Written by Julia Silk,
15th August 2023

On Lake Como’s Western shore, there is a string of pretty villages with lake-view properties for sale. Lake Como is conveniently located north of Milan in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy. Both tourists and those working in the city of Milan find it so easy to get to, that they visit time after time. Some even buy second homes here. Its close proximity to the Alps also makes it a great location to enjoy all kinds of sports and activities in a breathtaking landscape.

Luxury villa and botanical garden in Lake Como, Lombardy region.


A history of Lake Como

Lake Como, Lago di Como in Italian, is sometimes called “Lario” – worth remembering when doing property searches! Also, you should be aware that the name “Como” is also given to the city on the southwestern tip, and also the province (provincia).

Find homes in Lake Como via our property portal.

Lake Como has a unique shape, rather like an upside-down Y or a long body with two legs running. It was formed by the melting of powerful glaciers and the erosive action of the ancient river Adda. The result was the formation of two separate branches of a lake.

Today, Bellagio town is located in the middle of the branches and the city of Como is on the left toe. A popular area to buy a holiday home is up the western side. This is largely due to its proximity to transport links. There are several towns and villages along this stretch of shoreline, making it possible to visit a few in one day.

Getting to Lake Como

Milan Malpesa (MXP)

Milan Bergamo (BGY)

Milan Linate (LIN)


Lake Como


By plane: Milan Malpensa is the nearest airport to Como City and the villages on the western shore. Drive time from Malpensa Airport to Argegno is just over an hour. From Milan, you can reach the villages on this section of the lake in around an hour and a quarter by car.

By train: Alternatively, you can get a shuttle bus from the airport into Milan, followed by a train from Milan to Como City. From there you can catch a bus or boat to the villages. Other airports include Milan Bergamo (BGY), located 83 kilometres from Como and Milan Linate (LIN), located 66 km from Como.

By car: If you are considering driving to Como from Central London, travelling through France and Switzerland, you should allow about 14 hours. For those property owners who plan to stay for several weeks, and use their own car, it’s a good option. Also, if you want to bring your pet with you.

Transport around the lake

Bus and boat services connect the major towns along the western shore of Lake Como. There are several types and sizes of boats, and in the central part of Lake Como, car ferries connect the cities of Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio and Cadenabbia. Public boat services run all year round on the west side of the lake, operated by Navigazione Laghi.

When you want to visit several places, a convenient option is to purchase a circular boat tour ticket. These tickets allow passengers to hop on and off at various ferry ports along the lake, enabling a flexible and personalised experience. Buses are cheaper but can take a while when doing lots of stops.

Colourful houses on the lake’s shore


Swimming in Lake Como

Due to the proximity of the mountains, Lake Como’s water is rather chilly, even on the hottest days. However, you can swim in Lake Como. The period from July to August is the best time to brave the cool waters of the lake. There are also many open-air swimming pools and equipped beaches on Lake Como. The most popular “lidos” are located in Como, Cernobbio, Fagetto Lario, Moltrasio, and Lenno. Water sports are also popular on Lake Como.


If you enjoy scenic walks, Lake Como has routes to suit everyone. The foothills of the Italian Alps are excellent for hiking, and there are routes connecting towns along the shoreline. The mountain hiking trails around Lake Como have a total distance of more than 250 km.

The Lake Como Greenway https://greenwaylagodicomo.com/en/trails/greenway-lake-como/ is a trail that goes through many villages on the western shore of the lake. The Greenway is 6 miles (10km) long, but can be done in stages at your own pace. There is so much to see along the way, you will want to have regular stops to admire a view, a palace, a garden or a pretty village cafe.

Your healthy lifestyle by Lake Como? (Danny Iacob / Shutterstock.com)

Villas and gardens

If you love visiting beautiful gardens and historic houses you have come to the right place. From March to November, it is possible to visit some gorgeous gardens. You’ll be able to visit Villa Balbianello (Tremezzina), Villa Melzi (Bellagio), Villa Monastero (Varenna) and many other historic mansions near the lake. In the summer, these villas often host music events and guided tours.

Villages along the Western Shore








Tremezzina is located on the western banks of Lake Como, just opposite Bellagio, and is the result of a recent merger of the municipalities of Lenno, Mezzegra, Ossuccio and Tremezzo. The area is so rich in history, atmosphere and beautiful scenery that it has even been used as a film location. Some scenes from Star Wars were filmed in this area!

Find your dream home in Lake Como

Tremezzo is the main hamlet of Tremezzina. It combines hills with a touristy lakefront and sumptuous villas and hotels. One of which is the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, one of the few 5-star hotels on Lake Como. A short distance from the Tremezzo pier, you can find other attractions of the village, such as the Landscape Museum. Located inside Villa Mainona, it houses a collection of old prints of the lake and a multimedia system that allows visitors to compare historical maps.

A popular park in Tremezzo is Parco Civico Olivelli. This small botanical gem provides access to the lake and is ideal for relaxing in the shade of its tall trees or sitting at tables in its small café. In summer, it hosts food and music events.

View from Mennagio village, Lake Como


Menaggio is situated at the beginning of the valley which connects Lake Como to Lake Lugano. With a total of 3,200 inhabitants, it also includes the hamlets of Loveno, Nobiallo and Croce. Lovena is where you’ll see the elegant villas, Croce is a rural hamlet and Nobiallo is a typical fishing village.

Mennagio has enchanted tourists with its stunning scenery since the 18th century. The grand hotels and elegant villas of Menaggio date back to this period. In addition, there is a medieval heart to the town which can be reached by following the cobblestone alleyways leading up to the area called Castello.

Browse homes in Mennagio

The main square is a great place to relax at a cafe or a restaurant and taste the superb local cuisine. You can also enjoy beautiful views on a stroll along Menaggio’s lovely lakeside promenade. Another option is to go hiking or cycling in the hills. There are many trails to explore in Val Sanagra Park, which is a protected area.

Menaggio also boasts an 18-hole golf course, several sports facilities and a public beach. At the Lido, there is also a swimming pool with spectacular views of the lake. Thanks to its central position, its main car and passenger ferry links and bus connections, Menaggio is an ideal starting point for all kinds of excursions.

Browse homes in Mennagio on Your Overseas Home


Stunning views from an Ossuccio home

The village of Ossuccio also comes under the municipality of Tremezzina. The village overlooks the tranquil waters of an inlet facing Isola Comacina. The waters here are so tranquil, it is referred to as Zoca de l’Oli, meaning “as smooth as oil”. Due to the mild microclimate, you will see Mediterranean plants here, including olive trees.

The area is rich in history and art, with many beautiful churches to visit. It is also a good location from which to visit the Isle of Comacina and the Abbey of San Benedetto.

Browse homes for sale in Ossuccio on Your Overseas Home

The stunning village of Mezzegra at sunset


A home on the lake in Mezzegra

The village of Mezzegra, in the municipality of Tremezzina, includes the hamlets of Azzano and Giulino and the historic nucleus of Bonzanigo. This charming village has a population of less than a thousand, yet has many beautiful buildings.

Mezzegra is full of wonderful frescoed palaces, thanks to the wealth of families who traded across Europe. Well worth a visit is the parish church of Sant’Abbondio, the church of San Giuseppe, the church of the Addolorata and the exhibitions of traditional nativity scenes at the Casa dei Presepi.

In July people come from miles around to see the Palio di Mezzegra. This exciting event with a Medieval costumed parade, sees the various villages competing against each other in games. A meal at a local restaurant isn’t complete without tasting the local Mugnano wine, produced from heritage grapevines.


Could this be your dream apartment in Lenno?

Many people visit Lenno on their way to see the Villa Balbianello, which is where scenes from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Casino Royale were filmed. It is a lovely village to explore. There are two parts, the main centre near the church and the small historic centre to the south.

In the main square, you can see a lovely baptistery. This octagonal building was built in the 11th century and inside you can see several frescoes added during the Baroque period. A short distance from the baptistery is the Church of Saint Stephen, which has an 11th-century crypt. It is built in the Romanesque style and still retains the layout of the Roman baths that stood there 2000 years ago.

Lenno also has a pleasant promenade along the edge of the lake with a small beach at one end. From here you can enjoy views across Lake Como to the forested hills opposite. Lenno’s mild and dry climate favours the growth of Mediterranean-type vegetation. It is so beautiful it has been nicknamed the Gulf of Venus.

Among the historic buildings in the area is the Acquafredda Abbey, which can be reached by a path surrounded by olive trees. It gets its name from a spring that flows nearby.

Browse homes for sale in Lenno today 

Boats docked in Argegno


Argegno is a relaxed and authentic village, with a small welcoming population of around six hundred and fifty. It is quieter than some of its more touristy neighbours and hasn’t had a lot of new building development. This is because there is no space to expand, as it is sandwiched between two mountains and the lake.

Argegno offers stunning views of Lake Como

Some new homes have been built on the upper slopes, which benefit from panoramic views. But they don’t affect the ancient charm of the village below. You can still stroll around narrow cobbled alleyways leading off of the village’s central Piazza.

To get the best views of Argegno take the cable car up to Pigra. The views of Argegno and the surrounding area from the cable car are amazing. Another great viewpoint, worth a photo, is from the pedestrian bridge crossing the stream between the Marina and Via Lungo Telo di Sinistra.

Browse homes in Argegno today

Download the Italy Buying Guide today

The process of buying property in Italy is significantly different from here in the UK. This is why we’ve created our completely free Italy Buying Guide, to provide those dreaming of a new life in Italy with all of the practical, legal, and financial information needed to help them realise that dream.

  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

Download your free guide to buying in Italy

Pin It on Pinterest