Lake Como, located just 50km from Milan, is discernable for its unique inverted Y shape that runs along three branches : the branch of Como in the south west, Lecco in the south east and Colico in the north.
It is known worldwide for its beautiful villas nestled between the lake and mountains that characterise its landscape, the picturesque views and lush gardens where you can spend a relaxing stay in close contact with nature.
These places have been a source of inspiration for artists and writers such as Alessandro Manzoni, who used this as the setting for his famous novel "The Betrothed" and Gustave Flaubert who returned here several times, fascinated by the uniqueness of the landscape.
Lake Como is home to some of Lombard's most famous resorts such as Bellagio, "the Pearl of Lake Como", loved by cyclists and motorcyclists for the beauty of the streets along the lake. Its romantic atmosphere also makes this a popular spot for couples. Tremezzo, with its mild climate even in winter, provides the ideal environment for olive trees, grapes and lemons. Varenna is a picturesque village is where you can spend a pleasant evening sipping on a drink in one of the lake's many locales.
Beautiful, stately homes populate the entire perimeter of the lake: Villa Olmo, now an exhibition centre of international renown; Villa Carlotta, which houses masterpieces by Hayez and Canova; Villa Balbaniello, with its elegant loggia; Villa Melzi d' Eril with its orangery ; Villa Serbelloni with its spectacular park along with the beautiful Villa d'Este and Villa Erba. Some of these villas have been chosen as the location for famous films and several Hollywood stars, enchanted by the area's beauty, have purchased properties here in recent years.
Lake Como is also the destination of choice for those who love outdoor sports.
You can go windsurfing and kitesurfing in the Upper Lake between Dervio and Colico, to sailing on the lakes of Oggiono and Pusiano, take boat trips on the river Adda and go rafting in the torrents of Valsasso accompanied by experienced local mountain guides. You can even enjoy sport fishing on Lake Pusiano, on the eastern shore of Lake Como, on the river Adda and on the Pioverna torrent in Valsassina.
Those who crave excitement can paraglide off the side of Mount Cornizzolo, and from the Cimon and Muggio Mountains in Upper Valsassina; or climb the trees in the adventure parks of Piani delle Betulle, Piani di Erna and Piani Resinelli.
The lake cycle path, for lovers of cycling, has a number of easy trails suitable for families with children; the mountain routes of Valsassina, like the ones that lead to Val Biandina, are more suited to experienced adults that are best explored with a mountain bike.
You can visit the area in an unusual way , with a horse , for example. There are equestrian centres in Brianza, Valsassina and Alto Lago.
For golfers there is the well-known golf course on Lake Annone. And for those who love hiking, there are hundreds of paths and trails that run through the territory. From the famous peaks of Resegone and the Grigne mountains to the Sentiero del Viandante hiking trail, there are plenty of ways to discover the natural and artistic beauty of the resorts that dot the slopes that lie north of Lecco.
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