Thinking of a holiday to Italy? It is no surprise that Lake Como has become one of Italy's most popular holiday destinations, being surrounded by snow-covered mountains and incredible natural beauty, cities with a long history, old luxury villas with beautiful gardens, museums, cathedrals, hotels, casinos and festivals. Tourism has seen a positive trend for the past 10 years, with foreign tourists representing more than half of the total attendance. Here below we have gathered for you the Top 10 Reasons To Visit Lake Como!
1 - It is a Perfect Holiday Destination For Every Season
Although the warmest months of the year, between May and August, are the most visited, it is between September and April that the lake Como and its surroundings are most enjoyable, when they are far less crowded with tourists and with the advantage of low season fares. The snow on the mountaintops will play an important role in making holiday pictures breathtaking! But if you suffer from the cold then make sure to pack the right clothing for your travels and avoid the month of January, as the temperature can drop below zero at night
2 - The Mountains Around The Lake
The mountains around Lake Como feature hiking trails that present different degrees of difficulty, unforgettable scenery and several chalets that offer mouthwatering mountain dishes, like the polenta uncia which is a delicious regional dish made with coarse cornflour and lots of butter and garlic. The view from above of the Lake Como and its inverted "Y" shape surrounded by villages and villas is priceless!
3 - Reasons To Visit Lake Como: A Visit To Livigno
Livigno is a town in the Italian Alps, near the Swiss border, on a plateau at about 1800 m. above the sea level and also called "The Little Tibet". Livigno enjoys a special tax status as a duty-free area, making the place a shopper's paradise but also an incredible place for those who love outdoor activities as Livigno is a world-class ski resort during winter while in summer offers hiking and biking trails.
The duty-free exemption applies not only to tobacco and alcohol but also to designer clothes, leather goods, electronics, cosmetics, etc. The town can be considered as a huge open-air shopping center, with over 200 shops to visit!
4 - The Bernina Express
One of the most famous trains in the world and the highest rail journey in Europe, the red Bernina train, so nicknamed by the red flaming color of its wagons, starts from Tirano in Italy and arrives in Saint Moritz, Switzerland, in about 2 ½ hrs. The stretch of rail covered by this train is incredibly unique, at any season of the year, among flowery valleys, deep blue lakes, snowy glaciers and lovely little train stations. Since 2008 it has become a Unesco World Heritage Site. Saint Moritz is a popular tourist destination in both summer and winter, full of shops and various attractions.
5 - Lake Como by Boat
The best way to discover and admire the beauty of the lake is by sailing its waters on board of a traditional boat, especially during the warmer months of the year. You can choose to get off the boat, visit a location then get on the next boat and continue your journey around the lake. There are boats that every half an hour deliver and pick up passengers at each location. Or simply stay on board and admire the view, in complete relaxation, until you will get back to the starting point. The panorama will leave you breathless and you will often stare in awe at important villas and villages built around the lake.
6 - Reasons To Visit Lake Como: Gastronomy
Good food is certainly a very important aspect of the holidays, especially if you are heading to Italy. The typical dishes that you can taste in the restaurants around the Lake Como enclose in themselves tradition, passion and the culture of the place. The typical cuisine is reflected in a series of dishes of the poor tradition, born from the combination of typical flavors of the mountain and the lake, like the Risotto con Pesce Persico (rice with fried fish and herbs). If you are a cheese lover then tasting a Furmagitt is a must! This goat cheese has been handmade produced for years following a traditional process. You can combine it with a glass of wine such as the Sorsasso that can be white, red and rosé, or the white wine Domasino, from the town of Domaso.
7 - The Villas Around Lake Como
The historic villas represent true masterpieces of architecture between the years 1500 and 1800. They are all surrounded by beautiful gardens, with some of them featuring rare trees from around the world. some of the most beautiful villas of Lake Como are Villa Balbianello, Villa Melzi d'Eril with the Gardens, Villa Fogazzaro, Villa Carlotta, Villa Monastero, Villa D'Este, Villa Pliniana, Villa Serbelloni with the Park, Villa Olmo, the Botanic gardens of the Hotel Villa Cipressi and the Valley Garden. In the past centuries, only the noble families and Italian and European literati spent their holidays in the sumptuous villas that overlook the lake. Don't miss the chance to see at least some of them!
8 - The Como–Brunate Funicular
The cable car was inaugurated in 1894 to connect Como and the village of Brunate. Originally operated using a steam engine, it was then converted to use an electric motor since 1911. New aircon cars were recently constructed and painted in contrasting colors, lilac and red. It takes about 7 minutes to climb the 7000 m. that separates the city from the quiet village of Brunate on the hilltop. The view is simply spectacular! From there you can then take a 30-minute walk to the lighthouse in San Maurizio, built in 1927 to commemorate the centenary of Alessandro Volta's death.
9 - Proximity To Switzerland
You can choose the Bernina Express (see point 4 from this list), otherwise going from Lake Como to Switzerland by road is one of the most gorgeous drives in the world, crossing the Alps through the San Gotthard Tunnel if you are visiting during summer. The tunnel was constructed in 1980 and it used to be the longest tunnel in the world. On the way to Zurich, you will encounter beautiful alpine landscapes and glacial lakes like the one in Lucerna or the lake Zurich near the city.
10 - Reasons To Visit Lake Como: Shopping
Whether or not you are planning to visit Livigno (see point 3 from this list), doing the shopping around the Lake Como has never been easier. For istance, during July and August, 40 shops at Bellagio stay open until 11 pm. Enjoy a nice dinner and then start your stroll in the old town in search of souvenirs to bring back home. Even today Como and the surrounding area are considered the silk capital of the world. You can buy ties, scarves and even bags and leather goods. All products are of course made in Italy. Bellagio does not host shopping malls or outlets but you will love checking out the market that is held on every Friday and the small boutiques in Via Roma and Via Garibaldi.
We hope you've enjoyed reading this article! Please let us know in the Comments below Your Top Reason for Visiting Lake Como!