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Lake Como (Lago di Como)

Introduction
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Places To Visit & Things To Do
Lake Como
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Lake Como - One Of Italy's Most Famous Lakes
 
Lake Como is shaped like an upsidedown 'Y', with the northern branch beginning at Colico.  The towns of Como and Lecco sit at the end of the southwestern and southeastern branches. 
 
Bellagio, Menaggio and Varenna are situated at the intersection of the three branches of the lake and a boat service, including a car ferry, operates between them. 
 
The lake is renowned for its outstanding beauty, having featured extensively in many movies including Star Wars Episode II Attack Of The Clones, Ocean's Twelve and the James Bond Movie, Casino Royal (both filmed at Villa del Balbianello). 
 
Exploring the lake would be incomplete without visiting the many famous villas, including Villa Carlotta, Villa d'Este and Villa del Bablbianello.
 
This is a hugely popular tourist desintation and a perfect venue for sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.  In 1818 Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote to Thomas Love Peacock : "This lake exceeds anything I have ever beheld in beauty, with the exception of the arbutus islands of Killarney.  It is long and narrow, and has the appearance of a mighty river winding among the mountains and forests".
 
Other references to the lake include one from Mark Twain, who visited Lake Como in the summer of 1867, he described it at length in The Innocents Abroad".
 
Swimming is permitted in Lake Como and you will find designated areas for this.  Most of the towns also have outdoor swimming pools which are open for the duration of the tourist season.
 
The area attracts the rich and famous worldwide, including George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez and Eros Ramazzotti who own a properties on Lake Como. 

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Villa del Balbianello

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Bellagio

Bellagio has long been famous for its setting at the intersection of the three branches of the Y-shaped lake, which is also known as Lario. Bellagio is situated at the tip of the peninsula separating the lake's two southern arms, with the Alps visible across the lake to the north.
 
A hydrofoil runs from Como to Bellagio, making stops at the other towns on Lake Como along the way. A ferry also runs from Varenna to Bellagio. For more information, visit Gestione Governativa Navigazione Laghi.

Bellagio is accessible by narrow and windy roads from Como and Lecco. Public buses run daily from Como to Bellagio. An alternative route is to follow the four lane road on the eastern shore of the lake, arrive to Varenna and get on the ferry to Bellagio.

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Menaggio

Menaggio is situated on the western shore of Lake Como at the point where the road bordering the lake meets with the road leading to Lugano.

Its central position makes it a lively town. In the first half of the 19th century it was discovered by the first tourists and the grand hotels and luxury were built.

The town consists in a centre and three hamlets Loveno, Nobiallo and Croce and has a total of about 3,200 inhabitants. In its historical centre there are various interesting monuments which recall Menaggio's impostance through the ages. The splendid lake side promenade offers an unique view of the central lake area.

Menaggio boasts an awesome 18 hole golf course, which is the second oldest Golf Club in Italy, a sports centre and a big lido with swimming pool. 

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Varenna

Varenna is a village at the shores of Lake Como at the point where the Lecco leg of the lake meets the Como leg.  The town is noted for its rustic charm.
 
It really is a delightful little place with three parts. The old part, the proper Varenna, the new part, north of the old district and Fiumelatte, a division to the south.
 
Varenna has an old crescent harbour in the old part, surrounded by old and colourful buildings, many of which house cafes, gelaterias, restaurants and shops.
 
The harbour, in the new part of Varenna, is used by ferries and boats linking the village with towns and municipalities of the lake. Varenna is not overrun with tourists as much as other places in the province. It has a good selection of places to eat. Some restaurants have earned a reputation of the best in the province.
 

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View From Villa Carlotta

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The Bell Tower Of San Nicola In Lecco

Lecco is situated at the bottom of the south eastern fork.  On arriving you will through the outskirts of the city to the heart of old Lecco where there are many things to see and do.  Drive east to the cable car station for a ride up to the Piani di Erna where you can follow the mountain trails for a series of jaw dropping views.

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If there is a motorcycle fan in your party then this is not to be missed - the Moto Guzzi MuseumOpen Monday to Friday from 15.00 to 16.00, and free of charge, the museum showcases the Moto Guzzi history and culture, bringing together a rich collection of over 150 exhibition pieces of production motorcycles, sport bikes, prototypes and experimental engines.  The Moto Guzzi Museum is located in Mandello del lario, Lake Como.