Como (Lago di
Como [ˈlaːɡo di ˈkɔːmo] or locally [ˈlaːɡo
di ˈkoːmo] in Italian, also known as Lario [ˈlaːrjo], after the
Latin name of the lake; Lagh de Còmm [ˈlɑːk de ˈkɔm] in Lombard;
Latin: Larius Lacus) is a lake of glacial origin in Lombardy, Italy.
It has an area of 146 square kilometres (56 sq mi), making
it the third-largest lake in Italy, after
Lake Garda and Lake
Maggiore. At over 400 metres (1,300 feet) deep, it is one of the
deepest lakes in Europe, and the bottom of the lake is more than 200
metres (660 ft) below sea level.
Como has been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy
people since Roman times, and a very popular tourist attraction with
many artistic and cultural gems. It has many villas and palaces (such
Villa Serbelloni, and
Villa Carlotta). Many famous
people have had and have homes on the shores of Lake Como.
The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post called it the most beautiful lake in the
world for its microclimate and environment with prestigious villas and
3.1 Lakeside villas
3.3 Sacro Monte di Ossuccio
4 Villages, resorts, and other remarkable localities near the lake
5 References in literature
6 Depictions in popular culture
9 See also
12 External links
The lake's name in
Latin is Larius, Italianised as Lario, but this
name is rarely used; it is usually called Lago di
"lake of Como"). In guidebooks the lake may be variously referred to
as Lake Como, Lake of Como, or
Como Lake. Its name comes from the city
of Como, known to the Romans as Comum.
While the town of
Como is referred to as Como, the lake is never
referred to solely by this name. This is not true of another lake in
Italy, Lake Garda, where Garda may refer to either the town fronting
the lake, or the lake.
Aerial photograph of Lake Como, showing its distinctive three-armed
The lake is shaped much like an inverted letter "Y". The northern
branch begins at the town of Colico, while the towns of
Como and Lecco
sit at the ends of the southwestern and southeastern branches
respectively. The small towns of Bellagio,
situated at the intersection of the three branches of the lake: a
triangular boat service operates between them.
Como is fed primarily by the Adda River, which enters the lake
Colico and flows out at Lecco. This geological conformation makes
the southwestern branch a dead end, and so Como, unlike Lecco, is
The mountainous pre-alpine territory between the two southern arms of
the lake (between Como, Bellagio, and Lecco) is known as the Larian
Triangle, or Triangolo lariano. The source of the river
here. At the centre of the triangle, the town of
Canzo is the seat of
the Comunità montana del Triangolo lariano, an association of the 31
municipalities that represent the 71,000 inhabitants of the area.
Como weather is humid subtropical (Cfa in the Köppen climate
classification). In the winter, the lake helps to maintain a higher
temperature in the surrounding region. Average daily temperatures
range from about 3.7 °C (39 °F) in January to
23.4 °C (74 °F) in July, according to historical weather
data from Como. Water temperatures can reach an average of
24 °C (75 °F) during the month of July. Snowfall is
erratic and primarily affects the higher elevations. Rainfall is
heaviest in May and lowest during the winter months.
As a tourist destination, Lake
Como is popular for its landscapes,
wildlife, and spas. It is a venue for sailing, windsurfing, and
kitesurfing. In 1818
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote to Thomas Love
Peacock: "This lake exceeds anything I ever beheld in beauty, with the
exception of the arbutus islands of Killarney. It is long and narrow,
and has the appearance of a mighty river winding among the mountains
and the forests".
In the area surrounding Lake
Como there are several farms which
produce goods such as honey, olive oil, cheese, milk, eggs and
salamis. Visitors can find lists of these farms and typically visit
the farm itself in person to make their purchases.
Villa Melzi d'Eril.
Villa del Balbianello.
Como from lakeside villa
The lake is well known for the attractive villas that have been built
there since Roman times, when
Pliny the Younger
Pliny the Younger built the Comedia and
the Tragedia resorts. Many villas on the lake shores have admirable
gardens that benefit from the mild climate induced by the stabilising
presence of 22.5 km³ of lake water and are fit to host tropical
Villa Carlotta was built for the Milanese Marquis Giorgio Clerici in
1690 and occupies a site of over 7 ha (17 acres) at Tremezzo,
facing the Bellagio peninsula. An
Italian garden (with steps,
fountains, and sculptures) was laid out at the same time. The villa
was later sold to powerful banker and Napoleonic politician Giovanni
Stendhal was his guest in 1818, and his visit is
recalled at the start of La Chartreuse de Parme. In 1843 it was
purchased by Princess Marianne of Nassau as a wedding present for her
daughter Carlotta, after whom the villa is now named. The latter,
together with her husband Georg II of Saxen-Meiningen, laid out the
woodland landscape park in Romantic style. The villa today includes a
museum of agricultural implements as well as important works of
sculpture by Sommariva’s friend
Antonio Canova and by Luigi
Villa d'Este, in Cernobbio, was built in 1568 by Cardinal Tolomeo
Gallio, a native of the town. In 1816–1817 the villa was home to
Caroline of Brunswick, estranged wife of the Prince of Wales and
shortly to become Queen Consort of King George IV of the United
Kingdom. The landscaped gardens in the English style are a product of
this period. Later in the century it was turned into a luxury hotel.
Villa d’Este is known for attracting celebrity guests.
Villa del Balbianello, famous for its elaborate terraced gardens, lies
on a promontory of the western shore of the lake near Isola Comacina.
Built in 1787 on the site of a Franciscan monastery, it was the final
home of the explorer
Guido Monzino and today houses a museum devoted
to his work.
Villa Melzi d'Eril in Bellagio was built in neo-classical style by
Giocondo Albertolli in 1808–10 as the summer residence of
Duke Francesco Melzi d'Eril, who was vice-president of the Napoleonic
Italian Republic. The park includes an orangery, a private chapel,
fine statues, and a Japanese garden, and is planted, as often on lake
Como, with huge rhododendrons. 19th-century guests at the Villa
Stendhal and Franz Liszt.
Villa Serbelloni, also in Bellagio, hosts the Rockefeller Foundation
Bellagio Center, a 50-acre (200,000 m2) international conference
center set up and managed by the
Rockefeller Foundation since 1959,
which also operates a "scholar-in-residence" program for scholars from
around the world. This is believed to have been the site of Pliny the
Younger’s villa "Tragedia". Its well-known park was created at the
end of the 18th century by Alessandro Serbelloni.
Many famous people have or have had homes on the shores of Lake Como,
such as Matthew Bellamy, John Kerry, Madonna, George Clooney,
Gianni Versace, Ronaldinho, Sylvester Stallone, Julian Lennon, Richard
Branson, Ben Spies, and Pierina Legnani.
Como ferry service is a highly developed public transport
system linking the many small towns around the Lake. A motorized
service began in 1826 when a steamship with sails, the “Lario”,
was launched by the newly established Società privilegiata per
l'impresa dei battelli a vapore nel Regno Lombardo Veneto. Since 1952
the system has been run under the auspices of a government
organization called first the Gestione Commissariale Governativa and
subsequently the Gestione Governativa Navigazione Laghi, which is also
responsible for services on
Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda.
Today there are three main services:
Motorship services along the western branch and northern end of the
Colico or Piona and
Como town), with additional shuttles
to the mid-lake area.
Fast services that follow broadly the same route, but use faster
hydrofoils, stop less frequently, and cost extra.
Ferries that run only between the popular mid-lake villages of
Menaggio, Bellagio, and Varenna, plus Cadenabbia. Some of these boats
carry vehicles as well as passengers.
The lake boat Concordia and the car ferry Plinio.
Sacro Monte di Ossuccio
Chapel 5 of Sacro Monte di Ossuccio. Disputation with the Doctors
Sacro Monte di Ossuccio
Sacro Monte di Ossuccio ("Holy Mount of Ossuccio") is a sanctuary
located on a hillside slope between olive groves and woods along the
western edge of Lake
Como facing Isola Comacina. Fifteen Baroque
inspired chapels, built between 1635 and 1710, and dedicated to the
Mysteries of the
Rosary are dotted along the way that leads to the
Monastery. This building is the last in the chain and is dedicated to
the Coronation of the Virgin.
In 2003, the Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy, including that of
Ossuccio, were added by
UNESCO to the World Heritage List.
Villages, resorts, and other remarkable localities near the
The Parco Meier, a public garden at Tremezzo
Menaggio from Lake Como
Cities and villages on Lake Como
from North to South
from West to East
from North to South
Mandello del Lario
References in literature
Como at Lecco
Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Ernst Stavro Blofeld retreats to a "metropolitan hotel" on Lake Como
after his plans are foiled by
James Bond in the novel On Her Majesty's
Secret Service by Ian Fleming.
Catullus asks his friend Caecilius to depart from Lake
Rome in poem 35.
Paul the Deacon, a Lombard grammarian and poet of the 8th century,
wrote one of his better known poems in praise of Lake
Como (Versus in
Laude Larii Laci).
Alessandro Manzoni chose to start his The Betrothed with a graphic
description of Lake Como.
Fabrice del Dongo, the protagonist of
The Charterhouse of Parma
The Charterhouse of Parma by
Stendhal, is born and raised near Lake Como.
Mark Twain visited Lake
Como in the summer of 1867. He describes the
lake and its environs at length in The Innocents Abroad, which
recounts a lengthy pleasure excursion to Jerusalem.
The character of
Victor Frankenstein marries Elizabeth in the vicinity
Como in the novel by Mary Shelley.
The lake is referenced by Jean in August Strindberg's magnum opus play
Ernest Hemingway's character Lieutenant Henry in A Farewell to Arms
talks about taking a vacation to Lake Como.
Nagg and Nell recollect rowing out onto Lake
Como the day after their
engagement in Samuel Beckett's play Endgame.
Cadenabbia on Lake
Como is the principal setting for Gladys Theodora
Parrish Huntingdon's novel Madame Solario.
Maria Ruskin, a character in Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities,
New York City
New York City to Lake Como, in order to spend time with
Artist Filipo Chirazzi.
Depictions in popular culture
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Como was used as filming location for movies such as The Pleasure
Bobby Deerfield (1977),
A Month by the Lake (1995),
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), Ocean's Twelve
(2004), Casino Royale (2006), and Imagine You & Me (2016), and for
the music videos Gwen Stefani's "Cool" and John Legend's "All of Me".
In television, it was also used as a set for the Chuck episode "Chuck
Versus the Honeymooners". In Series 21 of the British television
series Top Gear,
Richard Hammond races around the perimeter of the
lake in an
Alfa Romeo 4C
Alfa Romeo 4C while
Jeremy Clarkson uses a Gibbs Quadski.
In the daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful, Stephanie Forrester
(Susan Flannery) tossed long-time rival
Sally Spectra (Darlene Conley)
Como after Sally tries to prevent Stephanie from getting to
her own wedding.
Como is the setting of the annual Classic cycling race, the Giro
di Lombardia (Tour of Lombardy).
Como seen from
Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo, near the centre of the
Como seen from the city of Como.
Lecco and the Lake of Como, branch of Lecco, from "Ciresa
plain" on Mt. Barro.
Como from inside Lake Como
^ a b c d e "Laghi italiani". Istituto Italiano di Idrobiologia.
^ "The World's 20 Most Beautiful Lakes". The Huffington Post. 2014.
Retrieved 22 May 2017.
^ The meaning of Larian is "related to the Lake Como", since the Latin
name of Lake
Como was Larius. So, the expression Triangolo lariano,
or, in English, Larian Triangle, means exactly "Lake
Como Triangle" or
"Triangle of the Lake Como".
^ "Climate data for Como".
Como holidays, inghams.com, April 20, 2010
^ 2006 Kiteboard Pro World Tour event, Lake Como, Italiaspeed.com,
June 6, 2006
^ Francis W Halsey, ed. (1914). Seeing
Europe with Famous Authors.
VIII. Funk & Wagnells.
^ "Directly from the producer - Lago di Como". www.lakecomo.it.
^ See Infoparchi,
Villa Carlotta; Villacarlotta.it,
^ See Infoparchi,
^ "Lifeinitaly.com". Archived from the original on 2009-11-06.
^ Massimo Gozzi, "History of Navigation on Lake Como" Archived
2009-10-15 at the Wayback Machine., Gestione Governativa Navigazione
Laghi, 2007, pp 1–2.
^ "General Management" Archived 2010-05-05 at the Wayback Machine.,
Gestione Governativa Navigazione Laghi, 2007.
^ "'Autumn Timetable 2009' Gestione Governativa Navigazione Laghi".
Archived from the original on 2010-03-16.
^ M.G.H. Poetae Karolini Aevi, I, pp. 42-43: dMGH.de
Macadam, Alta (1997). Blue Guide. Northern Italy: From the
Bologna. London: A & C Black. ISBN 0-7136-4294-7.
Media related to Lake
Como at Wikimedia Commons
Como travel guide from Wikivoyage
Como (Lago di Como, Lario)
Lombardy (Province of Como, Province of Lecco)
Consiglio di Rumo
Mandello del Lario
Pianello del Lario
Santa Maria Rezzonico
Castello di Vezio
Sacro Monte di Ossuccio
Villa del Balbianello
Piccolo mondo antico
Adeliza de Borgomanero
Landmarks of Lombardy
Accademia Carrara di Belle Arti di Bergamo
Basilica of Sant'Andrea, Mantua
Certosa di Pavia
Ducal palace, Mantua
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan
Monastery of San Salvatore, Brescia
Palazzo del Te
Porta Nuova, Milan
Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
Villa of Monza
Sacri Monti of Lombardy
San Michele Maggiore, Pavia
San Siro Stadium
Stelvio National Park
Torrazzo of Cremona