Just outside of Milan, one of Italy’s busiest cities, peace and tranquility await you along the banks of Lake Como. A popular resort, Lake Como is famous for its alpine mountains, lush landscape and many antiquities. Movies such as A Month by the Lake have been filmed along Lake Como, and this is the ideal spot for a bit of quiet luxury of your own while you take a break from your travels.
In the town of Como, you’ll find Piazza Cavour on the banks of the lake. This is arguably the best spot for the breathtaking views the lake offers. The cathedral in the piazza is considered one of the most interesting and best examples of transitional architecture combining a gothic façade and classic 18th century elements.
In Como, the walled Old Town contains more sights to see including four hundred year old buildings designed by maestri comacini, or the Masters of Como. These sites include Porta Vittoria, the impressive tower atop the old wall, Baradello Tower which offers terrific views and San Corpoforo, and impressive basilica.
Cernobbio is just a short drive away from Como, and is a required stop as your tour the lake front. The town with its interesting homes and narrow alleys was the setting of A Month by the Lake, and it’s easy to see why someone would spend a month in this splendid location. Nearby is the most luxurious resort in the area, Villa D’Este. The resort’s rooms are like museum galleries and the grounds are most impressive. Villa D’Este boasts Italy’s only floating swimming pool.
Lake Como’s only island, Isola Comacina, is accessible by ferry. The best time to visit the island is the week following June 24th. This is when St. John’s Day is celebrated with a mass held in the ruins of the S. Eufemia basilica. A procession complete with costumes is included and the evening is topped off with fireworks.
On the northern side of the lake, Bellaggio is considered to be the most beautiful city in all of Italy. It’s called la perla del lago, or the pearl of the lake, and this description is appropriate for a town with narrow cobbled streets, outstanding views, interesting buildings and beautiful villas. A day might not be enough in this beautiful spot by the lake, you might wind up taking a full month to enjoy its wonders.