The magnificent landscape of Lake Como, named also Lario, enchanted, over the centuries, artists and travelers: by the French writer Flaubert musicians Gioacchino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi and Vincenzo Bellini, who wrote the opera "Norma". The lake has been the birthplace of famous people such as the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta, inventor of the first electric power generator, the battery.
Nowadays, the lake continues to attract celebrities from the international jet-set that appreciating the beauty of the lake and the charming towns that surround it have decided to establish his residence.
Lake Como, located about 50 km from Milan, between the provinces of Como and Lecco, is the third biggest Italian lake, after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore, and the deepest lake in Europe (410 meters). One of the typical characteristics of Lario is the shape of an inverted Y, which unfolds into three branches: southwest of Como and Lecco in the southeast and north Colico.
From its shores enjoy many and fascinating views: picturesque villages, beautiful villas and lush gardens await visitors looking for relaxation, entertainment and culture in close contact with nature. Many splendid villas dot the shores of the lake, while its most important villages offer different preciousness to discover. For example, in Como, the town from which the lake takes its name, there is the Educational Silk Museum where you can trace the evidence of textile production tradition of the city.
Como is also considered the birthplace of the artistic and Italian architectural rationalism; here there are many examples of European modern architecture as the Novocomum, the house Giuliani Frigerio, the War Memorial and the former House of Fascism, all projected by the Italian architect Giuseppe Terragni. In Cernobbio, do not forget to visit the sixteenth century Villa d'Este, used by Alfred Hitchcock as a film location "Garden of Pleasure", and the famous Villa Erba, one of the most important villas of the nineteenth century Italian lake and today exhibition congressional complex of international fame.
Continuing north you reach Ossuccio, famous for its spectacular Island Comacina, the only island of the lake and the Sacred Mountain of Ossuccio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. In the nearby towns of Moltrasio and Lenno, they are worth visiting Villa Passalacqua and Villa Balbianello, location of the film Star Wars I and Agent 007 - Casino Royale.
Along the coast you meet also Tremezzo and its Villa Carlotta, with terraced gardens and museum, decorated with works of Canova, Thorvaldsen and Hayez. At the meeting point of the three branches of the lake stands the Bellagio, with its elegant aristocratic villas, including Villa Serbelloni and Villa Melzi, the latter famous for its botanical park.
Heading south we reach Lecco, where you can visit Villa Manzoni, Manzoni's home, and access the starting point of a journey in the footsteps of The Betrothed. Continuing north, you can visit beautiful towns like Varenna, Bellano and Colico, headquarters of the Abbey of Piona.
The historical and cultural vocation of Lake Como joins the outdoor sports and activities of a lake that is a destination of choice for lovers of active holidays. In fact, in the summer fans of water sports can enjoy sailing, rowing, windsurfing, motor boating, water skiing, canoeing and kite-surfing. Who practices the "air sports" such as hang gliding, paragliding and gliding can enjoy a privileged point of view about the scenery of the lake. Mountain lovers can instead try their hand at rock climbing, great tours, hiking, biking and horseback riding, while in winter you can easily reach stunning ski resorts and immense slopes in the Alpes. Even golf around the lake has a place of honor with seven internationally renowned courses in the green.
Last but not least, Lake Como is a perfect place to taste a high level Italian cuisine. Lovers of fine cuisine wishing to know the gastronomic traditions of the area have the opportunity to discover unique flavors and products, such as risotto with perch fillets, the precious oil olive, the many vegetables and of course many dishes based on fish as “missoltini” (savory shad, dried and pressed which are marinated with vinegar and oil).
Someone says that Lario is the most beautiful lake in the world. To find out whether it is true or not, you can only go and see!
Goffredo de’ Conti di Segni
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