Chiara, from the Italy Lakes website, has written this guest post for me about Lake Como. Please visit her site if you are planning on staying and playing on and around the Italian Lakes!
Welcome to Lake Como!
Lake Como, one of the most famous Italian lakes, is Italy’s third largest lake. From above it looks like an upside down “y”. Lake Como has long been a popular travel destination for both Italians and visitors from northern Europe who find the lake offers a glimpse of the Mediterranean from within the mountains, as well as being a location which assures a relaxing and peaceful stay.
The landscape around Como is varied; the green waters of the lake contrast pleasantly with the surrounding snow-capped mountains. Then there is the combination of tiny villages and larger towns which dot the mountains surrounding the lake which adds to the character and fascination of the area.
Aside from the natural beauty of the lake, Lake Como’s climate is mild is another one factor which helps attract foreign visitors. The heat of the summer can be escaped by venturing into the surrounding mountains. The cold of the winter months is kept at bay by the mountains and the lake which work together to keep winter temperatures surprisingly bearable.
Lake Como offers outdoor sports lovers plenty of opportunities to enjoy water sports such as sailing, diving and water skiing, and mountain sports such as skiing, hiking and climbing, as well as a host of other outdoor and indoor sports.
To reach Lake Como’s main towns, you can land at the Milan airports of Linate and Malpensa or at Bergamo’s Orio al Serio airport. From Malpensa you can reach the city of Como and the western side of the lake by taking the Malpensa Express which stops in Saronno, or you can take the number 250 bus from the airport directly to the lake. From the Orio al Serio airport at Bergamo, go to the nearby Bergamo railway station of and take a train for Lecco from where you can explore the eastern shore of Lake Como.
From Milan, the city of Como and the western shore of the lake can be reached by train in about an hour using Italy’s national Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) rail service. Alternatively there are trains that leave from Milan’s Cadorna railway station for Como and Saronno. To reach the town of Lecco and the eastern side of Lake Como you take Ferrovie Nord trains on the Milan-Lecco-Sondrio-Tirano, Sondrio-Brescia-Lecco, Sesto San Giovanni and Monza-Lecco, Como-Lecco-Molteno lines.
To reach Como by car, take the A9 Como-Chiasso highway from Milan. Como is around 30 miles / 50 km from Milan.
For more information on Lake Como northern Italy’s other spectacular lakes and to find out about festivals, shows, concerts, exhibitions and sporting events in the area, visit the blog Italy Lakes.net blog (http://www.italylakes.net/).
To book a holiday or a short stay in the Como area, try Vacanze Lago (http://www.vacanzelago.com/en/index.php), a tour operator specialising in organizing holidays around Italy’s northern lakes.