Itineraries on Lake Como
In this section you can find helpful information about the most beautiful and
romantic spots on Lake Como.
While staying at the Hotel Meridiana you will have the opportunity to make day
trips to Bellagio, Bellano, Colico, Como, Gravedona, Lecco, Menaggio and
Lago di Como (Lake Como Navigation Service) ensures regular connections
throughout the day between the two shores of the lake and the Bellagio
peninsula, with the possibility of travelling by boat, car ferry or hydrofoil.
It is also possible to spend the entire day on an excursion boat to tour the
entire lake and view all the tiny villages that dot its shores.
Bellano has a stazione
ferroviaria (train station) where all express and regional trains between
Milan and Tirano (Sondrio) stop, generally on an hourly basis. From
Bellano, Milan can be reached in an hour by train.
On the other hand, Livigno is a two-hour drive by car. This mountain village,
located on the border where Italy touches both Switzerland and Austria, is a
tax-free shopping area where purchases are exempt from VAT, the European
Also Switzerland is very nearby and there you can visit the lovely towns of
Chiasso and Lugano in the canton of Ticino or St. Moritz in the Grisons.
Of glacial origin, since ancient times it has constituted a very important
means of transit between the towns to the North and the Po Valley, as well as
with the cities and countries beyond the Alps, thanks to the Splugen and Maloja
passes directly to the North.
The lake has a surface area of 146 square kilometres. Its perimeter measures
170 kilometres and its elevation is 198 metres above sea level. The River Adda
feeds into it in the north and flows out again at Lecco, at its south-eastern
end, where it flows on, in its course to the Po. The southern half of the
"Lario" (another name for the lake) is divided into two legs, forming what are
termed the Como and the Lecco branches. Bellagio sits on the point where the
lake divides. In the North the lake is a single, narrow body of water, defined
the Colico branch. If seen from the air, the distinct impression is that of an
overturned "Y", making it easy to identify on any map. From Como to Gera
Lario, at the northernmost point, its length is 50 kilometres.
The Isola Comacina is the only island in the lake, located in the Como branch,
in front of Sala Comacina. There are important Roman ruins on it. It is a
peaceful spot for artists and nature lovers and is connected to the mainland
by a boat service.
Since Lake Como is an area that enjoys a favourable climate the shores of the
lake are dotted with a myriad of tiny villages where many lovely, refined
villas were built during the 18th and 19th centuries, surrounded by
magnificent gardens, some of which are open to the public, and which have
been a tourist attraction for generations: at Bellagio, Villa Serbelloni and
Villa Melzi, and in the Loppia quarter, Villa Trivulzio; at Varenna, Villa
Monastero; at Tremezzo, Villa Carlotta; at Lenno, Villa Balbianello; at
Menaggio, Villa Mylius Vigoni.
The waters of Lake Como are extremely changeable, from still and calm they
can suddenly become highly agitated and turn dark and dangerous due to the
winds that blow from various directions, bringing good or fowl weather with
them. Tivano, Breva, Menaggino, Bellanasco, these are the winds that blow in
the middle and northern parts of the Lario, and besides lending their names to
many enterprises, publications, and venues, if the direction and the time they
begin to blow is determined, they can be used by the locals to make an on-the-
spot weather forecast that is quite reliable.