The Alluring Lake Como, Italy

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Advisor - Angela Harms
Curated By

Angela Harms

  • Lake Como

  • Italy

  • Adventure Travel

  • Outdoor & Nature

  • Nature Escapes

  • Relaxation

  • Mountains

  • Local Food

grand hotel on a lake
Curator’s statement

Lake Como is a hidden treasure among northern Italy. With the mountainous landscapes, to the food and culture, Lake Como is truly a destination to immerse yourself in. Lake Como is known for the beauty of being one of the world's biggest freshwater lakes and it lives up to that name. With many cities overlooking the lake, there is shopping, fantastic eateries and beautiful religious landscapes.

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Where to stay

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Day 1: Lake Como: Check-in, market & dinner at Osteria al Vecchio Bacucco

Lake Como and houses view.

A common arrival time for Lake Como is late afternoon. First on the to-do list is to check into your hotel and head to the neighborhood market to grab a quick snack.

Once dinnertime hits, go to your local family-owned restaurant in the neighborhood that you are staying in. After eating your homemade pasta, I recommend getting tiramisu for dessert. A coffee soaked sponge cake with a hint of brandy, layered with cheese and powdered chocolate, is a delicious traditional Italian dessert that is a must on your list of foods to try. I recommend Osteria al Vecchio Bacucco restaurant, as it has easily become one of my favorite restaurants in the Lake Como area.

Day 2: Lake Como: Ferry to Varenna, gelato at La Gelateri & Bar Il Molo for bruschetta and pizza

Colorful buildings on a cliffside in Italy.

After waking up from a good nights rest, enjoy a cup of coffee on the patio and look out at the beautiful view. Once ready for the day, book a ferry trip to the nearby city of Varenna. In this lakefront city there are plenty of places to eat, as well as visiting La Gelateria along the walkway to get some delicious fresh gelato.

Depending on how many little shops you stopped in, it is either lunch or dinner time. Stop by Bar Il Molo for a glass of wine or hot chocolate, and start off by having their bruschetta and finishing off with classic Italian pizza. Overlooking the lake and mountains, this is a perfect way to end your day trip to Varenna.

Day 3: Lugano: Shopping, public gardens, local restaurant & gelato food truck

Sea side Italian town, Lake Como in front of mountains on a cloudy but sunny day.

Although today you will be traveling to Lugano, Switzerland, there is no need to rise early. With an hour car drive, you will enter a new country with remarkable views. In Lugano, there is plenty of shopping, both luxury and local. I also recommend taking a walk through their gorgeous public gardens, with many different types of flowers, trees and sculptures. It's also a perfect place to take pictures for Insta! Once done, stop by a local restaurant for something to eat, and stop at a gelato food truck for some yummy desert.

Day 4: Milan: Milan Cathedral, busy streets, stained glass windows, top of the cathedral & shopping mall

cobblestone street in the rain at night

When ready, hop onto a train and head to Milan, Italy. With a ride of two hours or less, Milan is famous attraction that is known for Duomo di Milano, or also known as the Milan Cathedral. Once arrived at a train station near the Cathedral, take a walk through the busy streets full of the smells of local food and listen to all of the languages of everyone around the world. The Milan Cathedral is open for tours, and the one I recommend is going to the top of the structure. When inside of the cathedral you will see the most beautiful stained glass windows and steps leading to the open air, where at the top it is a breathtaking view. After the cathedral, head to the huge shopping mall only steps away for some food, drinks and even more shopping!

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Travel Advisor Bella Rose's guide to Italy, The All-Access Guide to Ischia, Italy.

Advisor - Angela Harms

Travel Advisor

Angela Harms

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This is part of our our longer series on travel to Italy.