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.
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.
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.
All photos via Sarah Freeman