Lake Como is the most glamorous lake in Italy, for many reasons, incredible picturesque views of the Italian and Swiss Alps beloved by celebrities, lakeside historic villages and endless scenic walks.
We decided to spend a weekend on the West side of Lake Como, in the middle of February. Starting from Zurich, Lake Como can be reached in about 3 hours by car, as well as 1 hour from Milan.
Here are my TOP places to visit on the West side of the lake for the weekend:
At just 2 km from Como, this small town has incredible views over the lake and Monte Bisbino (1,325 meters). You could reach Como from Cernobbio on foot also, there is a nice walk of 6 km which connects the two cities.
Cernobbio has some of the most famous villas, including the impressive Villa d’Este and Villa Erba.
Argegno may not be glamorous, but it offers a glimpse of the authentic Italian village life. From the bridge near the marina, you have a perfect view of all its glory. Even if Argreno may not sound that popular on Lake Como, you can have a hard time finding a parking spot even in February! Parking costs 1 euro/hour.
Leave the busy main road and stroll around the quiet narrow streets behind Piazza Roma. There is also a good selection of cafes and restaurants in Argegno’s small central square, with gorgeous lake views.
Our favorite place on the lake! Home to the romantic eighteenth-century Villa del Balbianello (open for tourists from 13 March till 31 of October) and surrounded by luxuriant vegetation, Lenno is the perfect place for a weekend getaway! You will fall in love at first sight.
Lenno’s promenade offers magnificent panoramic views, perfect for a nice and quiet walk.
Menaggio is one of the most famous towns not just on the West side but on the entire lake. Lucky for us that February is less touristy, and we could enjoy the town in peace.
Menaggio has a gorgeous promenade along the lakeside and a main plaza with plenty of cafes and trattorias serving delicious Italian food.
With ferry services from Menaggio, the most popular towns nearby are Bellagio and Varenna on the eastern shore opposite Menaggio.
Greenway del Lago di Como
Perhaps one of the most sensational activities you could do on the lake, is to take it easy on the 10 km pedestrial Roman road starting from Colonno and reaches Cadenabbia di Griante.
The Greenway is an excellent alternative to explore the lake from a different viewpoint. We managed to walk only half of the path, but, it’s still on our to-do list to finish it!
Towns it crosses: Colonno, Sala Comacina, Ossuccio, Lenno, Mezzegra, Tremezzo, Griante. Make sure to have comfortable shoes, plenty of water and a fully charged phone, because you will take tons of photos. Find out more on their website.
Best places to eat
When it comes to Italy, is hard to go wrong when choosing a place to eat. We found out a couple of restaurants where the food was on another level!
Ristorante Una Finestra Sul Lago
Ristorante Una Finestra Sul Lago has a unique location with a fantastic view overlooking the lake. As this was not enough, we ate here one of the best pizza I can recall in a long time. The flavor of the ingredients was unreal, no doubt that the quality comes first here! We applaud ourself for choosing this place to eat :))
Even if the restaurant looks expensive and exquisite, we were delighted to find out that pizza was around 10 €.
Without booking in advance we did not manage to get a table outside, so if you want your experience to be 100% WOW, make sure to book a table.
Trattoria del Vapore
Located in the charming town of Cernobbio, this authentic restaurant offers traditional dishes like no other.
We served here one of the best pasta dishes and desserts, along with a glass of flavourful wine. Check out their website for more info and menu.
La Trattoria Constantin
Another authentic trattoria located in Menaggio where you can taste some of the most delicious local dishes at fair prices. Here we ate some more pizza (why not?!) and served some delicious fried fish from the lake. Visit their website for more information.
So it concludes our weekend getaway at Lake Como, I hope I didn’t make you crave too much especially with the last part :))
Even in February, I recommend a visit to Lake Como and here is why:
- the weather is still great, in mid-February we were blessed with temperatures around 14 °C – 15 °C.
- cheap hotels room
- less crowdy
Have an amazing day!