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Digital Subscriptions > Italia! > Aug 2019 > Come to Como

Come to Como

Ros Ormiston reveals ten of the best reasons to visit captivating Lake Como in Lombardy, whatever the season…
Night falls over Como, the city at the southern end of the lake that gives the water its name
Images © Provincia di Como Servizio Turismo unless otherwise stated

Ten reasons to love Lake Como

Lake Como was colonized by the Romans in the 2nd century BC and has been a haven for relaxation and vacationing ever since

Map data © 2019 Google

It was called Lacus Larius by the Roman poet Virgil (70-19 BC) – and indeed is still sometimes referred to as Lario. It was mentioned in the letters of the Roman senator Pliny the Younger (61-113 AD), who is said to have owned a villa on the shores of the lake and whose uncle, the natural historian Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), was certainly born in Como.

Lake Como is Italy’s third largest lake, after Garda and Maggiore, and is the only one of those three to be entirely within the region of Lombardy.

It is shaped like an inverted Y. At its northern end, on the eastern bank, is the town of Colico. At the southernmost point of the western spur is Como, while Lecco lies at the southernmost tip of the eastern spur. Bellagio, which attracts many visitors, is on the peninsula where the two spurs of the lake meet.

A short drive up from Milan brings you to the lakeshore road where in the 19th century small fishing villages began to expand to become modern lakeside resorts. The ancient town of Como, the ‘capital’, is known for the traditional local industry of silk-weaving, with busy silk shops in the centre and factory outlets on its perimeter. From here you can board a ferry to many lakeside towns between here and Colico, nearly 30 miles away. Alternatively, you can follow the route by car.

1 The Villa Melzi botanical gardens at Bellagio

Villa Melzi overlooks the lake
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About Italia!

This is the month of Ferragosto, the festival on the 15th of August celebrated throughout Italy, (also in San Marino and the canton of Ticino in Switzerland, fact fans…). If you’ve been in Italy in August, you’ll know the kind of festive mood the country is in, and you’ll find it in this issue of Italia! too!