For travelers visiting Northern Italy, particularly a big city like Milan, Como is an easy train ride away and makes for a perfect, peaceful day trip, and a serene break from chaos. And the famously charming lakeside town is lovely all year round.

Lake Como itself isn’t exactly one I’d suggest going for a swim in, at least not in the section by the town, due to cleanliness, but it sure makes for a fantastic view and a boat ride is definitely a good idea. The colorful houses stacked up the lush green hillsides beside the bright blue-green water is one of the most iconic images of Italy. The nearby funicular to the town above is also surely worth your time for a panoramic view, unfortunately I don’t have a picture of that to share because an extremely rude fog decided to roll in.

como lake

Enjoy the lake but don’t forget about the downtown area of Como as well. It’s a clean and colorful place filled with pedestrian-only streets and piazzas, great for exploring. Likely due to it’s pristine appearance, Como is a bit of a luxury tourist town and can have the prices to match (George Clooney even owns a villa nearby), so budget travelers might pack a lunch to enjoy by the lake and then opt for just a gelato in town.

como town

One of the must-see sights of town is the Duomo. It’s beautiful and impressive like many Italian churches, but it has a unique little game. Apparently some time ago, Como was flooded and the water hit an impressively high mark considering how far back the church is from the lake. There is a frog carved by one of the doors marking the water level and if you can find it it’s good luck. I can give you a hint, but I can’t tell you exactly where it is — no cheating. Check out the photo below, the frog is somewhere here, so at least now when you visit you’ll have a starting point… it’s a big church.

como church frog

All photos via Sarah Freeman

Will you take a day trip to Lake Como?

American by chance, but Roman by choice, Sarah is currently feeding her adventurous soul with expatriatism and pizza. Her finest moments are always on the wrong bus with a backpack and an upside down map, waiting to see what the world’s got for her next, so long as she can blog about it. She likes writing more than talking, dolphins more than humans, old movies more than new, and Rome more than anything else.

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