Home DestinationsDestination: Italy Exploring Lake Como: Four Enchanting Day Trips

Exploring Lake Como: Four Enchanting Day Trips

Four little gems worth a visit while you stay at Lake Como

Nestled in the heart of Northern Italy, Lake Como is renowned for its stunning landscapes, charming towns, and luxurious villas. While the lake itself offers plenty of attractions, venturing out on day trips can enhance your Lake Como experience. Here are four enchanting day trips, each showcasing a different facet of this exquisite region.

1. Bellagio: The Pearl of Lake Como

No visit to Lake Como is complete without exploring Bellagio, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Lake.” Situated at the intersection of the lake’s three branches, Bellagio offers panoramic views, elegant villas, and lush gardens.

Begin your day with a leisurely stroll along Bellagio’s picturesque promenade, lined with charming cafes and boutiques. Visit the iconic Villa Melzi, where you can wander through beautifully landscaped gardens adorned with statues, exotic plants, and a Japanese pond. The villa’s museum offers insights into its rich history and art collection.

For lunch, indulge in traditional Italian cuisine at one of the lakeside restaurants. Savor fresh seafood, homemade pasta, and local wine while enjoying the serene lake views.

In the afternoon, take a boat ride to explore nearby attractions. The Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo, known for its art and botanic gardens, is a short ferry ride away. Alternatively, venture to the quaint fishing village of Varenna, where you can explore the Castello di Vezio and its falconry displays.


2. Como: A Blend of History and Modernity

The city of Como, located at the southern tip of the lake, seamlessly blends historical charm with modern amenities. A day trip to Como offers a rich tapestry of cultural, architectural, and culinary experiences.

Start your exploration with a visit to the Como Cathedral (Duomo di Como), a stunning example of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Nearby, the Broletto, the medieval town hall, and the Basilica of San Fedele are also worth visiting.

Take a leisurely walk along the lakefront promenade to Villa Olmo, a neoclassical masterpiece surrounded by beautiful gardens. The villa frequently hosts art exhibitions and cultural events.

For lunch, head to the historic center, where you’ll find an array of trattorias offering traditional dishes like risotto al pesce persico (perch risotto) and polenta. Afterward, indulge in some shopping at Como’s stylish boutiques or the renowned silk shops.

In the afternoon, take the funicular railway to Brunate, a hilltop village offering breathtaking views of Lake Como and the Alps. Enjoy a hike through scenic trails or relax with a drink at a café while soaking in the panoramic vistas.

3. Morcote: A Swiss Gem on Lake Lugano

For a touch of Swiss charm, head to Morcote, a picturesque village on the shores of Lake Lugano, just a short drive from Lake Como. Known for its idyllic setting and charming architecture, Morcote offers a tranquil escape with a unique cultural flavor.

Start your day with a visit to the Church of Santa Maria del Sasso, perched on a hillside overlooking the lake. The church, with its beautiful frescoes and serene atmosphere, is a highlight of Morcote. Stroll through the village’s narrow streets, lined with historic houses and inviting cafes.

For lunch, dine at one of the lakeside restaurants, savoring Swiss-Italian fusion cuisine. Enjoy dishes like risotto with saffron and local fish, paired with Swiss wines.

In the afternoon, explore Parco Scherrer, a stunning garden filled with exotic plants, sculptures, and pavilions. The park offers a peaceful retreat with breathtaking views of Lake Lugano and the surrounding mountains.

Before returning to Lake Como, take a leisurely boat ride on Lake Lugano, soaking in the serene beauty of the region and the charming lakeside villages.


4. Bergamo: A Hidden Gem of Medieval and Renaissance Charm

A visit to Bergamo offers a delightful surprise. Divided into the historic Upper Town (Città Alta) and the modern Lower Town (Città Bassa), Bergamo is rich in medieval and Renaissance architecture.

Start your day in the Città Alta, accessed via a funicular that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Wander through the narrow, cobblestone streets and visit the Piazza Vecchia, the heart of the Upper Town. Here, you’ll find the Palazzo della Ragione, the ancient town hall, and the beautiful Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, adorned with intricate frescoes and tapestries.

For lunch, dine at one of the many charming trattorias in the Città Alta, where you can enjoy local specialties like casoncelli (stuffed pasta) and polenta e osei (polenta with small birds).

In the afternoon, explore the Venetian walls that encircle the Upper Town, offering panoramic views of the Lombardy plains. Before heading back to Lake Como, take some time to explore the modern Lower Town, where you can enjoy contemporary shopping and vibrant cafes.

Bergamo Alta


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