The first time I visited Italy I decided to go on a trip to Rome. I love learning about the Italian history and culture. Of course, there is no denying that Italian food is one of the best in the world. However, for my second trip, I wanted to experience something more unique, a wilder side of Italy. Naturally, I picked the beautiful region of Lake Como. Here are 5 reasons why you need to visit Lake Como during your next travel to Italy.
1) The Gorgeous Views
Lake Como is an incredibly beautiful place. There are plenty of stunning Italian country villas which offer those million dollar views of the lake and mountains. We went to Bellagio and couldn't stop taking pictures. The drive to Bellagio is right by the lake. And at the end? Through the beautiful narrow and colourful alleyways, there is a path which takes you to the port. Here you can see the breathtaking Alps, with their majestic peaks covered in snow. I can't imagine a more beautiful place than this.
The walk around Lake Como is superb and endlessly romantic. My husband and I spent hours admiring the views, walking and just talking to each other.
2) The Delicious Food
You know I'm going to tell you that Italian food is awesome. I am a foodie traveller and I never shy away from trying a freshly made pizza, topped with olive oil. Delicious! You can find all sort of amazing restaurants around Lake Como, all serving glorious food. We recommend the Quattro Formagi as that's our favourite, and if you fancy pasta, try some parmesan and truffle tagliatelle. We were most impressed with the taste. As you may know, Italians have a break between lunch and dinner so make sure you time your arrival to restaurants either before 2 pm or after 5 pm. We arrived in Bellagio just after lunch and were pretty hungry after our long drive in Europe. Nevertheless, we hit the local markets and bought some cheese and wine, then survived on gelato until we found a restaurant.
Tip: Don't forget to try Italian nougat. We loved it because it usually contains dried fruits and nuts. And if you find yourself in the Italian capital, here is the best food to try in Rome.
3) The Rich History
Italy is packed with history and a walk on their cobblestoned narrow alleyways is in itself a journey through time. Lake Como is not as historically alive as the capital city and it has a more laid-back atmosphere which encourages you to sit on the bench by the lake and read a book. I wanted to read more about the history of Lake Como and here is what I found. Lake Como is a glacier lake in Lombardy, Italy. Lake Como has been a popular retreat since Roman times. One glance at the view, and you can totally understand why. The lake's name in Latin is Larius, Italianised as Lario, but this name is rarely used; it is usually called Lago di Como (literally "lake of Como"). Its name comes from the city of Como, known to the Romans as Comum.
4) The Perfect Climate
Italy has one of the greatest weather in Europe. Lake Como weather is humid subtropical. In the winter, the lake helps to maintain a higher temperature in the surrounding region. The water temperature can reach 24 C degrees. Lake Como is a perfect year-round destination, especially during summer when temperatures average 25 C degrees. January brings the coldest temperatures of about 3 C degrees and May experiences the heaviest rainfall.
Lake Como is an exquisite destination, hence prices can soar during high season. We visited at the end of March, the weather was pleasant and the prices were still acceptable. Make sure to bring a waterproof jacket just in case and have a couple of thick cardigans for the evening walks.
5) The Endless Variety
Lake Como is popular for its landscapes, wildlife and spas. There are daily ferry services which allow you to visit various villages around Lake Como. There are countless villas scattered on the hillsides which have been built during Roman times. A 12-minute journey from Bellagio will take you to Varenna where you can visit the gorgeous Villa Monastero. Alternatively, take the ferry bound for Tremezzina and visit Villa Carlotta.
Whether you come to Lake Como for its beautiful surroundings, its especially gorgeous food or elegant villas, you are sure to find something to keep you occupied. In fact, you might even want to adopt the Italian saying "Dolce far niente" which means "the sweetness of doing nothing". During our journey towards the Algarve, we sure needed to stop somewhere drop-dead gorgeous where we can rest, enjoy our food and photograph amazing nature. We are chuffed we picked Bellagio for this.
What's next for us?
As you may know, we are actually looking for a new base and because we loved Lake Como so much, we have Italy rather high on our list. We love the Italian countryside, the perfect weather and the good food. We are considering a place just a little North of Lake Como, so we are closer to the Swiss Alps as we love hiking. There are a lot of factors to consider and we are doing quite a bit of research. So, we obviously decided to go back to Italy and explore around Lake Como even more. And who knows, maybe we would love the place so much, we would just settle there.
Over to you now. We want to know all about your plans to visit Italy. Are in love with Lake Como? What is your main reason for visiting? Leave a comment and let us know!