Today the air in Lecco is so light, with a fragrant scent of lakeside Alps. The rainbow comes alive after a gentle rain… The sun is shining, illuminating my thoughtful face, generating a tender smile in my eyes. I am sitting in a café admiring the view to the Lake Como. A slice of paradise is melting on my lips, Italian gelato with nuts and banana taste makes me longing for more. The fascination with Italian ice-cream is not a secret or surprise, every traveler visiting this country knows this is one of the most delicious tastes on Earth. Enchanted by gelato and fairy lakeside view, I am checking my train schedule to reach the mountainous village Campsirago at the end of the day.
The story was more than ten years ago, but it feels as if it was only yesterday. My first solo trip to one of the most beautiful countries on the Planet was realized with an intention to participate in a voluntary environmental work camp in Campsirago, attend the concert of my favorite singer Bryan Adams and indulge in the magic of travel.
Did you know that Lake Como area is one of the most prestigious lakeside spots to spend a holiday?
In fact, Lake Como area with its array of villas is one of the most desired regions to invest in real estate. The region tends to fascinate its visitors with attractive mountains, fresh air, and picturesque sceneries. One may come to Lake Como with a purpose to explore as a tourist but may settle for more. There is something incredibly inviting in its air.
Set in the Province of Lombardy in the Northern Italy, Lake Como region has a myriad of towns to be enchanted with: Como, Lecco, Bellagio, Tremezzo, Nesso… And from all those towns, Bellagio is the one that has intrigued me deeply. Bellagio is known as a “Pearl of Lake Como”. The city is more like a village town, but not rural though. The cobbled stairways, panoramic views to the lake and pretty lanes made of stone seem to be painted perfectly on canvas. Fine restaurants and high-class hotels with a view provide an idyllic platform to relish in the beauty of Lake Como. Along with a perfect natural scene, Bellagio is characterized by its array of handicraft shops. Here you will find anything from handmade glasses, masks, to ornamental plates, leather shoes, and clothes. All crafted and produced through detailed hand work.
It was a long ago, I was fortunate to visit Bellagio with a group. We walked along the lakeside promenade, explored the flowery corners of the town for just a few hours. What especially remained in my memory were the ornamentally cut trees along the lake. Never before I had seen trees arranged so artistically that funnily resembled broccoli painted in brown color. Many years later, I noticed similarly sheared trees in Geneva, Switzerland.
Next to Bellagio, Lecco has attracted my attention with its peaceful aura and the fresh scent of the lakeside atmospheric air. It is a peaceful town, yet it is Italian. They say Northern and Southern Italy are like two completely diverse peripheries. Whilst that is true, the same North and another part of Northern Italy may seem quite dissimilar, too. What characterizes Lecco is its history and literature: in 1840, Alessandro Manzoni wrote a novel called “The Betrothed” that brought fame to the city Lecco. The novel tells a love story between Renzo and Lucia occurred in the town of Lecco that has been under Spanish domination by that time.
Lecco is perfectly positioned, allowing you to combine a visit to Milan or Bergamo and from there on to have a glimpse of history in the peaceful corners of Lecco.
Interesting Facts about Lake Como
The form of the lake is depicted as an inverted “Y”. So, if you look at the lake from the city Como, you will see one of the “legs”, while the other one stretched across the town Lecco in the South-East. The “head” accordingly is formed in the North, close to the town Colico. For mountain lovers out there, it is recommended to visit the Northern part of the lakeside area, as this is where the Alps are stretched over.
It is believed that the ice-cream – gelato of the Lake Como region has a specifically delicious flavor. So, give it a try!
What to See in and Around Lake Como
- -Isola Comacina: a long time ago, there was a fortress in the wealthiest part of the lake. Although it was destroyed in 1169, there are some ruins left open for visits. In the territory of the island, there is a new museum a Museum of Antiquarium in Ossuccio, which is open from March until October.
- -Tower of the Arts in Bellagio
- -Varenna's Castello di Vezio: a manor-house dating back to 11th century.
- -Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio: constructed in the 15th century, the villa has hosted many famous personalities, like Leonardo da Vinci, Queen Victoria, Emperor Maximillian I and many others.
- -Villa Manzoni in Lecco: A residential museum that has been a source of inspiration for the famed novel “The Betrothed” of the grand author Alessandro Manzoni.
- -Villa Monastero in Varenna: encased in an oasis of nature, a botanical garden filled with a list of exotic species, the villa will please your sight with its artistic taste.