A naturally formed lake of glacial origin, falls between a territory of communities belonging to the provinces of Como and Lecco.
Como Lake also known less commonly as Lario, offers a landscape with an admirable variety of aspects.
Along its shores a multitude of different scenarios: pastures, woods, souring and imposing rocks, and the picturesque towns facing the water.
On Como’s branch, particularly from Cernobbio up to Gravedona and Bellagio, have a stop to admire the stunning villas with parks rich in flowers and exotic and rare plants.
On the other hand Lecco’s branch offers a sharper and more suggestive panorama instead, with the southern Grigna (2184 mts.) originating from Dolomitica and the Cornis of Canzo (1373 mts.) which go down toward the lake, forming suggestive and reminiscent bays and inlets.
The Centre Lake, where the three branches meet together, is the point where the mildest climate can be felt and where the amplest panorama can be admired; reaching this point by boat you will enjoy a truly beautiful sight of the whole promontory of Bellagio, the Grigna that dominates the Valsassina northwards, and on clear days the spectacular long basin with the mountainous alpine range as an evocative backdrop.
The Lake, with its combination of water, mountains and climate, is a superb set up ready to offer a variety of panoramas, this includes also the diverse sports you can play here, especially in the summer season, where besides the water sports, you have the opportunity to acquire a taste for golf or simply enjoy making excursions along the shores of the Lake or on the hills that surround it.
Como Lake is a set up of so many factors that have the ability to stimulate mind and body, making it the ideal place for rest and relaxation, and yet at the same time one can never get bored.
VILLAS AND MUSEUMS
One of the Lake’s greatest attractions is the sumptuous Villas that lay on its shores.
Promoter of their flowering between 1700 and 1800 is Lombarda land nobility, particularly that of Milan.
The most reminiscent representative of the Neoclassic period is Villa Olmo (Elm) in Como, whose name derives from a colossal elm tree, legendarily planted by Pliny the Younger, but on the whole western shore of the Lake there are still several subsequent masterpieces you can admire.
Visiting Bellagio you will admire Villa Melzi, while in Cernobbio you will find the famous Villa d’Este.
Since the second half of the XIX century the style of the buildings has been largely dependent on the taste of the owners, who opted, in the complexes of Brunate and Lanzo of Intelvi, for a more free and diverse style. Furthermore, in the early years of XX century there was a certain taste for Liberty, still visible for instance in the Villa Bernasconi (Cernobbio).
These buildings have been transformed in great hotels or sold to Theatre stars. Some have even become cultural and congressual centers, and therefore still in use.
In other cases some buildings have been reassessed, while others have been opened to the public as museums.
Como, the town itself, also offers a range of museums. We recommend a visit to the Civic art gallery, that has in exhibition works created from the XIV to the XVII century, as well as works from the XX century; most of them coming from various religious buildings of the city.
Certainly not to be missed is the Temple Voltiano, devoted to the life and the discoveries of Alexander Volta. Also to be noted is the Archaeological Museum Giovio and of the Garibaldi Historical Museum.
For those who love the textile field there is the Silk Museum, that shows 150 years of the evolution of silk productive cycle techniques and the Museum Ratti Textile Foundation, that keeps a heritage of around 400.000 silk items giving us the possibility to trace the textile history from the Middle Ages up to nowadays.