Explore Milan's Beautiful Surroundings

Once again, this is to say that Milan offers more than just shopping. Surrounded by beautiful towns, lakes and mountains, Milan is connected to the great outdoors just a short train or car journey away. 

by Lavinia Pisani

Sure you have heard of Lake Como. Whether you red about it in a gossip magazine stalking George Clooney, or on a travel feature dreaming of Italy, you know that this acclaimed lakeshore is characterised by breathtaking sceneries.

With a total surface of 146 square kilometers, Como is considered the third largest lake in Italy and Europe's deepest (about 400 meters). From Milan, it is an hour morning commute and once there, you will etch in memory postcards of elegant villas, surrounded by lavish greeneries, overlooking the blue water. During wintertime, you may even glimpse at the snowcapped Alps that play in the background. Indeed a day trip to Como is always in season.

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Stretch your legs exploring the lake’s main town Como with its Basilica of Sant’ Abbondio, Villa Olmo, Casa del Fascio and Tempio Voltiano. Proceed then to the Como/Brunate tram service and enjoy the charming panorama on the lake and Alps. Once on top, take time to enjoy a leisurely lunch break, while taking all this beauty in. Another picturesque village to consider for a lunch break is Bellagio, try the Cava Turacciolo and Enoteca La Principessa for Italian delicacies shopping.

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Related: Italy's Coast and Lakes: Top Destinations

A boat tour around the lake is another must-do. Following a seasonal calendar, that usually starts in March, taxi-boat Varenna really takes you to see that famous Clooney’s villa in Laglio, as well as iconic 16th-century Villa Balbianello.

For a full, lavish villa tour head to Cernobbio to peek at stunning Villa D’Este, Villa Erba and Villa Il Pizzo. Go further and explore Lake Como’s only island, Isola Comacina, which is inhabited but used to represent an important center on the lake. The small church there is dedicated to St. John and every year on Saturday, following St. John’s day on June 24th, the island is lit up by a spectacular firework display.

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Motor geeks will be happy to know Como is home to the Moto Guzzi Museum. Featuring various Italian motorcycles from different epochs, this is a fun thing to do while cruising from one village to another.

Keep in mind that the Tremezzo village is another one known as “the pearl of the lake,” thanks to its position in the m iddle of the lake with shops and handicrafts. After a day out like this, returning to dry land may be harder than expected but treating yourself to a nice dinner, or theater show will hopefully make up for it.

For more on what to do in Milan and Across Italy visit our Destinations page