Lake Como: one of the most sought after places in Italy

by 22/12/2020

Grazie alla sua antica e naturale bellezza il lago di Como sta diventando uno dei luoghi più ambiti d’Italia, complici i suoi paesaggi, la sua storia e la sua cultura. Questo però non significa che il suo fascino è passato inosservato fino ad oggi, anzi! Fin dall’epoca romana ha ospitato ricchi ed aristocratici e da allora la sua popolarità è in continua crescita, tanto da guadagnarsi il titolo di lago più bello al mondo nel 2014 secondo l’Huffington Post per merito dell’invidiabile microclima e il suo ambiente costellato da ville prestigiose. I suoi paesaggi sono talmente incantevoli da fare da sfondo alla storia d’amore di Renzo e Lucia raccontata dal grande Alessandro Manzoni nel suo celebre romanzo I promessi sposi.

"That branch of Lake Como, which turns towards noon, between two uninterrupted chains of mountains, all in the breasts and gulfs, depending on the protrusion and return of those, almost suddenly shrinks, and takes course and figure of a river, between a promontory on the right, and a broad coastline on the other side; and the bridge, which joins the two banks there, seems to make this transformation even more sensitive to the eye, and marks the point where the lake ceases, and the Adda begins again, to then take back the name of lake where the shores, moving away again, they let the water relax and slow down into new gulfs and new breasts. "

Whether you visit in summer or winter, the Lake Como area offers activities suitable for every season, suggestive villages, ancient traditions and a typical gastronomic culture to be discovered. Thanks to these qualities, the lake is a complete destination suitable for everyone.

Lago di Como: uno dei luoghi più ricercati d’Italia

The landscapes of Lake Como

On the Como shore you can visit the center of Como which contains numerous places of interest such as the Duomo , considered one of the most beautiful monuments in northern Italy and built in different styles. Despite its harmonious beauty, Palazzo Broletto and the Volta Temple do not go unnoticed. Not to mention the Como-Brunate funicular which connects the lake to the mountain, famous for its precious panoramic points that allow you to look out over the lake.

Sulla sponda comasca si può visitare il centro di Como che racchiude numerosi luoghi d’interesse come il Duomo, considerato uno dei monumenti più belli del nord Italia e costruito in diversi stili. Nonostante la sua armoniosa bellezza non passano inosservati Palazzo Broletto e il Tempio Voltiano. Per non parlare della funicolare Como-Brunate che collega il lago alla montagna famosa per i preziosi punti panoramici che permettono di affacciarsi sul lago. 

From here it is possible to take splendid cruises on the lake allowing you to see Bellagio and Varenna , famous for their exotic gardens and large luxurious villas.

A town that makes the lake one of the most beautiful Italian destinations is undoubtedly Bellagio or rather the pearl of Lake Como famous for its houses colorful and its small characteristic alleys. Here nobles and rich bourgeois built luxurious villas in which illustrious personalities such as Napoleon Bonaparte were hosted.

One of the most elegant places is Cernobbio , known for its enchanting views and for the presence of the famous Villa d'Este built in the sixteenth century and transformed into a hotel in 1873 with a amazing lake view. Home of artists in search of inspiration, the Comacina island , almost uninhabited, houses the remains of the Romanesque church of Sant'Eufemia and is considered a UNESCO site.

For nature lovers this is the right place for the presence of parks and protected nature reserves among which the Pian di Spagna reserve, the Valle Albano park and the Malascarpa reserve .

Città di Bellagio

Popular traditions of Lake Como

In order not to forget the past and its origins, various events that are part of the culture of the lake territories are still celebrated today. One of these is the Pesa Vegia which takes place every 5th January in Bellano where the procession of the Magi, the race of the scales and the bonfire on the pier are staged. Over the years, other events have been added such as the living nativity scene and the reading of the edict from the balcony of the Town Hall.

What makes Como one of the most fascinating places in Italy are also the historical re-enactments that take place during the lake festival in Varenna and the festival of San Giovanni to the Comacina island. During these events, the landing in Varenna in 1169 and the fire of the island by Federico Barbarossa are recalled, followed by the fireworks display on the lake. To complete this event, good music and a tasting of typical dishes and local specialties cannot be missing.

Isola Comacina

One of the oldest traditions in Lombardy is the carnival of Schignano with traditional wooden masks as protagonists, the celebrations begin on the night between 5 and 6 January and continue until February and March. The parade is based on the figure of the beautiful wearing refined clothes, hats adorned with flowers embellished with bows and pheasant feathers and the figure of the ugly dressed in ruined clothes who carry with them everyday objects such as brooms, suitcases and broken umbrellas.

Representing the first inhabitants of the valley are the sapör as well as the Mascarun , the mask of the rich local lord and that of his wife, the Cioca , who always complains about her husband. Keeping order is the Sigurtà who lead the procession to Cima where it ends.

Among events, festivals, exhibitions and parties, you can completely immerse yourself in the typical Larian culture and feel like a local. 

Città di Varenna

Typical dishes and products of Lake Como

In one of the most attractive Italian towns you cannot miss a typical gastronomic culture linked to the flavors of the lake but also to the rustic ones of the mountains and hills. The queen of earthy dishes is polenta prepared by mixing corn and buckwheat flour and seasoned with butter, garlic and cheese. Accompanies fish, meat, game, cheeses and sausages. The lake offers many freshwater fish such as trout, eel, chub, zander and burbot. Fish is the protagonist of numerous dishes such as fried bleak , the famous misultin (grilled agoni and eaten with polenta), whitefish in carpione Fried and marinated in vinegar with onion and thyme or the perch risotto .

Risotto al Pesce Persico

Among the cheeses there is plenty of choice , you can find both goat and cow cheeses. Some of these are Alpe cheese, Nostrano, Semuda , Magro di Bellagio , fiorone della Valsassina, Zincarlin, Ricotta del Lario, Lariano , the Casoretta della Val d'Intelvi and the stracchino.

Near the Lario there are some DOP products such as Gorgonzola, Taleggio, Bitto and Valtellina Casera.

There is no shortage of meats and salami , goat, fillet and Milan salami are typical together with hams and liver mortadella . There are also Luganega sausage, cotechino and bresaola IGP .

Even in one of the most beautiful places in Italy there is a beautiful production of oil because there are so many olive trees thanks to the mild climate and the particularly suitable soil, so the ' oil from the Lombard lakes and Lario DOP oil . Another important ingredient of Larian cuisine is flour , essential for preparing polenta, bread and desserts, including the paradel with apples or Braschin ( Sweet focaccia).

Along with good food, you need a good wine such as the IGP Terre Lariane produced in the Domaso area.

paradello con le mele

In questa zona stupenda sono presenti molti ristoranti ed alberghi di tutte le fasce. Dagli alberghi di lusso all’interno di bellissime ville, ristoranti raffinati con vista sul lago fino alle trattorie caratteristiche chiamate crotti originariamente usate come celle frigorifere per conservare vino, formaggio e salumi. I ristoratori e albergatori si impegnano quotidianamente per permettere ai fortunati turisti di vivere il lago nella migliore maniera possibile.

Visiting Lake Como means treating yourself to an unforgettable experience, have you ever been there? What would you absolutely visit? Let us know below in the comments!