lake. You can also walk there.

Menaggio is One of the Most Touristic Villages in Lake Como

Menaggio, a village of more than 3000 people, is located on the opposite shore to Varenna. The number of apartments, hotels, and campsites in this area suggests that it is the most touristic village on Lake Como.

Its medieval history shows that it was once an old walled city. It was the first area the Milanese found and built their summer homes in the 19th Century.

The city’s long lakeside promenade invites visitors to fall in love and enjoy the breathtaking views. The vibrant and colourful old town centre is dominated by striking facades.

There are many small shops in the area, but there are also high-end boutiques. It’s not surprising, considering the many celebrities who frequent the lake.