The Main Villages of the Central Lake


Bellagio, Varenna, and Menaggio

Central Lake Como is the area of Lake Como that encompasses the villages best known to tourists from around the world, those of Bellagio, Varenna and Menaggio. Unmissable stops for those visiting Lake Como for the first time.


The village of Bellagio is located right on the promontory that divides Lake Como into its three branches. It is one of the most famous and renowned tourist destinations, with historic residences, villas, and remarkable landscape features. The small streets with handicraft shops are a must for tourists. A visit to Villa Melzi, with its fantastic gardens overlooking the lake, and the park of Villa Serbelloni, a luxury hotel and study center of the Rockefeller foundation, should not be missed. Bellagio’s appeal is above all panoramic, because from here you can embrace the central part of Lake Como. Add to that the splendid villas, the scent of trees and flowers, the colors, the picturesque stairways, and you will understand why Bellagio is known as the “ Pearl of Lake Como”. Bellagio is an excellent starting point for various walks, both along the lake and on the paths that connect the various hamlets. It is the starting point for the ascent leading to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Ghisallo and the Cycling Museum. From Bellagio, one can also depart by boat and ferry to reach other renowned villages on the opposite shores of Lake Como.


Located on the eastern shore of Lake Como, just opposite Bellagio, the village of Varenna is known as the diamond of the Lario. Characterized by narrow streets of ups and downs full of bars, restaurants, and local handicraft shops, it is the perfect destination to spend pleasant days enjoying the tranquility of the lake. Not to be missed is a stop at the Lovers’ Promenade “Passeggiata degli innamorati”, a walkway suspended above between rock and water that traverses all of Varenna, from the boat dock to the center of the village. A scenic route with a few rock benches and breathtaking views will undoubtedly make you fall in love with Varenna. Villa Monastero, which dates back to the late 12th century, is a must-see for history and nature enthusiasts. It now houses a museum, conference center, and botanical park stretching over 2km. A true gem of architecture, botany, and history, allowing visitors to travel through time. Finally, it is impossible not to mention the Vezio Castle, or “Castello di Vezio,” a fortification over a thousand years old that can be reached on foot from the center of Varenna and offers an unmissable view of the entire lake center. Its dungeons can be visited, as well as the tower and the botanical garden, which houses a falconry school and plaster statues depicting ghosts.


Menaggio is situated on the western shore of Lake Como. Its location, combined with its exceptionally warm climate, has made it a tourist destination since the nineteenth century, a period to which the first hotels in the area were built. The excellence of Menaggio is unquestionably its lakefront, which is full of bars, restaurants and stores. Walking around offers wonderful views of the lake’s center and the surrounding mountains. From here, one may observe the profile of Bellagio and the Grigne Mountains. For sun worshippers, Lerai beach offers the possibility to enjoy a unique view of the Lario pampered by all the comforts that the lido can offer. Menaggio is also a great destination for trekking and walking enthusiasts, thanks to the numerous pathways through the Val Senagra Park, Plesio, and Breglia, as well as climbs on Mount Grona at 1,400 meters, which serves as a junction for paths to the Upper Lake and the Cavargna Valley.

Where to eat

Ice cream shop Riva

Stone House

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Where to sleep

Hotel Royal Victoria

Camping Madonna del Ghisallo

B&B Garzola

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Commercial Activities and Services

La Flaca Boat

Jungle Raider Park

Bellagio Sailing

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What to see

The historic villas of Lake Como

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Our Tours

We offer a series of daily tours to discover the historical, artistic, cultural and enogastronomic treasures of Lake Como.


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Where to eat

Where to sleep

Activities and Services

What to see