5 PERFECT DAYS IN LAKE COMO ITINERARY: AN IDEAL COMO TRAVEL GUIDE
Lake Como, long known as the fashionable destination for the rich and famous is so quintessentially Italian that enchanted us from the moment we arrived, and the rest of our Lake Como itinerary for 5 days remained very much that way.
THE TRANQUILITY OF LAKE COMO
Gone were the stresses of the hour-plus long wait at the regional railway station for our connecting train to get to Como. Rain and a slightly lower temperature than expected greeted us upon our arrival in Como but we felt instantly relaxed at the sight of the hills laced with ribbons of white velvet, bobbing boats on the blue waters of the lake and the cluster of facades in shades of terracotta and turmeric on the hillsides overlooking the shimmering lake. There was a sense of calm quite unlike any other. Added to this was our beautiful apartment in the centre of Como square, equipped with everything we could possibly need. Lake Como was a place I wanted to stay a little longer.
This Lake Como itinerary is curated from my recent visit with my family where we spent five days and these were pretty lazy 5 days in Lake Como. We explored in the rain, took advantage of the November sun and discovered the best of the idyllic lakeside towns that look like a scene straight out of a fairy-tale storybook.
We did a lot of walking, clicked-away a ton, fuelled up generously, and enjoyed doing nothing much on occasions. The picturesque towns and villages stopped us at our pace often. These are set against the backdrop of spectacular natural scenery with imposing mountains, rolling hills, jagged cliffs and the mirrored blue waters of Lake Como. The quaint scene exudes a romantic charm that defines the unique atmosphere of the shores of Lake Como. It was truly wonderful to be out here.
Despite being associated with celebrities and wealth, Lake Como is a popular tourist destination and it is easy to understand why. Not only is it picturesque, it is also affordable, easy to reach and offers a wide selection of places to stay for all budgets along with lots of activities to do. Read along for the best in Lake Como itinerary which is perfect for anyone visiting Lake Como for 5 days.
An Overview of What is Covered in this article about 5 Days in Lake Como Itinerary:
- The tranquility of Lake Como;
- How many days is enough for Lake Como?;
- About Lake Como;
- Best time to visit Lake Como;
- Is Como a good base for exploring Lake Como?;
- How to get to Lake Como?
- Travelling by Train from Milan Malpensa to Como;
- What is the best way to get around Lake Como;
- Where to Stay in Lake Como?;
- Overview of a 5-day Lake Como itinerary;
- Lake Como Itinerary: What to do in Lake Como for 5 days;
- Day 1 Lake Como Itinerary: Explore some of the best of Como, Part 1;
- Day 2 Lake Como Itinerary: Visit Varenna and Bellagio;
- Day 3 Lake Como Itinerary: Day trip to Milan or Lugano;
- Day 4 Lake Como Itinerary: Explore Menaggio, Tremezzo and Argegno;
- Day 5 Lake Como Itinerary: Visit the Best of Como Part II;
- Where to Eat in Como City;
- Lake Como Itinerary conclusion.
HOW MANY DAYS IS ENOUGH FOR LAKE COMO?
Most people say that two or three days is enough for Lake Como but I think you’ll need to spend more days. Two to three days is not enough to explore Lake Como that offers so many things to do in and around the lakes. Lake Como is an ideal location for a longer visit, for five days or more. Lake Como is one of the prettiest places to admire where the mountains meet the lakes, awesome sunsets and relax in the midst of tradition, elegant villas, gourmet food and extraordinary natural surroundings. So, if you can, curate an itinerary that is at least four to five days. This 5-day Lake Como itinerary is a perfect guide to curating your own timeless memories for any duration of time.
ABOUT LAKE COMO, ITALY
Lake Como or Lago di Como in Italian is nestled comfortably at the foot of the Alps in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. The southern shores of Lake Como are situated approximately 51 km (32 miles) north of Milan and 28 km (17.4 miles) east of Lugano in Switzerland.
Lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy following Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. It is also one of Europe‘s deepest lakes at 410 metres. Lake Como has the shape of an inverted ‘Y’. The lake’s most popular towns and villages lie at the intersection of the three arms, with the town of Bellagio being the most famous of all.
A place of glorious sunshine and scenic beauty, Lake Como has been a popular destination for rejuvenation since Roman times for couples and families. Not much has changed today as couples and families, both young and old stroll through the cobbled streets or enjoy the lakeside views along with the simple pleasures that nature bestows in this corner of Italy.
The region is often referred to as “a playground of the rich” with celebrities such as George Clooney, Madonna, Richard Branson, Sylvester Stallone, Gianni Versace, to name a few, who had owned or owns a villa on the shores of Lake Como.
Lake Como is well-known for its dramatic scenery. Colourful facades, wronght-iron arches, wisterias and neoclassical villas among forested shores, painted against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains of the Swiss Alps. All these and more makes Lake Como highly regarded and one of the Italian Lakes most remarkable idylls.
BEST TIME TO VISIT LAKE COMO
The best time to visit Lake Como is during the warmer months, between May and October. During these months, the temperatures are perfect for water-based activities and it is the time of year when Lake Como gets the most sunshine. July and August in particular, present the warmest and busiest times of the year with tourist crowds celebrating the wonderful weather and water taxis zipping across the lakes. This time of year is also the peak season in Lake Como and you are likely to pay more for transportation, accommodations, activities and dining options.
The climate in Lake Como is mild and consistent throughout the year with small variations in temperatures. Winters are not frigid-cold and summers are not sultry which makes the Lake an ideal destination throughout the year. Snow in winter is rare in Lake Como but it can happen, so it’s something to prepare for when planning your trip between December and February.
However, during the winter months of November to March, many attractions at Lake Como are closed off or shut down. Some hotels and restaurants close their doors. The slow boats are seasonal and these too are not available during the winter months. The month of November through to the first week of December appears to be dedicated to maintenance work for many of the funiculars in the lakeside towns.
Travelling off-season to Lake Como is an attractive option for many. It certainly was for me. There are less crowds which is a huge plus to my travels. It is less expensive, and top accommodations are easily affordable. With a little planning ahead of time, you get to experience the lakeside towns at your own pace.
Just me, Georgina on my first day in Como (Nov. 2022)
I visited Lake Como in mid-November recently and despite some closures, we had a fabulous time. In this travel guide, I share my experiences, and best tips about what to do for 5 days in Lake Como. This 5 day Lake Como itinerary has all the information you need to support your travels to this idyllic corner of northern Italy.
Would you Prefer an Organised Day Trip to Lake Como from Milan?
Are you visiting Milan and prefer a day trip to Lake Como from Milan? Check out the following day trips that depart from Milan:
IS COMO A GOOD BASE FOR EXPLORING LAKE COMO?
We chose Como as our base for five days as it offered many opportunities to explore the Lake Como area. Como, in itself is a destination with lots of things to do including hiking. Como is a bigger town compared to the many other towns in Lake Como and because of this, there are more accommodation choices. Accommodation ranges from 5-star to budget and are somewhat cheaper to stay than other towns in Lake Como. Como also offers a wide range of dining options and inexpensive than Bellagio, Varenna, or Menaggio.
While our visit was in November, there were many restaurants open to cater for the winter visitors. Added to this. Como has a well-connected public transport system. The town is accessible via four railway stations, buses and boats that makes visiting neighbouring towns and villages convenient. Therefore, Como is a good choice if you are looking for a convenient base that is inexpensive overall.
HOW TO GET TO LAKE COMO
If you are accessing Lake Como by flying into northern Italy, then you are likely to arrive in Milan. Milan is served by three airports: Milan Bergamo, Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate. We flew into Milan Malpensa. We found Malpensa to be the nearest and most convenient for taxis and trains to Como city, on the shores of Lake Como.
On the assumption that you are spending most of your time in Lake Como, you may not need a car. Lake Como is well connected by public transport. Trains run frequent service to the major railway stations such as Milan Centrale. With four train stations serving Como : Como San Giovanni, Como Nord Lago, Como Nord Borghi and Como Nord Camerlata, you are certain to find train travel to and from Como to be convenient. Buses connect the towns around Lake Como with regular services as well.
On the other hand, if you choose to drive, you can pre-book your rental car and collect it from the airport. Malpensa is about 51 km by road via the A36 and takes 43 minutes to reach Como.
TRAVELLING BY TRAIN FROM MILAN MALPENSA TO COMO
Upon arrival, we took the Malpensa Express to Saronno and changed to the regional train to Como Lago. The journey from Malpensa to Saronno was approximately 20 minutes and from Saronno to Como was approximately 40 minutes. This was the shorter route than Malpensa to Milan.
I researched the train connecting times and the timetable suggested regular service between Saronno and Como. I was quite happy to try this route so I could share my experience with my readers.
However, we did not anticipate the long wait of over an hour at Saronno for our connecting train to Como Lago. It was exacerbated by the downpour and there is no closed waiting area. There is one cafe with a seating area and one WC which was not clean. In hindsight, I would not opt for this route. Therefore, I recommend the Malpensa to Milan route if you choose to travel by train.
As an alternate, take the Malpensa Express train from Malpensa Airport to Milan Centrale. At Milan Centrale, take the Trenord train to Como San Giovanni. This route takes a little longer but it is worth the clean and seamless journey. The journey from Malpensa to Milan is approximately 40 minutes and from Milan to Como San Giovanni is approximately 43 minutes.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET AROUND LAKE COMO?
Getting around Lake Como is easy and affordable. There is a good bus service that connects the towns situated along the banks of Lake Como. The bus is a much slower mode of transport but it is a good option if you do not drive or do not wish to take the boats.
Opt for the Lake Como ferry, which is the most common transport and the best way to get around Lake Como. This is the most scenic way to experience Lake Como and take in the lake in all its splendour.
There are the slow boats and the hydrofoil (the fast boats) that take you across the lake to all the villages such as Argegno and major towns including Varenna and Bellagio. The slow boats only run during the summer months and the hydrofoil runs throughout the year.
Ticket prices typically start at €5.00 for shorter routes such as between Bellagio and Varenna whereas it is €16.00 for longer routes such as Como to Varenna.
In the summer months, you could purchase the ‘Free Circulation’ ticket for a day or as a 6-day pass. You will also want to consider what zones you would like the ticket for. Tickets are available for zones 1 to 8. You will likely need a zone 6 ticket if you are visiting Bellagio. The ‘Free Circulation’ ticket allows for unlimited journeys and starts from €24.00+.
Recommended read: How to travel around Lake Como without a Car
Timeless Travel Steps Tips:
3 | Look up this website about Visit Como that gives all the information on public transportation in Lake Como;
4 | Visit the Tourist Information office in Como and pick-up local maps and events guides > Address: Via Giocondo Albertolli, 7, 22100 Como CO, Italy;
5 | Be informed about the ferry/boat timetable at Lake Como from their official site.
WHERE TO STAY IN LAKE COMO
As Lake Como is dotted with many small resort towns, there are plenty of choices when it comes to accommodations, varying from basic guesthouses to luxury villas.
Como is perhaps the most convenient place to stay in Lake Como. However, Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio and Tremezzo are all worthy contenders.
OVERVIEW OF A 5-DAY LAKE COMO ITINERARY
Below is an overview of a 5-day Lake Como itinerary which covers all of the highlights that you wouldn’t want to miss during your winter travel. Included are attractions which are open during the summer months if you opt to travel during the peak season.
This itinerary is based on an early arrival in Lake Como by midday and a very late departure on the fifth day or on the sixth day. You could always move activities around to suit your stay for three, four, or more days.
If you are in Como on a short visit, it might be worthwhile to maximise your experiences in Como by joining a tour group. This tour covers all the highlights of Como and comes with a dedicated tour guide. Depending on the time of year, the tour includes a cruise to Bellagio or a funicular ride to Brunate.
Lake Como Itinerary: What to do in Lake Como for 5 days
- Day 1: Day of arrival. Scope and explore local; Piazzas and cathedrals;
- Day 2: Varenna and Bellagio;
- Day 3: A day trip to Milan or Lugano;
- Day 4: Explore the smaller towns of Lake Como: Argegno, Tremezzina and Menaggio;
- Day 5: More of Como: Brunate, Villa Olmo, Tempio Voltiano, Villa del Grumello and a walk along the lakeside promenade.
DAY 1 LAKE COMO ITINERARY: Explore some of the Best of Como, Part I
Take your first half-day of arrival in Como to scope the town and explore nearby attractions. If you are based in the centre of the historic square, you’ll find the magnificent cathedral and the piazzas are located within minutes of each other.
Como is an impressive city famous for its Gothic Cathedral, amazing piazzas, stunning mountain views, enchanting streets, lakefront promenades and scenic funicular rides. Here are some experiences you wouldn’t want to miss.
Discover the splendid piazzas in Como
Piazza Cavour, Como
Piazza Cavour is a magnificent town square close to the waters. Just minutes from the Como Lago train station, it is a great meeting point and has many restaurants and cafes that offer al fresco dining.
Piazza San Fedele
Piazza San Fedele is within a pedestrianised zone inside the walled city of Como. San Fedele sits on a former Roman Forum and is a medieval square which was originally a wheat market. It is a bustling lively spot but with an ambience that is a little quieter than the Piazza Duomo located nearby. The square is home to some remarkable architecture of the two medieval palaces and Basilica di San Fedele, a 12th century Romanesque church with a bell tower. It hosts an antiques market on Saturdays. Piazza San Fedele exudes a special atmosphere with many small bars, cafes and shops.
Piazza del Duomo, Como
The city of Como developed around Piazza del Duomo in the 11th century with the building of the Romanesque Cathedral around that time. This historic square is home to Broletto, an old town hall built in stones of different colours (grey, red and white) that was once used for hosting public assemblies. Broletto features Gothic-Romanesque and Renaissance style with some elements dating back to the 15th century.
Marvel at the majestic Como Cathedral
The Como Cathedral is nothing short of awe-inspiring. This imposing 14th century Roman building overlooks the Piazza del Duomo and is one of the most spectacular buildings in Lake Como. Construction of Como Cathedral began in 1396, on the site of the earlier Romanesque cathedral and took almost 400 years to complete. Como Cathedral features incredible mosaic artwork on the ceilings, stunning stainless glass windows and Gothic style sculptures on the facade.
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 22100 Como CO, Italy
Hours: Monday to Friday > 10:30 to 17:30
Stroll through Como streets
Stroll through the pretty streets of Como city which are truly enchanting especially in the evening. You will no doubt reach the lakeside promenade and in the evening, the view across the port and of the hillside is particularly entrancing.
DAY 2 LAKE COMO ITINERARY: Visit Varenna and Bellagio
On your second day of your 5-day Lake Como itinerary will probably be one of your busiest in the schedule. Varenna and Bellagio are two of the most fantastic places to visit in Lake Como. These are also highly popular tourist destinations in Lake Como. Therefore, a very early start from Como is highly recommended.
Most people will suggest visiting Bellagio first but I recommend visiting Varenna first when taking the boat from Como. Varenna is further away from Bellagio, and by taking the boat to Varenna first, you could work your way down to Bellagio and then to any other lakeside towns you would like to visit on your return journey to Como.
Explore the picturesque town of Varenna
Varenna is a pretty lakeside village with many ancient architectures to discover. Varenna can be reached in 56 minutes by ferry from Como. Here are some of the highlights not to miss in Varenna, one of the most picturesque and traditional villages located in Lake Como.
Piazza San Giorgio
Piazza San Giorgio is Varenna’s town centre and host the Church of San Giorgio. The Church of San Giorgio was built in the 14th century upon what was previously a 12th century temple. Representing a fine example of Lombard architecture, the Church houses some exceptional paintings from the 15th and 16th century along with some frescoes from the 13th century. There is a beautiful rose window and the floor is made of Varenna’s black marble.
Address: Piazza S. Giorgio, 25, 23829 Varenna LC, Italy
Hours: Open daily from 08:30 to 19:00
Admission: Free. Donations are welcomed
Visit San Giovanni Battista
Just across from the Church of San Giorgio is Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista (Church of St John the Baptist), a smaller and much older church. San Giovanni Battista is the oldest church in Lake Como and dates back to the 11th century. There are frescoes here from the 16th century. Notable is the bell tower, of Romanesque style and built towards the lake, as was the tradition in ancient times.
Address: Piazza S. Giorgio, 23829 Varenna LC, Italy.
Hours: Always open.
Admission: Free. Donations are welcomed.
Explore the cobbled streets of Varenna
Explore the narrow streets that branch off Piazza San Giorgio. These narrow cobbled streets lead towards the lake. Take care when walking on these alleys as the cobblestones in some areas are uneven and some alleys are also quite steep.
Have lunch at Riva Grande
Riva Grande is Varenna’s lakefront and it is quite simply delightful. This area of Varenna is pedestrianised and rather quaint. There are several cafes, restaurants, local artisan shops, ice cream shops and much more.
Have lunch at Bar II Molo, a bistro with an elegant terrace overlooking the lake. This bistro offers rich and varied cuisine including pasta, grills and panini, along with cocktails as well as desserts.
Walk along Varenna’s Walk of Lovers
A charming pedestrian path connects Riva Grande to the boat landing. The walkway is a few hundred metres long and is built between the rock and the lake over the lake waters. This lakeside promenade is a popular tourist attraction and goes by the suggestive name “Walk of Lovers” or passeggiata degli innamorati in Italian. The romantic walk takes you among some beautiful colourful houses that brightens the village, Castello di Vezio perched at the top of the cliff, steep alleys and quaint corners.
Visit Villa Monastero, Garden and Museum
Villa Monastero is a popular international conference centre and attracts tourists because of its botanical garden and rare plants. The Villa dates back to the 12th century and was originally used as a Cistercian monastery. Within the villa, there is Casa Museo, a museum that showcases history across four centuries amidst elegant furnishings.
Address: Viale Giovanni Polvani 4 – Varenna (LC).
Open between March and November.
Hours: Daily during summer between 09:30 and 19:30 | 10:00 to 17:00 in the winter months.
Entrance fee is applicable. Check the official website for the latest price.
Visit and/or Stay at the harmonious Villa Cipressi
Villa Cipressi literally means “house of cypresses” is a striking complex of buildings and gardens representing the old and new. It’s named so because of the ancient cypress trees in the garden. Built between 1400 and 1800, this elegant villa is nestled alongside the shores of the lake itself.
The villa is now a four-star hotel in Varenna offering a tranquil and romantic setting with gardens whirling down to the shores. A popular wedding venue.
A visit to the stunning Villa Cipressi should follow your amazing experience at Villa Monastero. The gardens are open to the public. You could purchase a ticket to visit the gardens only or purchase a combine ticket for both Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero.
Villa Cipressi Gardens are open daily from 09:00 to 19:00
Entry fee is applicable. Check the official website of Villa Cipressi for rates.
The medieval fortress of Castello di Vezio
Castello di Vezio is an ancient medieval fortress that overlooks Varenna. There is a permanent exhibition dedicated to Lariosaurus, an extinct sea reptile from the Middle Triassic period.
Address: via al castello snc, 23828 Perledo (LC)
Opens from March to November.
Recommended read: 10 Best Things to do in Varenna, Italy
Discover Bellagio, the perfect lakeside town
Bellagio, reputed as the ‘Pearl of Lake Como’ is a perfect lakeside town and one of the most beautiful places in the northern region of Italy. This enchanting town is famous worldwide for its charming and delightful villas that overlook the waters of Lake Como. However, half-a-day is sufficient to explore this compact and beautiful town that is studded with beautiful cobblestone streets and narrow alleys.
A simple walk around Bellagio town
The streets of Bellagio are so pretty that a simple walk is enough to enchant you to want to stay longer. There is one main road, Via Giuseppe Garibaldi which gets you to the top of the village in less than 15 minutes. There are several alleys that lead to the lakefront. There’s a lot of ups and downs and it is totally worth it.
Visit the Basilica of San Giacoma
At the town centre, there is the picture perfect Piazza del Chiesa which is home to the 11th century tower and the Romanesque Basilica of San Giacoma. The Basilica of San Giacoma was built between the 11th and 12th centuries and is a Roman Catholic church. The Basilica boasts a gorgeous interior of rich decoration and valuable works of painting and statues.
Address: Piazza della Chiesa, 27, 22021 Bellagio CO, Italy
11.2.3 | Admire the world famous Villas of Bellagio: Villa Serbelloni and Villa Melzi
Villa Serbelloni and Villa Melzi are two of the most elegant villas in Bellagio not to miss.
Villa Serbelloni is an outstanding 15th century luxury hotel surrounded by 50 acres of magical gardens. This marvellous place has a fascinating history, beautiful paths embellished with terraces and statues along with breathtaking unique views of Bellagio.
Villa Melzi is another beautiful historic villa with an impressive garden. Villa Melzi Gardens are popular for its botanical specimens from around the world. The gardens are generously curated with colourful flowers interspersed with statues and period architecture.
Wind down your day with a beautiful sunset in Bellagio
Take the last ferry out back to Como which is just before 18:00. This affords you time for an Aperol Spritz, catch the sunset and to reflect on your beautiful day.
Recommended read: 18 Best Things to Do & See in Bellagio
DAY 3 LAKE COMO ITINERARY: Day trip to Milan or Lugano
Day trip to Milan from Como
For a day trip, we opted to visit Milan from Como because it was super convenient to do so. Como San Giovanni Railway Station connects to Milan Centrale seamlessly. It is a direct journey and takes 40 minutes.
I had visited Milan previously but returned this time because I finally managed to get tickets to view the famous Last Supper mural by Leonardo da Vinci — another experience crossed-off my life list. Milan is a city with so many things to do but on this occasion , our visit was limited to the following:
- Leonardo’s Last Supper Mural > watch this reel;
- Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
- Lunch at Cafe de Ville
- Sforza Castle
- Milan Cathedral
- Rooftop Milan Cathedral > take a quick look at this reel;
- The Duomo Museum
- Pre-dinner drinks at Motta Milano
- Dinner at Biffi
For more ideas on places to experience in the fashion city of Italy, see the complete list of things to do in Milan to curate your itinerary for a day from Como.
On the other hand, if you wish to visit Lugano from Como on a day trip, below is a suggestion for you to consider.
Day trip to Lugano from Como
Lugano is situated in southern Switzerland and is one of the best cities to visit in this region. It is in the Italian speaking region of Ticino-Canton. The city of Lugano makes an easy day trip from Lake Como to Switzerland.
The easiest and most efficient way to visit Lugano from Lake Como is to take the train from Como San Giovanni Railway Station to Lugano. The distance is 24 km (15 miles) and the journey time on average is 43 minutes. Given its close proximity, Lugano is an ideal cross-border destination. Here’s what I suggest that can be done on a quick cross-border visit in Lugano:
What to do in Lugano for a day
- Visit the Catedrale San Lorenzo
- Walk along Lugano Lake
- Take the funicular up Mont Bre
- Explore the Old Town of Lugano
- Visit the Santa Maria degli Angioli Church
DAY 4 LAKE COMO ITINERARY: Explore Menaggio, Tremezzo and Argegno
On the fourth day in Como, see more of Lake Como by visiting the small lakeside village of Argegno, along with the historic and elegant towns of Menaggio and Tremezzo.
Explore the historic town of Menaggio
Menaggio is a picturesque town along the shores of Lake Como that boasts an elegant lake promenade. The town’s close proximity to the more popular and larger towns such as Bellagio and Varenna makes it a popular tourist destination. You can reach Menaggio from Ballagio or Varenna in 15 to 25 minutes.
Stroll through Via Calvi in Menaggio
Via Calvi is the main street of Menaggio that is home to several small boutiques, crafts and food shops. While strolling through this street, stop at the Church of Santa Maria, an ancient church that underwent renovations in the 19th century where historical remnants of the church are still noticeable.
Visit Menaggio’s town centre
In the heart of Menaggio is Piazza Garibaldi, an ancient square and a lovely place for coffee and ice cream. It offers beautiful views of the lake. If you can, stop at Cafe Del Press for some fresh coffee.
Enjoy the gorgeous waterfront
The lakeside promenade in Menaggio is a beautiful walkway flanked by lush green trees, colourful flowers and beautiful pastel coloured houses. This would be a perfect place to chill for a little while and enjoy the gorgeous waterfront views of Lake Como.
Visit the Old Town Menaggio
Take a walk to the medieval part of Menaggio. The old town is higher up in the hills and involves a steeped path, narrow alleys and ancient stone buildings. To get here, you need to first arrive at Via Castellino da Castello and continue along the perimeter walls of the ancient castle which are now demolished. Finally, continue on to Via Strecium to walk over the Senagra Stream and enjoy the cascading waterfall below.
Continuing on with day 4 of your 5-day Lake Como itinerary, make a stop at the hamlet of Tremezzo. Tremezzo can be reached by ferry from Menaggio that departs hourly and operates daily. You could take the bus which is a 10-minute ride from Menaggio to Tremezzo. Alternatively, you may want to hire a boat to take you.
Tremezzina is renowned for its awesome views of Lake Como, the ancient Tower of Rogaro and historic villas. The place is rich in atmosphere, incredible history and attractions. Some movie-scenes from Star Wars and James Bond were filmed here. Here are some of the highlights of this beautiful lakeside town.
Visit the magnificent Villa Carlotta
Villa Carlotta is a popular attraction on a Lake Como itinerary and for good reason. The Villa is a superb neoclassical property with expansive terraced gardens. Villa Carlotta dates back to the 17th century and houses a collection of arts and masterpieces.
Located just under 5 minutes from the Tremezzo’s pier, Villa Carlotta is open to the public and you could do a complete tour of the museum and gardens.
Address: Via Regina, 2 – 22016 Tremezzina
Hours: From 10:00 to 19:00 daily.
Entry fee is applicable and you can check for availability on their official website.
Another wonderful attraction in Tremezzina is Villa Balbianello. Villa Balbianello is an 18th century villa located at the tip of the Laveno headland. Surrounded only by nature, lush manicured gardens and brilliant views of the lake, Villa Balbianello is worth a visit if you can reach this part of Tremezzina.
To reach Villa Balbianello, you need to get to Lenno by ferry. From there you can walk to the villa in 15 minutes. Alternatively, you could hire a private taxi boat to take you there.
This famous villa has made an appearance in several movies including Casino Royale, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and A Month by the Lake. The Villa is a popular wedding venue as well.
Address: Via Guido Monzino, 1, 22016 Tremezzina CO, Italy
Villa Balbianello is open from mid-March to Mid-November. Daily from 10:00 to 18:00
Entry fee is applicable.
Make a quick stop at Argegno, Lake Como
Argegno (pronounced ar-GEE-nioh) is a small and characteristic hamlet that overlooks Lake Como. This small village is not glamorous like its neighbours (Como, Bellagio, Varenna) which is part of the charm of this unspoilt hamlet on the western shores of Lake Como.
Simplicity and a welcoming vibe is reminiscent of this authentic Italian village that sees fewer crowds. The colourful townhouses, the little church, stone stairs and old Romanesque bridge adds to the charm of this little village of just 688 inhabitants. This is a village where time has stood still and is perfect for an off the beaten path discovery. Argegno is an oasis of peace and it is hard not to fall in love with this unique tiny village. Here are a few things to experience in Argegno.
Argegno-Pigra Cable Car
The Argegno-Pigra cable car is one of the steepest in Europe. In just four minutes, the journey from Argegno covers a steep 648 metres climb and takes you to Pigra, a well-preserved little old village at the foot of the Alps. Once in Pigra, enjoy stunning views of the pristine lake and the surrounding verdant mountains. A return ticket costs €4.50.
Church of St Trinita
This parish church of Argegno has a simple decoration with a delightful bell chime. The church dates back to 1632 but was rebuilt in the 20th century. It was constructed using Moltrasio stone in neo-Romanesque style with a gabled facade enhanced by a rose window depicting saints.
Address: Via Lungo Telo di Sinistra, Italy
The Romanesque Bridge
Connecting the two banks along River Telo in the historical centre of Argegno is a Romanesque bridge. This magnificient ancient bridge adds to the charateristic glimpse of this peaceful town.
Walk along the lakefront
Walk along the lake front and the small harbour. Enjoy the spectacular views of the lake. It is just so peaceful here without the hurly-burly and the crowds of the main towns.
Recommended read: Argegno: All the things you’d love to know about this hidden hamlet
DAY 5 LAKE COMO ITINERARY: Visiting the Best of Como Part II
On this final day in Lake Como, explore the best of Como city which you have not visited. Here are some of the things you could do to round-up your trip to the spectacular city of Como.
Ride the Como-Brunate Funicular
For a breathtaking view of the City of Como and the lake, take the 7-minute Como-Brunate funicular up to the mountain village of Brunate. The funicular railway has linked Como and Brunate since 1894 and is the quickest way to access the mountain top from the city. Brunate is situated at 715 metres high and overlooks Como, giving spectacular views of the city.
Brunate is also a great starting point for nature walks and for road-biking.
There are two main viewing points in Brunate for staggering views of Como. One is near the funicular station and the other is at the Volta Lighthouse (Faro Voltiano), built in memory of Alessandro Volta.
The Volta Lighthouse is situated 150 metres above Brunate, on a hill in San Maurizio. From Brunate Funicular Station, you need to take a walking path up to the Volta Lighthouse. It takes about 30 minutes to walk the trek but be mindful that the trek is steep and the stony paths are poorly maintained.
You can pay a small admission fee and climb to the top of the lighthouse for jaw-dropping views of the lake, the valley towards Switzerland and the Alps.
Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips about the Como-Brunate Funicular:
1 | The Como-Brunate Funicular runs every 30 minutes; The journey is a 7-minute ride.
2 | In the winter months, the service operates from 06:00 to 22:30;
3 | In the summer months and on weekends, the service operates from 06:30 to midnight.
4 | When the funicular is closed for maintenance, a bus service is available from Como-Brunate-Como that runs every 30 minutes.
5 | Check the official website of Como-Brunate for the latest info and prices.
6 | If you are trekking to the lighthouse, use appropriate footwear for the not-so-easy trek of 1.3 km.
7 | There is one shop in Brunate for coffee/tea and snacks. They do not accept card payments, so plan ahead to have some cash with you if you plan to take a break here.
Stroll the Como lakeside promenade
Upon your return to Como from your morning trip up to Brunate, you will come to the lakefront. You could go right and the promenade leads you to jetties and a water feature in the lake in front of Villa Geno.
Take the left and the promenade leads you to the nicer part of the lakeside. The path leads towards the pier and ticket offices. Go past these, and you will come to a footbridge that goes half-way to the lake. This offers many photo opportunities with the backdrop of the comings and goings of boats and ferries.
Keep walking along the lakeside promenade and take your time to explore. Along this walk you will come to Tempio Voltiano (Volta Museum), Monumento Ai Caduti (War Memorial), the football stadium, the local rowing club and all the way to the Aeroclub. The Aeroclub offers flying lessons and flights over Lake Como.
The promenade continues through to Passeggiata Villa Olmo.
This is a beautiful walk path with wonderful views of the lake, many picnic spots, villas and gardens leading to the majestic Villa Olmo itself.
Visit Villa Olmo
Villa Olmo is an impressive neoclassical building which dates back to the 1780s. It was originally designed as a summer retreat but these days, Villa Olmo is the centre for prestigious exhibitions and conferences. The gardens are open to the public daily and it is truly relaxing to be around the lush greenery to while away some time.
Address: Via Simone Cantoni, 1, 22100 Como CO, Italy
Hours from 10:00 to 18:00, Tuesday to Sunday.
Head to Villa del Grumello
A little further out of Villa Olmo’s car park and across the road is a hidden gem of Como. The secluded Villa Grumello is a historical mansion situated amidst a breathtaking majestic setting. This wonderful park overlooks Lake Como and features a pretty greenhouse, lovely lake and a pond where water lillies and plants thrive. Some trees here are over a thousand years old and some redwoods along with Ginkgo Biloba. There are panoramic trails across the garden that offer different views of Lake Como.
The Villa itself can only be experienced through special events but the grounds are accessible by the public.
Villa Grumello is one of three villas which is a stop along the “Kilometer of Knowledge”. The “Kilometer of Knowledge” is a pedestrian path that allows you to admire Como and Lake Como from different points of view. The other two villas are Villa Olmo and Villa Sucota.
Address: Via Per Cernobbio, 11, 22100 Como CO, Italy
Official website: Villa del Grumello
Recommended read: 17+ Best Things to do in Como City, Italy
WHERE TO EAT IN COMO CITY
Como is a unique city by the lake and offers varying choices when it comes to local cuisine. Seafood and fish feature highly in their menu as well as mountain cheese and polenta. We ate at all of these places and we were not disappointed.
1 | Pepe Nero for a quick and easy pizza or pasta dishes that will not go wrong.
2 | Mediterranee Bistrot di mare Pizza for some of the best in seafood pasta dishes.
3 | The Clock Restaurant for simple home-made dishes of spaghetti bolognese or seafood pasta. Tripadvisor reviews aren’t great on this one but we enjoyed our meal. It was plentiful and inexpensive along with a friendly and fast service.
4 | Ristorante da Pietro is at the heart of Como in Piazza del Duomo. It was good food and drinks along with good service.
5 | Gelateria Lariana for the best gelato in Como! Situated next to Metropole Suisse Hotel. The queues are always long here and you know that it must be good. And it was 🙂 I enjoyed my double scoop of pistachio and vanilla.
Would you like to visit another famous Italian lake?
If so, here’s my guide to places to visit in Lake Garda:
Lake Como is one of the most gorgeous places in northern Italy that exudes tranquility. The snow-capped mountains, and the beautiful villages that hug its shore line are akin to magical settings. The scenic beauty here is nothing short of incredible and there were many timeless moments which we will cherish. I finally got to visit this region of Italy which I had long wanted to.
We totally loved exploring Lake Como by boat and enjoyed our day trip to Milan by train.
Before you leave, take a look at the ultimate travel guide to Lake Como. You may like my suggestions and travel tips about this region, so you are fully informed of all possibilities.
I sincerely hope that this Lake Como itinerary helps you plan your visit. Add as many days as possible because there is plenty to do in Lake Como and you will not be bored. If you have any questions, just leave a comment below and I will get back to you.
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