With A-list celebrities taking homes here and holidaymakers returning year after year to the Lake's resorts, you'll soon fall under the spell of this special part of Italy.
You can't blame Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney for snapping up a home here (together with a few other notable A-listers): Lake Como is a curvaceous beauty, a glamorous siren of classic proportions; she's a sensuous and striking attraction on the already good-looking map of Italy.
Lake Como holidays can begin by flying into one of four airports that are less than two hours away. Two of these are on the outskirts of fashion-capital Milan, so a twin-centre holiday between the city and the lake is a popular choice. Lake Como is situated in the far north of Italy, granting easy access to Switzerland and affording terrific views across the Alps.
Those looking for an upmarket experience take holidays in the area, and you have the luxury of selecting from a number of grand hotels. The most popular towns and villages for visitors are mostly on the western shore of the glassy lake, which is constantly criss-crossed by ferries that offer the freedom to explore the lake's treasures. Menaggio is an attractive town, while the mid-lake towns of Tremezzo and Cadenabbia are also popular places to stay. Also on the western shore is Lenno. It's a small village and neighbour to the astoundingly beautiful Villa Balbianello, where Daniel Craig's James Bond smouldered his way through scenes in Casino Royale.
The resort of Bellagio, arguably the best looking of all the lake resorts, has a unique location in what appears to be the middle of the lake, where two branches of water split around it. Another popular choice is Varenna, on the eastern shore of Lake Como.
Most of the resorts are excellent bases for walking, boating, jet-skiing, and windsurfing, or for simply strolling along cobbled streets, craning your neck at the facades of historical buildings, and stopping every now and then to sip at a coffee. There are many restaurants and bars to choose from wherever you stay on Lake Como. And let's not forget the chance to flex the plastic. There are plenty of shops in which to splash the cash and live out your dreams as an A-list celebrity.
If you are hankering for a spot of culture while on holiday in Lake Como, you'll be spoiled for choice. Tour the incredible gardens of Villa Carlotta near Tremezzo, before popping your head inside to gaze at pieces of art, or visit Villa Monastero in Varenna, which is a monastery with equally famous gardens. The UNESCO listed Sacro Monte di Ossuccio is also worth a few hours. A number of “sacred mountains” crowned by Baroque chapels are scattered around this part of Italy, but this one on the western shore of the lake is a particular treasure.
The pace of life is slow in Lake Como, and holidays here suit couples and older families, plus those looking to get away from it all and take a deep lungful of fresh mountain air. Compare prices on Lake Como holiday deals today with TravelSupermarket.