Holiday rentals in Lake Como
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Your guide to Lake Como
Welcome to Lake Como
Magnificently backdropped by alpine foothills, Lake Como has been a place for cultured rest and retreat since the days of the Roman Empire. It’s the third largest of the Italian lakes, and one of the deepest in Europe, with still waters stretching out in three narrow branches with 100 miles of shoreline. Lake Como’s breathtaking views and natural splendour are mirrored in the beauty of its towns and villages. Their architectural elegance spans Belle Époque resorts, Renaissance villas, and grand gardens as well as humble yet picturesque villages. The Old World elegance of Bellagio has become a sanctuary for the rich and famous, while Como has a medieval centre and a small-city atmosphere. But there remain quieter towns, like Nesso and Lecco, where you can live like a local. And then, of course, there are the beaches — some pebbly, some sandy — and the many watersports and activities to enjoy, such as windsurfing at Domaso.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Lake Como
Many of the grand villas and gardens that attract so many to Lake Como are open between mid-March and mid-November. Spring is a particularly beautiful time, when the area comes alive with gardens, parks, window boxes, and even roadsides in bloom. The weather is still warm, and there are fewer crowds around. Summer is when the beaches begin to get packed, with June being particularly pleasant for sunbathing, before temperatures peak in July and August. There’s a Festival of Bellagio and Lake Como all through June and September, with classical music and jazz concerts held at various locations around the lake. Autumn is a wonderful time to see the changing colours in the surrounding woodland, and winter is considered off-season, when many businesses close and things get very quiet.
Top things to do in Lake Como
This area on the western side of the lake includes the charming villages of Lenno and Tremezzo, and two of the lake’s most eye-catching residences — the 18th-century Villa Carlotta, with its 17 acres of botanical gardens, and the romantic Villa del Balbianello, which sits on a headland that overlooks the lake’s only island, Isola Comacina.
It’s not one of the prettiest villages on the lake, but this small fishing town with its working harbour offers something more candid than the gilded fantasy of resort towns. The real treasure, however, is the Orrido of Bellano, a breathtaking glacial gorge 15 million years in the making, that offers a magical walk through its caves and waterfalls.
There are many reasons to enjoy the medieval charm of the lake’s biggest town, but it’s worth the pilgrimage for its 15th-century cathedral alone. The Duomo di Como is not only fun to say; it’s a magnificent edifice that’s as impressive from the outside as it is on the inside, where Gothic and Renaissance art and architecture sit side by side.