Como is a pretty large town at the less scenic end of Lago di Como . I would not recommend to stay there. The scenic section with the splendid villas (Villa Carlotta is probably the best one) and the great views is around Bellagio , Tremezzo, Menaggio, Varenna. These towns are connected by ferries.
Bellagio, Varenna, and Menaggio are the towns you seem to hear about most – but these are the most expensive and can be the hardest to get to. If you’re somewhat pressed for time, money, or convenience, consider Lecco or Como . Como is more well-known, and can also be more expensive .
If you have little time, fast service could be the best choice. For example, you can hop on a hydrofoil from Como at 9 am and get to Bellagio in approx. 45-50 minutes; a cool start of your tour that can also include a lunch in Varenna, where you can get by ferry in 15 minutes.
Day 1: Varenna and Lecco. Many people consider the steep hillside village of Varenna to be the most heavenly of all the towns on Lake Como , preferring the charming fisherman’s houses to the showier villas and grandeur of neighbors like Bellagio.
Yes, you can swim in the lake but you have to remember that it is a lake so in parts won’t be ideal for swimming . In 2007 it was reported that Lake Como was too polluted to swim in, with colony-forming units of bacteria at 68 times the safe limit for bathing.
The places to stay near Lake Como. There are three main towns you’ll most likely stay in during your time at Lake Como: Bellagio , Menaggio , or Varenna . That said, you can also save some money by staying outside these main “hubs” and I also have a recommendation a little later on of a spot to stay in between towns.
The easiest way to get to Como and Bellagio from Milan is to start from the “Trenord” station in Cadorna square. You can easily get there by metro Red and Green. In Cadorna station catch a train to Como Nord Lago. There are many trains , at least one per hour, and they take one hour to get you to Como .
Como is, somewhat deceivingly, not at the heart of the lake. In fact, it is an epic boat ride away from the three stars of the show – Bellagio, Menaggio, and Varenna. Como is well worth a visit for the Duomo alone, but if you’re planning to see as many places as possible, it’s best to base yourself further in.
The best time to visit is between March and November, when temperatures are warm and the sun shines the most. If you plan to visit Como Lake , there are pros and cons of each season . The weather of Como Lake in July and August is the best you can get.
1 Overrated : Lake Como Isn’t The Only Lake In Italy Lake Como earned its fame through its association with celebrities like George Clooney, so its real appeal is in its villas and luxury hotels. To top it off, the weather is often overcast and a little chilly. Plus, the lake itself isn’t great for swimming.
Lake Como is fine without a rental car . As far as your selections for towns, I second Bellagio. It has the best boat service of any town on the lake . If you want options then look at Menaggio and Varenna.
Lake Como has been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times, and a very popular tourist attraction with many artistic and cultural gems. It has many villas and palaces such as Villa Olmo, Villa Serbelloni, and Villa Carlotta.