I have been on Lake Como, in Lenno, practically since I was a child. Whether it’s spring, summer, autumn or winter, I can say that I know all of its finest seasonal nuances. It was about two years that I was missing but this summer I recovered, because, even if it seems strange, I admit I can not get more than the sea. In that corner of paradise I saw the most beautiful skies, it’s always green and my son never gets tired of the company of ducks and swans. So, after refreshing my memory, I thought it might be interesting to tell a little bit about what it’s worth visiting on Lake Como.
Discovering Lake Como
Lake Como (also called Lario), latitude 45 ° 59 ‘25.08 “N, longitude 9 ° 15’ 42.12” E, altitude above sea level 197.39 m. With its surface of 145 km² is the natural lake with greater perimeter extension (170 km) and the deepest one in Italy. Think that from an average depth of 161 m it reaches its maximum around 410/418 m. Not bad, right? Located in the territories of the provinces of Como and Lecco has the form of an inverted “Y” and has always been one of the most chic and high-end tourist destinations. It is no coincidence that it is dotted with prestigious villas and large luxury hotels. In short, the times when he was remembered only for the setting in the novel “I promessi sposi” by Alessandro Manzoni are far away. Lake Como is something else and much more. About 50 km north of Milan, it is also one of the favorite destinations of the DOC Milanese. And with this let me gloat a little bit. ;P
What to visit on Lake Como near Lenno
Always residing in Lenno, I can only speak to you about that area and advise you on the places that I really deserve to be seen at least once in a lifetime. I state that any town along the lakefront is characteristic and evocative. I have limited myself to talking to you about the ones I habitually attend, almost as if I lived there.
Ossuccio and the Comacina Island
Ossuccio is the village before Lenno in front of the Comacina Island and you should visit the Sacro Monte di Ossuccio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine del Soccorso. Isola Comacina, on the other hand, is the only island found throughout Lake Como and is the Milanese property of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. Very small and now uninhabited there are only a small church and a restaurant with some ruin of the times that were. Around the last week of June he is metaphorically given fire during the feast of St. John, covering it with fireworks. A truly unique and fascinating show worthy of note.
Lenno and Villa Balbianello
Lenno has a romantic lakefront with delightful corners. To visit there is the collegiate church of Santo Stefano and the Romanesque baptistery. On the tip of the peninsula of Lavedo (Tra Ossuccio and Lenno) stands Villa Balbianello instead. FAI heritage and famous above all as a film location. Recently, the second episode of Star Wars and Casino Royale was filmed. The villa dates back to the eighteenth century and was built by a cardinal on a Franciscan monastery. It has been inherited for years, family after family, with ups and downs between improvements and state of neglect until the 70s when it was bought by an explorer who left her after his death at the FAI. The latter keeps it as it was and in fact inside it is impossible not to taste the magic of the travels of its last owner. It can be visited almost every day and to get there I strongly recommend that you take the whole forest walk starting from Lenno.
Tremezzo and Villa Carlotta
Tremezzo is located continuing north after Lenno. Known are its public gardens designed by Pietro Lingeri and Villa Carlotta famous for the works of art on display inside and the huge terraced garden that surrounds it. Villa Carlotta dates back to the late 1600s and was built by a Marquis. Later it passed to an art collector and ended up in the 1800s as a wedding present to Carlotta. Daughter of a princess from whom she took the name she still wears. Since the end of the 1920s a specific body has been set up specifically for the management of the villa, the works and the huge garden. You can visit two of the three floors plus the garden that offers over 500 species of different plants and flowers. If you are lucky enough to visit it during the period of full bloom, you will remain in your heart.
Menaggio is the country a little bigger in the area. Let’s say that if you want a little shopping nearby or simply a more stocked supermarket you go there. It has a beautiful lakeside promenade and in the central square is full of bars, restaurants and cute places for an aperitif with friends. Honestly I can not tell if there is anything to visit because in case I miss it, however, if I find out I promise that I will update the post or if you know, please let me know that I provide.
Varenna is one of my favorite villages. Born as a fishing village it is located on the other side of the lake more or less in front of Menaggio and with the boat from Lenno can be reached in just under an hour. Turn it all is a must because it has some fabulous views and alleys, it is pure magic. It is also unforgettable to travel along the long lake that is called “walk of lovers“. If you do it with your loved one it is even more so. Also worth visiting is Villa Monastero, a museum house with a wonderful garden, the Castello di Vezio, the Church of San Giorgio and that of San Giovanni Battista.
Bellagio is located in a unique position. Right on the branch of Lake Como, and I think it is the most famous holiday resort in the area. From Lenno it can be reached by boat in half an hour and is surrounded by villas that are more beautiful than the other. However, only the gardens of Villa Melzi and Villa Serbelloni can be visited, the others have to admire them entirely from the outside. Villa Melzi stands on the lakefront going towards Como while Villa Serbelloni dominates the village from its promontory. Finally, the archpriest church of San Giovanni Battista and the Basilica of San Giacomo are not bad either.
Finally, as far as the food is concerned, I would like to point out to you in Lenno the lakefront restaurant of the Hotel Plinio which, besides making the best perch of the area, always has an excellent menu of typical dishes. But now no more talk, I leave you with a few images that certainly make the idea of the places and atmospheres better than my words.