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Described by poet William Wordsworth as a “treasure whom the earth keeps to herself,” Lake Como is the center of a region that’s both wild and civilized, decadent and low-key, enormous and intimate.

Cheat Sheet

  • Sleep…in a lake view suite at the grand Villa d’Este
  • ExperienceVilla Balbianello, a stunning property that was featured in Casino Royal
  • Splurge…on a private boat to see the lake’s most stunning villas from the water
  • Eat…at Il Gatto Nero, a hillside restaurant with incredible views
  • Drink…wine at Locanda dell’Isola Comacina, a decades-old restaurant on an island
  • Savor…simple Italian cooking at Giardino Ristorante Pizzeria, a casual local favorite
  • VisitBellagio and walk the charming streets
  • See…Switzerland from one of the mountains surrounding the lake during a hike
  • Shop…for silk with a guide who can take you to the best workshops
  • Know…that as an Indagare member you can contact our Bookings Team for customized recommendations and itineraries

Lay of the Land

“The precise location of heaven on earth has never been established but it may very well be right here.”
~Herb Caen

The third biggest lake in Italy and just 50 miles from Milan, Como is surrounded by the pre-Alps, which plunge from 5,000 feet into the water (which, unfortunately, is unswimmable at times due to pollution). The lake is so deep (1,300 feet; the deepest in Europe), it has an air of the unknowable; locals murmur rumors of giant mysterious creatures that reside in its depths. The cliffs are so steep that the vast majority of development is in the form of small towns that wind along the foothills close to the shore. Above, the mountains are wild, unspoiled and thickly forested. When exploring the lake by boat (the preferred method of transportation), every once in a while you will spot a lone house or church on an impossibly high hillside perch so precarious that it appears the only way to reach the front door is by parachute.

Located at the southwestern tip of the lake is Como, the region’s main town and, as a result, its most commercial. Heading north along the western coast are the towns of Cernobbio and Tremezzo (home to Villa d’Este and Grand Hotel Tremezzo, respectively), along with a number of small, charming towns in between. The southern part of the lake splits in two (picture an upside down Y), and the town of Bellagio is set on the tip of the peninsula between both sides. Similar to Como, the town attracts tourists, but its cobblestoned streets and pastel houses make it a more charming place to visit.

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Beyond… Lake Como

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