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How you can Go to Lake Como, Italy — Luxurious Inns and Fairy-tale Cities Included

It’s exhausting to think about Lake Como with out pondering of its well-known residents: Clooney, Versace, Messi, Madonna. At one level or one other, they’ve all staked their declare to a bit of lakeside actual property right here. And one can hardly blame them for coveting a sliver of Como’s fabulous shoreline. No place in Italy has fairly the cache of Lake Como, and its status because the epitome of the great life is well-deserved.

Certainly one of a cluster of northern Italian lakes that features Garda, Maggiore, Lugano, and a number of other smaller siblings, Lake Como, or Lago di Como, is Italy’s deepest lake. Its distinctive form — an the other way up Y — was fashioned by a large glacier, and the lake remains to be fed from waters descending from the close by Alps. That units the scene for some excessive drama, landscape-wise, with steep mountains cloaked with dense forests and deep blue waters ringed by charming lakeside cities.

The Romans had been the primary to construct grand villas on Lake Como, and ever since, generations of la dolce vita seekers have adopted swimsuit, utilizing cities resembling Bellagio, Como, Menaggio, and Tremezzo as the bottom for lakeside leisure. We requested a number of journey consultants about their longtime amorous affairs with the lake, and obtained their recommendation on the very best locations to remain, dine, and expertise Lake Como.

High 5 Can’t Miss

  • Lake Como’s five-star accommodations are quite a few and legendary, together with relative newcomer Passalacqua, which opened in 2022 and occupies an 18th-century aristocratic villa.
  • All of our consultants agree that getting out on the water is a should, whether or not by way of a lake ferry, a privately chartered Riva boat, or a self-driven motorboat.
  • Whether or not you dine on the water — say at Harry’s Bar in Cernobbio — or journey uphill to Al Veluu for its sweeping views, be certain at the least certainly one of your meals takes within the surroundings.
  • Sure, you should buy luxurious trend items throughout your go to, however think about some Italian-made gadgets, just like the wine, olive oil, and vinegars from Enoteca da Gigi in Como.
  • Be a part of a guided or self-guided hike or bike journey to find the numerous scenic trails across the lake, the place the gobsmacking views are the reward for all that elevation change.

Finest Inns

Courtesy of Il Sereno Lago di Como

Grand Lodge Tremezzo

“I all the time say the arrival to Grand Lodge Tremezzo on Lake Como is cinematic,” says luxurious journey knowledgeable Annie Fitzsimmons, whose new guide, “100 Inns of a Lifetime,” options the artwork nouveau facade of this palatial resort on the quilt. “I really like every little thing concerning the view … the city of Bellagio throughout the lake, the swimming pool seemingly suspended over the water,” she shares, including that proprietor Valentina de Santis and her group are “the very best on the planet.”

Grand Lodge Victoria

TravelLustre journey marketing consultant Nicole Bono calls this belle époque magnificence her favourite lodge on the lake. “There is a non-public seashore membership for company steps away from the lodge the place you may go for a dip, in addition to a surprising pool,” she says. Samy Ghachem, normal supervisor of La Dolce Vita Orient Specific, says Victoria has “the very best spa on the lake.”


“Eighteenth century Passalacqua is a dream from one other time,” says journey author Nicole Trilivas. “It’s like strolling onto a classic movie set, with cascading gardens, jewel-box sitting rooms, and pastel-hued suites as spoiling, decadent, and lavish as wedding ceremony desserts.” Trilivas can be a fan of their Bellini cocktail, made with white peach, pink pepper, and Champagne.

Il Sereno

An attractive atmosphere permeates this 40-suite lodge, the place placing fashionable structure stands out on a lakeshore dotted with centuries-old villas and artwork nouveau edifices. And on a lake recognized for its grand dames, it says lots that Il Sereno was T+L readers’ favourite resort in Europe in 2023. Count on a swim-up suite, Riva boats for visitor use, and Michelin-star eating.

Palace Lodge

For a palatial vibe proper within the middle of Como, Ghachem calls Palace Lodge, run by the Villa d’Este group, certainly one of his favorites. “Cross the highway and also you’re on the water. The lodge is positioned inside strolling distance of most eating places, buying, and most actions, together with the ferry terminal.”

See extra prime accommodations in Lake Como right here.

Finest Issues to Do

Amanda Blackard/Journey + Leisure

Go on a ship journey.

“I all the time advise each traveler going to Lake Como that the true great thing about the area is finest seen from the water,” says Ghachem. “You completely have to get out on a ship. Most accommodations could make preparations for personal Venetian-style boats or the extra thrilling and chic Riva boats. There are, in fact, much less expensive choices, together with the quite a few ferry routes.” Como Lake Artists affords fairly priced self-drive boats.

Rent a photographer.

Eli Wagner, a Journey + Leisure A-list advisor and founding father of Wagner Bespoke Journey, says one of the simplest ways to protect your Lake Como reminiscences is to rent a professional. “Rent a photographer to hitch you and your loved ones on the boat day. As a substitute of the standard vacation playing cards, having Lake Como because the backdrop might be memorable in your vacation photographs for a few years to return.”

Hit the path.

Once you’re not on the water, head out on certainly one of Lake Como’s quite a few mountain climbing trails. From Torno, Ghachem recommends the path as much as Montepiatto “for a surprising view over the northern and southern components of the lake.” From Como city, it’s simply an hour stroll as much as the village of Brunate, the place Ghachem says “you’ll be rewarded with a variety of bars and native eating places earlier than catching the funicular again down.”

Embrace la dolce far niente.

The sweetness of doing nothing — that’s a favourite pastime on Lake Como. “It is an excellent vacation spot to lounge along with your spritz and do a complete lot of nothing,” says Bono. “Folks can simply chill out and take it straightforward, strolling, buying, and having fun with the surroundings.”

Finest Procuring

Amanda Blackard/Journey + Leisure

Enoteca da Gigi, Como

“That is certainly one of my favourite wine bars within the previous city,” says Ghachem. “You possibly can style before you purchase.” Along with wines from throughout Italy, he says the olive oil and vinegar choice right here is top-notch.

Riflessi di Gusto

This old-school boutique for foodie presents carries rigorously and regionally sourced, made-in-Italy merchandise, together with many hard-to-find gadgets that slip simply right into a carry-on. Ghachem says the collection of dry pastas is the very best on the lake.

La Bottega del Legno 

“There are a number of super-touristy shops everywhere in the lake, however you may also discover some fantastic boutiques,” says Bono. Bellagio’s compact previous city is her favourite for buying, and the historic Bottega del Legno is a good cease for wood-carved gadgets, together with actual picket toys.

Finest Eating places

chekyfoto/Getty Photographs

Al Veluu

Bono calls this hilltop restaurant “a real showstopper,” whereas Wagner says it “embodies the essence of Lake Como.” Recent, regionally sourced elements, together with mushrooms delivered each day, earn excessive marks. “Go at sundown and take within the superb panorama,” provides Bono.

Harry’s Bar

Ghachem appreciates the acquainted comforts of this longtime restaurant on the Cernobbio waterfront. “You possibly can’t go unsuitable right here,” he says. “There’s nice atmosphere — it’s simply upscale sufficient.” Seize an outside seat overlooking the lake and reap the benefits of the terrific wine checklist.


“Most concierges wouldn’t suggest this place because it’s nearly too native,” says Ghachem, including that this Como restaurant is “for certain the least touristy place on the town.” Tagliolini with porcini mushrooms and truffle is his go-to order right here.

Finest Time to Go to

Amanda Blackard/Journey + Leisure

Our consultants agree that shoulder season (September and October) is the very best time to go to Lake Como. “The complete lake is lush — every little thing is so beautiful this time of yr,” says Bono. Wagner votes for September. “[This is] when the summer season crowds have dissipated and the solar remains to be shining,” he shares. Ghachem additionally suggests Could, earlier than the summer season crowds arrive. However notice that should you do go to in these “in-between” seasons, you’ll discover cooler air and water temperatures which will dissuade you from taking a dip within the lake.

June, July, and August are peak journey months for the lake. Nevertheless, should you reserve early and put together for the crowds, you’ll discover a quintessential Italian lake expertise awaits.

Many accommodations and eating places shut for the winter, however sufficient stay open that in order for you a quiet — albeit chilly — trip, this is likely to be the time to go to. At Christmas, the villages alongside the lake tackle a magical ambiance.  

How you can Get There

Amanda Blackard/Journey + Leisure

Como city, the start line for a lot of holidays on the lake, is about one hour from Milan’s Malpensa Airport, and a few 40-minute prepare journey from Milano Centrale, Milan’s essential prepare station. Bellagio, Menaggio, and different small cities alongside the lake are served by ferries (much less frequent within the offseason) or might be reached by automobile.

Served by a number of intra-Europe carriers, Milan Bergamo Airport is about one hour and 40 minutes from Como by automobile.

How you can Get Round

“For those who’re pleased to self-drive, having a automobile might be very helpful,” says Bono. That is very true for reaching locations in a roundabout way on the lake. However should you don’t need to lease a automobile, Bono says, “non-public transfers and automobile companies, in addition to ferries and water taxis are the best way to go.” Some accommodations lease Fiat 500s, which make for enjoyable driving and nice photograph ops, although Ghachem warns that the roads across the lake are very slim and sometimes fairly curvy. 

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