Welcome to Como Lake Como
Como Lake Como is dedicated to all things beautiful in Lake Como. Concentrating on the western arm of the Lake and the historic provincial capital of Como located in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy.
You will find information on public transport services, the arts, exhibitions, popular and not-so-popular historical buildings, places and attractions. Also, generally, highlight social and cultural events that take place in the City of Como and the Province of Como throughout the year.
Lake Como is a popular holiday destination for tourists from all around the world and a popular destination for both the Milanese and the Swiss alike. The rich and famous are known to have a villa or two in Lake Como too!
Province of Como
The Province of Como has a population of over 599,000 inhabitants and is geographically situated at the southwestern tip of Lake Como 45 kilometres (28 miles) north of Milano (Milan) in the Regione Lombardia (Lombardy Region) of Northern Italy.
The region is famous throughout the world for its long tradition of silk manufacturing and weaving and without no exception the adjoining lake of the same name. Today the Province of Como is a centre for design, business, insurance, and banking.
Lake Como is of glacial origin and is the third-largest lake in Italy and one of the deepest lakes in Europe at over 400 metres (1,300 feet) deep and covering an area of 146 square kilometres (56 square miles). The name of Lake Como in the Italian language is Lago di Como or Lario is the name given to the lake by the Romans.
City of Como
The City of Como, also known as Como and is one hour away from Milano by train and approximately fifteen minutes away by road from the border town of Ponte Chiasso in neighbouring Switzerland.
The foundations of Como began in 196 BC, by order of Julius Caesar, the swamp near the southern tip of the lake was drained and the walled city of Como began to be built with the grid streets created by the Romans that are still in use today. The current population of Como is around 85,000.
Travelling To Lake Como and Around The Region
Below are the direct website links to the international airports located near Lake Como:
Milan Bergamo Airport
Aeroporti di Milano Linate (Milan Linate Airport)
Aeroporti di Milano Malpensa (Milan Malpensa Airport)
Travelling to Lake Como by Train
There are two mainline railway stations in Como – Como Lago (Como Nord Lago) operated by Trenord and Como San Giovanni operated by Trenitalia. You can use the Regione Lombardia – Public Transport Journey Planner to plan your journey and download the latest rail network route maps.
To get to Como Lago from Malpensa Airport, you first take the train to Saronno and then change platforms for trains bound for Como Lago. The journey time from Malpensa Aeroporto to Saronno takes approximately 20 minutes and stops at a few local stations.
At Saronno, you must disembark and change platforms for a train bound for Como Lago. The journey time from Saronno to Como Lago is approximately 45 minutes. Tip: At Saronno always keep hold of your luggage and be by your side at all times.
Normally all trains travelling to Como Lago depart from platform number 2 but do check the departure screens in case of any changes due to timetable alterations or engineering works.
Como Lago is in Piazza Giacomo Matteotti at the lakefront and across the road from the Como Bus Station operated by ASF Autolinee.
From Como Lago, you can also travel directly into Milano Cadorna (also known as Milano Nord Cadorna) in the heart of Milano. The journey time is 1 hour.
The Politecnico di Milano, Como Campus is located at Via Castelnuovo and the nearest railway station is Como Borghi (Università).
Malpensa Airport to Como Lago
Below is the train route from Malpensa Airport – Terminal 2 to Como Lago:
Malpensa Aeroporto – Terminal 2 – Closed and reopens on 31/5/2023
Malpensa Aeroporto – Terminal 1
Busto Arsizio Nord
Saronno – Change at Saronno for trains bound for Como Lago
Caslino al Piano
Grandate – Breccia
Como Borghi – Università
Como Lago to Milano Cadorna
From Como Lago, you can also travel directly into Milano Cadorna (also known as Milano Nord Cadorna) in the heart of Milano. The journey time is approximately 1 hour. Below is the train route from Como Lago to Milano Cadorna:
Como Borghi – Università
Grandate – Breccia
Caslino al Piano
Milano Bovisa Politecnico
From Cadorna to the Duomo and Shops
If you are travelling by train into Milano to see the magnificent Duomo and shop at the many designer shops.
From Cardona railway station, you can take a steady 20-minute walk. Below is a guide you are welcome to follow:
- At Cardona railway station you will need to cross the road at Via Giovanni Boccaccio
- Turn left and walk to the next set of traffic lights at Via Giosuè Carducci and cross the road
- From Piazzale Luigi Cardorna keep walking along Foro Buonaparte past Largo Cairoli
- Turn right on Via Dante and walk along this pleasant long thoroughfare
- Cross over from Piazza Cordusio to Via Orefici until you come to Piazza del Duomo
Straight ahead is the Duomo di Milano and to the left of the Piazza del Duomo is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a glass-covered 19th-century arcade with luxury clothing stores and posh dining.
Como Lago to Milano Centrale
From Como Lago, you can also travel to Milano Centrale railway station. You would need to change at Saronno. The journey time from Saronno to Milano Centrale is approximately 31 minutes.
Como San Giovanni
Como San Giovanni is located at Piazzale San Gottardo situated at the top of the hill from Via Corrado e Giullo Venini which is just off Via Innocenzo XI.
From Como San Giovanni you can travel to Stazione Centrale Milano in Milan. At the side of the railway station, you will find the connecting bus shuttle services to Malpensa Airport, Linate Airport and Orio al Serio International Airport in Bergamo.
Milano Centrale to Como San Giovanni
Below is the train route to and from Stazione Milano Centrale to Como San Giovanni. The journey time is approximately 40 minutes:
Milano Greco Pirelli
Sesto San Giovanni
Cantu – Cermenate
Como San Giovanni
Como San Giovanni to the Canton of Ticino in Switzerland
From Como San Giovanni you can also travel to the neighbouring Canton of Ticino in Switzerland. The train service is operated by SBB CFF FFS. At Como San Giovanni board the S10 TILO train service to Mendrisio and visit the FoxTown factory stores or travel on to the beautiful sights of Lugano or Bellinzona a World Heritage site.
Be warned, the Italian border guards take seriously anyone carrying more than €10,000 euros on their person. Do not suggest or make any funny comments to the guards as you may be escorted off the train and aggressively searched. A member of our team had experienced this on two separate occasions and eventually reported the behaviour of the guards to the authorities in Rome, Switzerland, and London.
Below is the train route from Como San Giovanni in Como to Bellinzona in Switzerland:
Como San Giovanni
San Martino (Mendrisio)
Capolago-Riva S. Vitale
Travelling Around by Bus
The ASF Autolinee Ticket & Information Office (Autosilo) is located at Piazza Giacomo Matteotti directly opposite the Como Lago Nord railway station.
There are two types of public bus service lines that operate from Como, the urban line (local) and the extra-urban line (suburban). Generally, you can purchase bus tickets at tobacconists, bars, and hotel receptions. You are strongly advised to purchase your bus tickets before boarding the bus.
You can pay for a ticket on the bus, but this is more expensive and is dependent on the bus driver having enough change and usually at their discretion. There are plans to introduce a contactless ticket system on the buses soon, we shall keep you updated.
Urban Line Bus Services
The urban line bus services operate local bus routes in and around the centre of Como and nearby towns. These buses are usually orange in colour.
A carnet of 11 urban bus tickets Carnet 11 Viaggi Rette Urbana will cost €14.00 and for travelling in and around Como. The ticket is valid for up to 75 minutes after the date and time it is validated and can be used to make other bus local bus journeys.
Extra Urban Line Bus Services
The extra-urban line bus service lines usually terminate and embark from or near the Como Bus Station. They go to adjoining towns, communes, and provinces. The extra-urban buses have the letter ‘C’ (e,g, C30 to Bellagio or C40 to Bergamo) and are either orange or blue.
On most Extra-Urban bus (blue bus) routes that travel outside of the Provincia di Como, the bus driver will inspect and collect a portion of your bus ticket before departure.
If you are planning to return to Como by bus, then it would be advisable to purchase your return tickets before you start your journey. In Italy, many shops are closed in the afternoon for at least two hours, so trying to find a shop or bar that sells bus tickets may not be such an easy task.
Bus Ticket Validation
Located at the front of the bus is a bus ticket validation machine. This machine validates the ticket by printing the date and time on the ticket. The ticket validation machine is orange in colour.
Scenic Bus Routes from the City of Como
If you wish to see the lake at its best, you can take any of the many bus routes from the Bus Station that will give you a scenic view of the mountains and towns alongside Lake Como. All journey times are an approximate guide:
Argegno – 40 min – C10 and C20
Bellagio – 40 min – picturesque town – C30
Bergamo – 2 hours – a historical town – C46
Cernobbio – 15 min – home to Villa D’Este Grand Hotel – 6 and C10
Lecco – 1 hour 45 min – the other side of Lake Como – C40
Lenno – 1 hour 5 min – near Villa del Balbianello – C10
Tremezzo – 60-min – visit Villa Carlotta – C20
Travelling by Boat
A relaxing and enjoyable way to see the picturesque sights, historic villas, and towns along the shores of Lake Como is to travel by boat.
The public boat services on Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda and Lake Como began around 1826-1827. Since 1957 the Gestione Governativa Navigazione Laghi has been providing public boat services on the three Lakes.
In Como, Ticket & Information Office is located directly opposite Hotel Suisse, Piazza Cavour on Lungo Lario Trento. You can buy boat tickets and get further information from English-speaking staff.
At the Ticket & Information Office, pick up a free copy of the Lago di Como Orario in Vigore, an essential travel guide, and a timetable for public boat services on Lake Como. Also, you can buy day passes which allow you to hop on and off at different places along Lake Como.
The Navigazione Laghi has produced an app for your smartphone to download called DreamLake, it has interactive maps with points of interest, recommended routes and timetables, and the ability to purchase boat tickets online.
Types of Boat Services
The Rapido (fast) boat service is hydrofoil vessels. To return to the Como much quicker, you can buy an additional ticket (top-up) to travel back on the Rapido boat service.
The Batello (slow) boat service is ideal for sightseeing and some boat services offer light refreshments and lunches on-board. The Concordia (circa 1926) and the Milano are both old working paddle steamers and a joy to see still in operation.
It is advisable to take a boat back to Como around 16:30 which arrives back in Como around 18:00.
The price of tickets may initially seem expensive. If you travel to Lenno, Menaggio, Bellagio, or even further for a whole day of sightseeing – the cost of a return boat ticket seems much more worthwhile.
During the Summer months, the Gestione Governativa Navigazione Laghi provides Saturday Night Cruises which include, dinner and dance with live music. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these services were temporarily postponed, it is advisable to check at the Ticket & Information Office or the Navigazione Laghi website.
The Funicular Como-Brunate connects Como with the Comune of Brunate. The Funicular has been in operation since 1894 and the entrance is located at Piazza Alcide de Gasperi which is less than a five-minute walk from the Como Bus Station along Via Torno. It takes approximately 7 minutes to reach the top of Brunate a small picturesque and peaceful town situated at 750 metres above sea level.
From Brunate you can walk to San Maurizio which is 906 metres above sea level and visit the famous Voltian Beacon (lighthouse) built in 1927. From Brunate you can see a panoramic view across the Como with the Duomo and Como Football Stadium dominating the skyline.
You can also see the majestic Villa Olma on a clear day and watch the seaplanes taking off and landing on the lake. Looking further along to your right, you can see the neighbouring towns of Tavenola and Cernobbio, home to the famous Villa D’Este grand hotel and Harry’s Bar that had been frequented by George Clooney.
If you intend to travel to Brunate in the evening, do make sure you check the time of the last cable car to leave Brunate and return down to Como.
It is always advisable to check the Funicular Como-Brunate website before travelling in case of any sudden closures or changes to the operational funicular services and daily timetable.
Travelling to Como by Road
Below are directions to Lungo Lario Trento, the main road at the front of the lake in the City of Como from cities near Lake Como. The information is provided by Google Maps and includes updates and further information about each route:
Sightseeing in Lake Como
Below is a growing list of museums and galleries in the City of Como and generally around Lake Como. Click on the Google Maps links or website links below for further information.
Please note, that some of these venues be still closed due to funding or as a result of the Pandemic. Also, advance booking may be required, or visit by appointment only. For some venues, there is more enthusiasm in the promotion rather than content, different language support, or overall visual experience.
Please contact us via social media to recommend a place of interest that you had personally visited in Lake Como.
Broletto di Como
Piazza del Duomo, 22100 Como
The Broletto di Como adjoins the ancient Cathedral (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta-Duomo di Como). The construction dates back to 1215 and was built in the Gothic-Romanesque style while the Renaissance elements of the façade date back to the 15th century. The Broletto is currently used as a congress hall and for art exhibitions.
Duomo di Como
Piazza del Duomo, 22100 Como
The building of the Duomo in the Como began in 1396 and did not finish until 1770. The spectacular west front was built between 1457 and 1498. The ancient Cathedral (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta-Duomo di Como) adjoins the Broletto di Como.
Via Armando Diaz, 84, 22100 Como
The Life Electric is a contemporary sculpture dedicated to the physicist Alessandro Volta (1745–1827). Designed by Daniel Libeskind and completed in 2015. It is located at the end of Diga foranea Piero Caldirola at the front of the Lake. It is a great place to watch the boats arriving and leaving Como.
Via Vincenzo Bellini, 3, 22100 Como
The Teatro Sociale theatre was designed by architect Giuseppe Cusi. Construction started in early 1812 and finished in August 1813. In 1854 an additional thirty-eight new boxes were added for a total of 98 and re-opened in December 1855.
Among the performers who appeared during the 19th and early 20th centuries were Paganini, Giuditta Pasta, and Francesco Tamagno.
In the 1930s the theatre was turned into a cinema for a while. However, in 1944 it became the alternative opera house for Milan’s La Scala when it was damaged during the war. After major works and remodelling took place, it now has 900 seats with five tiers.
Viale Guglielmo Marconi, 1, 22100 Como
The Tempio Voltiano is a museum dedicated to Alessandro Volta, a scientist and the inventor of the electric battery. Alessandro Volta was born in Como in 1745 and died in 1827
In 1800 Alessandro Volta invented the ‘Voltaic Pile’ an early version of the electric battery. Inside the Temple is a small museum with equipment and documents on display that Alessandro Volta had used to carry out his experiments.
Villa del Balbianello
Via Guido Monzino, 1, 22016 Tremezzina
The Villa del Balbianello is famous for its terraced gardens overlooking Lake Como. The villa is located in the Comune of Lenno. Built-in 1787 on the former site of a Franciscan monastery.
The Villa is also known as one of the film locations for the James Bond movie Casino Royale’ filmed in 2006, starring Daniel Craig as the MI6 agent James Bond. It was also used as a film location in the Star Wars feature film, Episode II Attack of the Clones (2002).
The Villa del Balbianello is now owned by the National Trust of Italy and part of the association of Grandi Giardini Italiani and is open to the public.
Villa Carlotta – Tremezzo
Via Regina, 2, 22016 Tremezzina
The villa was built at the end of the 17th century by the Milanese marquis Giorgio Clerici. In 1843 the villa at Tremezzo was a wedding gift to Princess Carlotta and Georg II of Saxen-Meiningen from her mother Princess Marianne of Nassau the wife of Albert Frederick Augustus, King of Saxony.
The villa became more commonly known as Villa Carlotta. Now a beautifully restored museum and maintained gardens that are open to the public covering over 70.000 square metres. There is an entry charge with concessions.
Villa Melzi D’Eril
Lungo Lario Manzoni, 22021 Bellagio
The Villa Melzi D’Eril is located in Bellagio and was designed by Giocondo Albertolli in 1808 for Francesco Melzi d’Eril. The Villa Melzi d’Eril is a private residence and not open to the public. However, the gardens are open to the public, usually from the 28th of March until the 31st of October.
The English-style garden was designed by the architect Luigi Canonica and includes sculptures, American redwood trees, Japanese maple trees and a statue of the Egyptian Goddess Pacht.
The gardens are so peaceful and tranquil, a must place to visit in the Summer months and the smell from the bergamot trees near the orangery is wonderful.