The Best Things to Do in Lake Como

Address: Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 60, 22021 Bellagio CO, Italy

A funicular rides down its track in Brunante.


Como funicular

Funiculars arrive at some of the lake’s most dramatic vantage points. The one departing from Lecco soars over 4,500 feet to reach Piani D’Erna, a gateway to the slopes in the shadow of the Monte Resegone peak. The Argegno to Pigra funicular covers nearly a mile of views of the colorful towns that stud the shores of the lake’s western branch.

The Como funicular climbs 1640 feet to link the city with Brunate, a hilltop town replete with historic Art Nouveau villas and former holiday homes for the Milanesi. From the top, the snow-capped pre-Alps peek out over the lake’s bristly green hills. The adventurous can schlep another 500 feet up a steep rocky path to the Faro Voltiano lighthouse, whose balconies provide even more captivating panoramas—wear comfortable shoes.

Italy Lombardy region Como province aerial view of couple raising arms in autumn scenery with Lake Como in the background.

Two people enjoy the view from the rolling green hills surrounding Lake Como.

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Hikes and beaches

Don’t let the glitz and glamour overshadow the scenery—the hiking trails and beaches are the best way for travelers to appreciate the natural surroundings. Dozens of hiking trails weave through the hillsides, including well-marked routes that pass through the three funicular towns.

In the lake’s upper reaches, the over 6-mile Greenway joins Colonno, Sala Comacina, Ossuccio, Lenno, Mezzegra, Tremezzo, and Griante. A path in Ossuccio arrives at Sacro Monte di Ossuccio, one of the nine complexes comprising the Sacred Mountains of Piedmont and Lombardy UNESCO World Heritage site.

Although the shores are equipped with several beach clubs, a wild swim is the way to go. Lake Como’s best public beaches include Dongo on the western bank of the lake’s upper branch, the white-stone shores of Lierna and Abbadia Lariana north of Lecco, the pebbly San Giovanni near Bellagio and the turquoise Onno south of Bellagio.

All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. This article originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveller UK.

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