Lakeside Towns/Villages, Como
It comes right after Como on the lakeside, actually, Como continues into Cernobbio and you can practically walk there, they merged into one town in fact. Cernobbio is a lovely picturesque town with narrow streets, colourful houses, nice pier and lake boat transport station, wonderful square with some heroic monument and incredibly nice restaurant all in glass right there.
It's a place of many chic conferences, as they're all held in the famous pompous villas.
This is the site of the fictional Villa Baglianello, the elegant family-home-run-pensione featured in the film "A Month by the Lake." Nearby is one of the grandest hotels in all Europe, the Villa D'Este, whose rooms are almost like museum galleries and whose grounds boast Italy's only "floating swimming pool" (it actually sits atop the lake). Up the road is Toriggia, where you can visit Villa Passalacqua.
I find the name Cernobbio hilarious, because it reminds me incredibly of the famous Ukrainian nuclear disaster spot Chernobyl, as the prononuce is almost identical! :) So I always say I've been to Chernobyl. :))
If you want to know more, visit my Cernobbio page!
Bellagio is a fairy tale town at the heart of lake Como, just in the middle of the lake! From there you can see both branches of the lake, the Como's and Lecco's branch.
it is quite a fancy place, very popular among tourists, with chic vilas (Silvester Stallone has one of them), and it was used as an inspiration of one of the most famous las Vegas resorts, named Bellagio as well. But the real Bellagio has absolutely nothing to do with Las Vegas' immitation! The real bellagio is a true pearl of the lake, a place with variety of colours and scents, beautiful, romantic narow streets, promenades and beaches along the lakeside, lots of beautiful flowers and gardens, little shops and cafes, numerous restaurants and hotels all charmingly sculpted into the area. It's one of the most beautiful places I've been to, and it's a definite must see!
Bellagio is not off the beaten path, but it is not in Como, but a one hour bus ride from there and it makes a good daytrip.
Bellagio is a picturesque small town situated on the tip between two branches of Lake Como. It is called the Pearl of the Lake because of its beauty and the town also has got a good climate. In winter it is about 6 - 7 °C and in summer about 25 - 30 °C. And there is sunshine about 200 days of the year.
In the 18th century the nobles built grand villas around Bellagio and already in the 19th century it became a holiday resort. Some of the villas have lovely gardens open to the public, but in February when I visited they were not open. I made a short visit in Bellagio from Como and walked around in the narrow allies with stairs, walked along the lake, visited the church and a couple of cafés.
Following the lake upwards you'll find Sala Comacina, a wonderful little town on the lake saide, perhaps one of the cutest, and my personal favoruite! Opposite of it is the namesake island, Isola Comacina. Both are veeeeeery beautiful and charming! The pier is especially lovely, and there are nice restaurants by the water as well as wonderful arabesque gardens, and the already known famous narrow colourful streets...
Cernobbio is an upscale town on Lake Como - extending south and north are the envy-inducing villas, built mostly in the 19th century, by the titled nobility of many of Europe's courts and the sometimes wealthier titans of industry who made their money in Milan, Torino and other Italian and European cities. Adding to the stature of Cernobbio is the incomparable Ville d'Este.
A picturesque town, with a comely, tree-lined, flower- bedecked waterfront. It's waterfront, narrow old streets and piazzas are lined with the handsome, impeccable shops, cafes, trattoria, restaurants, professional offices, homes and apartment buildings, all painted in the muted buttery tones that one sees around the entire Lake District. Down at the harbour, ferries coming to and departing from the jetty connect all the other major towns and villages on the Lake, and add to Cernobbio's pleasant bustle.
Cernobbio is not off the beaten path, but I put the tip hear as it is another town than Como.
Cernobbio is a lovely little town with 7200 inhabitants. . It is situated only 5 km away from Como, at the foot of Mount Bisbino, and on the western shores of the lake. Cernobbio is also only a few kilometres away from the boarder with Switzerland.
There are many grand villas around Cernobbio. One is the famous Villa d’Este, which was built for the Gallio family in 1570 by Pellefrino Tibaldi. In 1873 Villa d’Este became a luxurious hotel and it is now often used for conferences. Other villas are Villa Elba, also used for conferences, and Villa Pizzo.
At the harbour you can find ferries that connect Cernobbio with other towns and villages around the lake. There are also buses going from Como, past Cernobbio, and further on along the western shores. Down by the harbour is also a nice place to take a stroll.
During summer it is full of tourists in Cernobbio.
Called the “Pearl of the Lake”, Bellagio's world class hotels and restaurants provide the perfect place to soak up the lake's famous panorama. The village is characterised by century-old buildings, stone lanes and picturesque cobbled stairways filled with shops showcasing the finest Italian wares.
If you are taking a tour on Lake Como with a passenger ferry you can easily stop in one of the small towns and spend some time there before continuing with the next ferry. One of those small places is Torno, a village on the eastern shore (Como branch of the lake) and about half an hour away from Como by ferry. Torno only have 1100 inhabitants so it is not a big place. There are two churches of interest to see, San Giovanni with a marble portal from the 14th century and Santa Tecla. By the lake, surrounded by a garden, is the grand Villa Pliniana.
You can also go to Torno by bus.
Once in Brunate you can climb further up, on foot or getting some kind of a transportation, up to the Lighthouse which is in the top of the hill. That lighthouse is making the lights of Italian flag by night - green, red and white. It is dedicated to Alessandro Volta, a great scientist from Como. From there you can enjoy spectacular view over the lake, this time it's the western bank, with Cernobbio and further up.
However, keep in mind that you might run onto numeruous school excursions, try not to be annoyed by all those kids! :-)
Brunate is location situated on the top of the hill which rises above Como. Unfortunately, I hadn't enough time to visit it but am sure the view over the lake from above must be spectacular. You can reach it by funivia (cable coach).
This picture was taken by my very potential lens, zooming it from the lakeshore of Como.
Tremezzo is a small, lovely place on the Como's side of the lake, famous for its spectacular Villa Carlotta, the true pearl of the lake and perhaps the most beautiful villa around. The gardens are the loveliest I have ever seen!
I had been in VEnice and Trento for a drive around a few days before Christmas and ran out of time to see more of Lombardy so I flew back on New Years Eve and drove up along Lake Maggiore in beautiful sunshine and a beautiful sunset to Lugano and stayed overnight on the way from there to Como....and got up to lots of snow everywhere.
The day was still overcast and misty which created a different look for Lake Como than Id seen on Lugano and Maggiore the days before - and closer to Como there was quite a lot of snow still around...nice to see snow scenes and compare with my next trip on a sunny day in late February.