Lake Como is about an hour north of Milan, and it's a popular holiday destination for Italians as well as foreign tourists. It's a fabulous place to visit, all the towns around the lake are lovely.
For someone like me who grew up in Australia, seeing this amount of water is amazing! Lake Como has 2 branches, the small hill in the middle of the picture is where the 2 branches meet, the town at that point is the most famous one on the lake, Bellagio.
The two branches are known to Italians by the main city at the base of the branch. So 'Ramo di Como' with the city of Como, and 'Ramo di Lecco' with the city of Lecco at the base of the branch. From Milan there are 2 different train lines that service Lake Como, one goes to Como and then into Switzerland. The other, a local line, goes up the Lecco branch of the lake serving the small towns on the eastern side of the lake.
Como has a cathedral, the Duomo. The piazza infront of the cathedral has quite a few restaurants catering to tourists.
My favourite thing to do is to go on the lake, to take a ferry up the lake to the different towns.
Villa Carlotta, at Tremezzina is a great stop for people who like beautiful gardens. The Villa was given to Charlotte, a duchess from what's now Germany, and named after her. Carlotta is the Italian version of Charlotte.
One year I was at Villa Carlotta in spring so got to see the climbing wisteria in bloom as well as the rhododendrons. Really pretty.
Spotted from the ferry, a small church up on the mountain.
A wedding couple on a gondola style boat!
Menaggio, across the lake from Bellagio and far less crowded!
Kayaks on the lake.
Varenna on the Lecco branch, frequent ferries sail the triangle from Varenna to Menaggio and Bellagio.
Coastal path at Varenna.
Ferries depart from either Como or Lecco going up that branch of the lake, right up to the top of Lake Como at Colico. Fast ferries just stop at a few towns on the way, then there's the slower ones that stop at smaller towns. The Como branch has buses that connect the towns and the Lecco branch has a local train line. And then there are the cross lake ferries, such as the ones that travel from Varenna to Menaggio and Bellagio.
Lake Como is just stunning, early spring the scenery also includes snowcapped mountains. The lake has beaches where people can swim, I've only ever paddled as the water, coming from those snow capped mountains, is freezing!! I admired the hardy Italians who could swim in it!