After falling in love with Florence, Sean and I headed north toward the Alps to the Lake Como region… and boy, was it magnificent! I will still attest that Florence was my favorite part of the trip, but to Sean, Lake Como was the ultimate dream vacation destination. Aside from the truly stunning and enormous lake, this region boasts jaw-dropping views of mountains and the most darling, charming small Italian towns. If you are an outdoorsy person, Lake Como is definitely the region you must visit while traveling in Italy!
Lake Como Travel Guide
While planning our trip to Lake Como, I wanted to make it all about Sean’s favorite things: water, mountains, and motorcycles! He had traveled through Italy before, but had not been to Lake Como on that trip. We immediately knew that we had to plan a trip to the lake and take in all that it has to offer. As a surprise treat for his birthday, I treated him to a guided motorcycle tour around the lake and through the Alps. He said repeatedly that it was his favorite part of the entire trip and I’m so happy that I splurged a little bit on this experience.
It’s also worth noting that literally everywhere we went in the Lake Como region smelled like jasmine. It was truly intoxicating and just the cherry on top of our trip. I’m such a fragrance-driven person that experiencing that much jasmine was spectacular.
Things to Do on Lake Como
I definitely wish we had more time allotted for our time on the lake. There really wasn’t nearly enough time to do all the things we wanted to do there! We really enjoyed taking the ferry to Bellagio, especially during sunset. While waiting for the ferry, we explored a little bit of Varenna which was beyond gorgeous and charming. Again, I wish we had had more time to explore! So many of the houses and buildings in Varenna and Bellagio were the pastel color of candy: coral, pink, mint, and yellow… it was amazing.
A few other activities that we enjoyed during our time on Lake Como:
- Moto Guzzi Museum — the town we stayed in, Mandello del lario, was the birthplace of Moto Guzzi and has a museum dedicated to the Italian motorcycle maker. Unfortunately it was closed the dates we were there, but it’s a must-see next time.
- Lake Como Motorbike — Mauro took Sean on a private motorcycle tour of the Swiss Alps and we cannot recommend it enough! This was truly the experience of a lifetime and next time we go back, I might book a tour for myself, too.
- Bellagio Sailing — we booked a sunset sail on the Dama de Bellagio and it was spectacular.
Where to Stay on Lake Como
While booking our trip, I wasn’t sure where to stay on Lake Como because I had heard it could get really crowded, especially in the summertime. I ended up booking this Airbnb in Mandello del lario because I liked that it was near the motorcycle tour meet up spot, but also a 15-20 minute drive to Varenna where we could take the water taxi to Bellagio and other spots. It felt like a really great central location that was in a smaller town and not too crazy — and we were totally right! The town was actually quite sleepy and just so lovely. And our hosts were incredible. I loved every minute of hanging out with Dario and sipping wine by the pool.
If you’re local to the Lake Como area or have been before, what’s missing from this list? I’d love to know what some of your favorites are!
And in case you missed them, here are the travel guides for our entire Italian vacation:
- Travel Guide for Pisa
- Travel Guide for Tuscany & Annette Joseph Styling Workshop
- Travel Guide: Florence
- Travel Guide: Lake Como
- Travel Guide: Venice
Photography by Jojotastic.