For centuries the residence of the aristocracy, after princesses, marquises, sultans and tsars, since 1873 is an elegant five-star resort, a charming hotel of the most celebrated in the world. Luxury, lake view and the art of living well in a suggestive experience that fills the eyes and inspires the mind.
Perched on the eastern shore of Lake Como, Varenna is a charming fishing village, to be visited slowly, walking romantically on the lakefront, to admire the reflections of the water and the facades of the colorful houses. The parish church of San Giorgio, whose façade is enriched by a large fresco depicting Saint Christopher, is a basilica with three naves, consecrated in 1313. The most precious work in it is the "Deposition of the Cross" in colored stone. From the church of San Giorgio, continuing along Via IV Novembre, you will see Villa Isimbrandi or dei Cipressi, now a hotel, with its garden and terraces where plants of rare beauty live. A little further on you will find Villa Monastero, once the spiritual retreat of the Cistercian nuns of Santa Maria Maddalena, which preserves important sculptures among which the Clemenza di Tito stands out, Giovan Battista Comolli's last unfinished work in a botanical garden among the most beautiful of the Lake of Como.
Ossuccio is a pre-Roman village that rises on Lake Como. In its hamlet of Ospedaletto stands the famous bell tower of the church of Santa Maria Maddalena. On the Sacro Monte, above the village of Ossuccio, the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Soccorso from the 16th century preserves a venerated statue of the Virgin.
Bellagio is located right on the promontory that divides Lake Como in two branches: it is the heart, the pearl of Lario. The old village, where ancient and evocative houses follow each other, is crossed by mysterious alleys and characteristic cobbled staircases overlooked by colorful shops. Bellagio, like Varenna, is a very romantic village. Closely connected to the name of Bellagio we find that of Villa Melzi with its fantastic gardens overlooking the lake and the park of Villa Serbelloni, the center of studies and conventions of the Rockefeller Foundation of New York, with its gardens alternating with woods with plants secular and exotic, which occupy a large part of the Bellagio promontory.
The square overlooking the water and the elegant promenade on the lakefront are only a small part of the village. Absolutely worth seeing in Cernobbio: the sixteenth century Villa d'Este, now transformed into a luxury hotel and the nineteenth-century Villa Erba, where Luchino Visconti stayed.
The Trail of the Wayfarer is an ancient trade route, connecting Milan and Switzerland, which runs along the Lecco side of Lake Como from Abbadia to Colico for 45 km. The stretch between Varenna and Bellano is a simple half-way walk through chestnut woods and cultivated slopes with evocative views of the lake. The route is well marked and can be covered all year round. The return can be easily done by train using the Lecco-Colico line.
Thanks to its central position Menaggio is an excellent base for discovering Lake Como. The town is characterized by a central square and a beautiful long lake that offers a unique view of the lake. Menaggio has ancient origins and in its historic center there are many important artistic legacies that can be discovered through an interesting itinerary that will take you to know the country in depth.
Villa Monastero is located in Varenna, Province of Lecco, on the shore of Lake Como. The villa lies south of the village, halfway between Varenna and Fiumelatte, and includes a botanical garden, a museum, and a convention center. The villa hosts summer courses for the "Enrico Fermi" International School of Physics, and has heard lectures by more than thirty-four Nobel Laureates.
The Voltiano Lighthouse is a monument dedicated to Alexander Vault, inventor of the electric battery. 29 meters high, it dominates the lake and allows you to admire the Lario from above and the entire valley below. The Volta lighthouse was erected in 1927 as was the Volta Temple, on the occasion of the centenary of Volta's death and to celebrate the recent advent of a modern network for lighting and for the diffusion of electricity in the city of Como. The designer of the lighthouse is the engineer Gabriele Giussani.
Villa Olmo is a neoclassical villa located in the city of Como, northern Italy. The villa was commissioned by marquis Innocenzo Odescalchi from Swiss architect Simone Cantoni in 1797. As it was designed to be a summer retreat for the aristocracy, it was built alongside the lake. The villa was named after an elm tree planted in the middle of the ornate gardens, which is no longer alive today. It was acquired in 1924 by the municipality of Como and today is open to the public only during exhibitions, while the lakeside gardens are freely accessible during the daytime.
In 1894 the Como-Brunate funicular was inaugurated, a symbol of the development of public transport during that period, when each center of the province was connected to the main town by a series of public transport lines. Starting from the Funicular Square in Brunate, you can take beautiful walks.
The Greenway of Lake Como is a pleasant walk that leads us to the discovery of ancient villages, villas and gardens, Romanesque and Baroque churches, immersed in the enchanting natural landscape of the western shore of Lake Como. An itinerary of about 11 km that crosses the municipalities of Colonno, Sala Comacina, Tremezzina and Griante, following the ancient Via Regina. The walk is suitable for everyone and can be covered in about 3 and a half hours or in stages, with the possibility of making short detours from the path to visit one of the many attractions of the area.
The Spina Verde park in Como is a regional park in Lombardy; it extends over the hilly strip northwest of Como and largely borders with Switzerland. The territory is interesting from different points of view: first of all nature, which has particular geological and vegetational aspects, archeology, due to the remains of the proto-historic Como and its history, with important historical traces of Como, in particular the the Baradello castle and the Cadorna line. Also remarkable is the landscape and hiking value of the park area, which offers exceptional panoramic views over the Lombard plain, the Prealps, and Lake Como.
The Orrido di Bellano is a waterfall located in a gorge in the municipality of Bellano (LC). It can be visited thanks to the walkway anchored to the rocky walls that runs through the entire gorge equipped with lighting system. The legend tells of a warrior named Taino, who local imagination wants buried right in the depths of the Orrido di Bellano, along with his immense treasure, guarded by a huge stone that covers the burial.
Isola Comacina is a small wooded island of Lake Como, administratively a part of the commune of Ossuccio. In the late 6th century (c. 587) the island was a remaining Roman stronghold under Francio, a subordinate of Narses; though the areas surrounding Lake Como were entirely controlled by the Lombards. The island was besieged for a good deal of time by the Lombards under Authari who released Francio to flee back to Narses' capital at Ravenna. The Lombards found the island to contain "many riches" deposited for safekeeping by local Roman loyalists. The island was invaded in 1169 by Frederick Barbarossa and soldiers from the town of Como. In 1175, Vidulfo, the Bishop of Como, cursed the island with the following words, "The bells will never ring, the rocks will never be placed one over the other, nobody will do here the work of the publican, the punishment a violent death." In 1919 the island was given to Belgium, in homage to King Albert I. The island was returned the following year.Pietro Lingeri built three houses on the island in 1939. His idea was to turn the island into a colony for artists. The houses were built in a rationalist style, made from local materials and without much decoration.The island now consists of a restaurant, cafe, a collection of archaeological sites and the three artist houses.
The Villa del Balbianello is a villa in the comune of Lenno (province of Como), Italy, overlooking Lake Como. It is located on the tip of the small wooded peninsula of Dosso d'Avedo on the western shore of the south-west branch of Lake Como, not far from the Isola Comacina and is famous for its elaborate terraced gardens.
The villa was built around 1690 at the behest of the marquis Giorgio II Clerici to celebrate the origins of Como and the success of the family. It was thanks to the second owner Giambattista Sommariva that the villa reached its peak in the nineteenth century, enriching itself with works of art and becoming a real museum. The park of Villa Carlotta (about 8 hectares can be visited) is a place of great charm for the harmonious cohabitation of styles, the richness of essences, the literary suggestions that make it an unmissable destination for those arriving on Lake Como.
The gardens of Villa Melzi stretch along the lake shore and blend harmoniously into the hilly surroundings of the Bellagio peninsula that divides the two branches of the lake. Inside, the villa, the chapel and the orange treehouse, now set up as a historical museum, are a splendid expression of neoclassical style, and as such declared a national monument.