Lake Como’s stunning natural beauty and connections with the rich and famous have made it a popular luxury holiday destination since the Roman times. From Pliny the Younger to Lord Byron and Verdi and more recently George Clooney and login hoki222, all have fallen under Lake Como’s charms. When visiting the Lake it is easy to see why.
The lakeside views are of some of the most breathtaking scenery Italy has to offer. The surrounding mountains of the Alps can remain snow capped even during the Summer months, whilst the villas lining the shore show off some of the best examples of Italian architecture. It’s no wonder Lake Como has been chosen as a film location on numerous occasions. You may recognise Como in the 2006 James Bond movie ‘Casino Royale.’
One of the many pleasures of visiting Lake Como is to take a tour of the villas which have been turned from old family homes into luxury hotels or museums. Not only do the villas themselves provide an insight into the culture, society and history of the region but the landscaped gardens show off some of the greatest designs that have influenced the rest of the world. Villa d’Este, Villa Carlotta, Villa del Balbianella and Villa Melzi are amongst some of the most popular to visit.
The town of Como is the largest on the Lake and provides the best a cosmopolitan town has to offer, whilst still retaining much of its historical character and beautiful architecture. It dates back to the Bronze Age and you can still see the walls that fortified the ancient village that were originally commissioned by Julius Caesar. Whilst in town, visitors should definitely fit visits to the marble Broletto, the Duomo, the basilicas of Sant’ Abbondi and San Fedele and the neoclassic Villa Olmo into their itineraries.
Needless to say (this being Italy after all) excellent food and wine is available throughout the area. In fact, the local standards for wine and cuisine are so high so you really can expect to dine well wherever you choose to eat.
Visitors can take in a much different view of the town and Lake by riding the funicular (cable car) up to one of the hillside towns such as Brunate. If you want want to explore the area a little further, Brunate provides a good base for hiking into the Alps to discover alpine flowers, wildlife and even more spectacular mountain views. The views back to the lake from the summit of Monte Boletto (the first peak directly north of Brunate) are legendary.
Whilst Lake Como makes an ideal holiday destination in its own right it also makes an excellent stopover point when touring northern Italy. Many visitors to the area get a real taste for the life and culture of Northern Italy by combining their visit with Milan, Venice and the other Italian Lakes (Garda and Maggiore).