Villa del Balbianello
This estate is situated on the western bank of the lake and offers an enchanting view of the area. It can be reached either by boat or through a short hike and it features a wonderful garden with beautiful flowers and plants. These embrace a building dating back to the late 16th century and create a combination of art and nature that is hard to find elsewhere. It is a must both for nature lovers and for those who do not want to miss out on the historical buildings of the area.
Duomo of Como
This beautiful cathedral is something every tourist in the area should visit. Whether you are spending your holidays on Lake Como or visiting Milan, this Duomo is one of the best cathedrals you can see in Lombardy. Admissions are free-of-charge and the outside of the building creates expectations which the inside will meet. If a visit is not enough, tourists are more than welcome to sit at the tables of the restaurants and bars in the square in front of the Duomo, in order to enjoy the delightful view and etch it into memory.
This is a service which offers the possibility of going out on short or long trips from Varenna to various attractions on the lake. The shortest tour is that of Varenna, lasting half an hour, and the longest is the so-called ‘George’s tour’, which will take visitors from Varenna, past the villas dotting the shoreline and through to George Clooney’s villa in Laglio (2.5 hours). The boatman will also give suggestions as to where to have lunch or dinner on the lake and other must do attractions.
Jungle Raider Park
If adventure is what you seek, Jungle Raider Park is the place to be. With seven different paths based on different levels of difficulty, this park has everything you might wish to do, from ziplines to bungee jumping in nature. There are also paths which are specifically designed for children or beginners – or those feeling a little less daring! Jungle Raider Park has two different locations, one in Civenna and one in Margno, which means it’s easy to reach wherever you may be based.
Basilica of Sant’Abbondio
This is one of the oldest churches in the area. In fact, the Basilica of Sant’Abbondio dates back to the 5th century AD. The apparent lack of décor is balanced by an apse which is highly ornamented with wonderful frescoes dating back to the mid-14th century. This building is curious also because it was constructed over different periods and visitors can still see how it was shaped by the trends of each epoch. There is nothing better if you want to experience some real history and art on Como.
Museum Moto Guzzi
This museum is certainly appealing to those who have a passion for motorcycles and engines in general. It will take guests through various periods of history and illustrate the development of engines and motorcycles by displaying vehicles from different epochs. Admission is free-of-charge and its location makes it an easy stop-off while touring through the various villages on the lake. Not to be missed if you want to find out more about Italian motorcycles.
The Botanic Gardens are a part of the Hotel Villa Cipressi, a wonderful building on the lake which was built in the 1400s. The garden is open to the public, whereas the rest of the building belongs to the hotel and its restaurant. The Botanic Garden is a century-old beauty which touches the lake and features several plants and flowers which nature lovers will adore. It is located on different tiers which overlook the waters in sublime ways.
Forte di Fuentes
This fortress has a local historical significance in that it represents one of the very few remains of the Spanish dominion of the area. It dates back to the 17th century and is located in the northern part of the lake, near Colico. If you are interested in local history this really is a must, as walking through what used to be a stronghold, inclusive of a square and a church, will unravel tales of war and culture to boot.
This winery is located in Bellagio, where the lake divides into its two branches. The proprietor is very knowledgeable and friendly and will guide guests through his wide selection of great local wines. It is also possible to purchase wines and have them shipped home, even if you live on another continent. Definitely worth a stop-off if you fancy sampling one of Lombardy’s most famous exports.
Sentiero del Viandante
If you are a fan of hiking and can’t decide between Como’s many trails, this should surely be a contender. It is 45 kilometers long, so it should be broken up into three or four stretches, and takes ramblers through the east coast of Lake Como. It is an ancient path alive with natural beauty and artistic attractions alike.