Lake Como

Sailing the Lake Como is a charming and unique experience.
The cruises on Lake Como reach historical villas and antique villages full of different expressions of Italian art. Boats moves slowly in the quiet atmosphere of the lake, among shores that reveal enchanting countryside and villages that preserve architectural wonders and are the cradle of ancient traditions
Menaggio. Photo:, Shutterstock 
From Spring to the beginning of Autumn, the lake climate is perfect for taking trips in discovery of a world of a thousand emotions. 
A cruise on Lake Como gives you the opportunity to select different itineraries for admiring the gardens of the magnificent villas dotted among the lush lakeside vegetation and for visiting the splendid towns. 
Piroscafo Concordia. Photo:, Shutterstock 
One of the attractions of Lake Como, or Lario as it is sometimes called, is the old paddle steamer with magical Art Nouveau style, driven by steam, which is part of a fleet of boats, which take their names from the characters of “I Promessi Sposi” (The Betrothed), and new hydrofoils and catamarans.
classic cruise leaves from Como or Lecco and arrives at Bellagio, the most captivating place on the lake with craft shops flanking steep alleyways that cross the town, where Villa Serbelloni and Villa Melzi are also found.
Bellagio. Photo:, Shutterstock 
The list of places to visit on Lake Como is endless: the Cathedral, the Churches of Sant’Abbondio and San Fedele, the Broletto and the Voltian Temple in the old town of ComoVilla del Balbianello in Lenno and Villa Carlotta in TremezzoVilla Cipressi, Villa Monastero and the Castle of Vezio in Varenna; the places familiar to Manzoni in Lecco; the Island of Comacina - the only one on the lake - with the Romanesque Basilica of S. Eufemia, and aristocratic Cernobbio.
Text by Angela Trivigno
Avion Tourism Magazine
Photos:, Shutterstock
Copyright ©
Video: by Yann Arthus Bertrand
Tourism Board

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Where to sleep on Lake Como
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Como, Lecco and the countries that overlook Lake Como offer different possibilities of stay in hotels equipped with every comfort.

To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for stars but also for towns or landmarks.


Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
Hotel in the most beautiful locations of Lake Como:
WHERE TO GO on lake como
The most beautiful villas on Lake Como
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Built on the Lenno headland in 1700 on the orders of Cardinal Durini, incorporating an ancient monastery, is one of the most stunning corners  of Lake Como. On the floor of the portico, the motto “Fay ce que voudras” (Do what you want) welcomed the guests coming from the lake staircase. On the highest floor of the property there is a unique museum exhibiting the art collections and travel memories of the former owner, explorer Guido Monzino who left the villa to the FAI (Italian Environmental Foundation). The garden is characterized by terraces and balustrades and accurately follows the shape of the rugged ground, formed by steep rocks in some points and gentle slopes in others. 

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It was built between 1808 and 1810, for Francesco Melzi d’Eril’s will, vice-president of the Cisalpine republic wanted by Napoleon. The villa was designed based on a pure Neoclassical style and the park around it is considered the first example of English style garden of Lake Como. One night, in 1833, Franz  Liszt who was already a well-known musician met madam d’Agoult, an already married respectable lady. It was love at first sight, a strong passion, so much that in 1835 the noblewoman decided to abandon her husband to follow her big love. In November 1837 the two lovers reached Lake Como and  discovered the charm and the fascination of villa Melzi d’Eril.  Here Liszt  used to stroll along the evocative plane tree path and  in front of the statue “Dante and Beatrice” he composed  some of his artworks like Sonata a Dante and Fantasia quasi sonata. 

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It is an elegant Neoclassical mansion with an Italian garden in the front yard and an English garden in the back yard. The building was built in the late 1700’s for the Odescalchi on a design by Architect Simone Cantoni.

In mid 1800’s, under the Raimondis, it became a venue for diplomatic and society meetings. In May 1859 even Garibaldi came here after the battle of San Fermo, where he beat the Austrians. The front facade is crowned by the coat of arms of the Visconti di Modrone family, who owned the villa from 1883 till 1925. Then the property was sold to the city Council of Como which still uses it as a venue for conferences and art shows.

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To the garden magnificence echoed the refinement of the building, build at the end of 1600’s for the Clerici family and the splendour of the collections accumulated by Gian Battista Sommariva, lawyer and patron who bought the villa to create one of the most famous Italian museum at the time.  Given to the princess of Netherlands, Marianna, married to Alberto from Prussia, the villa was given as wedding gift to the daughter Carlotta when marrying the grand duke Giorgio of Sassonia Meiningen. It is due to his botanical interest the expansion of the garden and the richness of the trees collections. Inside the Villa we can find important art masterpieces like the ones by Canova and his school, Hayez and Wicar. 


 Photo:, Shutterstock  

Architectural work of the sixteenth century, Villa d'Este is immersed in a park with centenary plants. In its halls there are numerous works of art, from the French school, from the Canova school and decorations by Andrea Appiani. Today Villa d'Este is considered among the best luxury hotels in Italy and in the world for the services offered and destination for excellence of Summit and International events.

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Originally, Villa Monastero in Varenna was a Cistercian female monastery, while today it is also a house-museum that houses the collection of goods and furnishings of the different owners who have succeeded one another. It is surrounded by a garden full of rare botanical species from all over the world.

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