Lake Como has got to be one of the most famous places in Italy, and well known for its stunning scenery, wonderful weather, classic history and fabulous food and wine, it has been a place that has consistently attracted people, from the eager backpacker to the well-heeled celebrity. As the southerly winds sweep across the lake and the setting sun bathes the magnificent villas in its beautiful light, it is difficult not to feel a million miles from anywhere when you are in Como.
Summer on The Lake
Lake Como is made even more beautiful by the fact that it enjoys a majestic alpine backdrop that rises steeply upwards and towers over the lake casting dancing shadows at different times of the day. Summer is especially beautiful as the days are longer, and the charming towns of Bellagio, Menaggio, Tremezzo, Bellano, Varenna and Cadenabbia invite you to spend long evenings in their pavement restaurants and leisurely mornings in their historic town centres.
Lake Como has managed to escape mass tourism and holds steadfastly to much of its traditional Italian way of life. Authentic architecture blends perfectly with the fabulous villa gardens and the reflections that are seen everywhere you turn on the lake. In summertime the lake comes alive and in July, August and September the lake sees people enjoying water sports, family hikes, shopping, ‘al fresco’ dining and simply relaxing in the pleasant sunshine.
Hydrofoils and boats serve the lakeside towns and you can use these as a means to get places or to just meander through the lake enjoying the lakeside views form the water. Villa Balbianello, of James Bond fame, and Villa Carlotta are two of the famous villas open to the public in the area, and for those who love gardens the latter villa is a fabulous place to spend a morning wandering around.
Beaches and summer holidays go hand in hand and Como does not disappoint in this regard. Lido de Leno has a sandy oasis that, despite being rather artificial, is a gorgeous little place that is out of the way and perfect for spending a relaxing afternoon. At a cost of five euros you can join the locals lounging around on the beach, swimming in the lake waters and making use of the friendly waiters that serve reasonably priced drinks to you on the beachside. This is a great place for kids in the daytime and at night it turns into an elegant beachside bar area.
How to Get to Como
Getting to Lake Como could not be easier. Most people choose to fly to Milan Malpensa but you can book with Rail Europe and the Eurostar too, which is a reliable and convenient way to travel.
The nearest airport is Milan Malpensa and with Shuttle Direct you can book easy and reliable Milan airport transfers right to your hotel’s door. Air is the most convenient way to get from the UK to Milan and the airport is served by airlines from several other European cities too. Milan airport transfers can be booked in advance with Shuttle Direct and they can be tailored to accommodate your situation, the number of people in your group and any children and babies you may be travelling with too. Private or shared taxis can be booked depending on whether you want to split the cost or not.
Where to Stay
Hotel Quarcino – Hotel Quarcino is our choice of simple accommodation in Como. With free Wi-Fi throughout, it also offers a bar, garden and free parking spaces. Only a 3-minute walk from the lakeshore, the hotel’s basic but comfortable rooms provide flat-screen TV, private bathrooms and air-conditioning with some boasting a balcony. Close to the town’s attractions and the lake, this is a great budget accommodation option.
Albergo Le Due Corti – Set just next to the city’s old walls, the Albergo Le Due Corti is a stunning old building with a superb restaurant. This is our mid priced choice of accommodation in Como as it offers good value for money in its quiet rooms that feature satellite TV. There is a small pool and the lounge has free WI-Fi. Close to the historic centre, it is perfectly situated for exploring at your leisure.
CastaDiva Resort & Spa – Going to Como and want five star luxury, then CastaDiva Resort & Spa is a great choice. Offering a wellness centre and beautiful airy rooms with views of the lake, this hotel also has an excellent restaurant. The stunning 18th century building has wonderful gardens and the spa facilities include a sauna, Turkish bath and relaxation pools, as well as massage rooms, a gym and heated indoor and outdoor pools. Rooms have air conditioning and mini bar and some have a balcony too. This is the perfect place to stay if you want to treat yourself to some luxury when in Como.