The lake of Como, with an area of 146 square km, is the third
widest Italian lake after Lake of Garda and Lake Maggiore. Its
characteristic up-side down Y shape is created by the three
branches: Colico in the north side, Lecco in the south-east side
and Como in the south-west side, with a total perimeter of 170 km.
a particularly lucky territory, renowned for its typically mild
climate. This thanks to the presence of the Alps, which protect it
from the winds coming from the north, and to the great water mass
that helps to tone down the sudden changes in temperature. In the
winter the climate never reaches too low temperatures and in the
summer, heat is unlikely to be oppressive because itís made milder
from the breeze that blows from the lake.
In the Pre-Alps area instead rains frequently. Thanks to these
singular climatic features, the flora along the lake shores is
varied and luxuriant, and itís of a Mediterranean kind.
The limited extent of the territory does not have to deceive
because in just a few other Italian localities you can find such a
variety of environmental typologies, landscapes and human
Within a few kilometres the landscape goes from high mountain to
lake, from wild alpine valley to hill, from urban area to
few-houses villages, from fauna-oasis to ski resorts.
small towns, characteristic in having stone houses next to each
other on the lake shores or famous localities world-known for
their beauty, the lake towns maintain unaltered the charm that
made them a compulsory stop for those refined travellers who
crossed the Alps to visit Italy in the past centuries.
Set at the high mountainsí feet, the Lake of Como and the valleys
around it, are famous for the beauty of their landscapes and the
continuous renewing of colours and atmospheres during the
different seasons. These atmospheres are much more amazing since
they are unusual, if compared to the geographical position they
VILLAS AND PALACES
magnificent residences that fill the lake shores and the Brianza (hills
area between the Lake of Como and Milan), are the best evidence of
the charm that the province of Como has been able to exert across
the centuries, a charm that has increased by the presence of these
extraordinary monuments set into luxuriant gardens.
A particular characteristic of these gardens is the presence of
typical warm zones plants, like Laurel, Olive-tree and tropical
plants that grow thanks to the lakeís climate, unusually mild for
its geographical position.
all mansions there is Villa Carlotta, with its gardens that in
spring give an exhibition of theirselves with the azaleasí
blooming and are a destination for nature lovers. Among the
ancient residenceís rooms there is a museum with famous paintings
and sculptures. In Bellagio there are Villa Melzi, with its museum
and its gardens, Villa Serbelloni thatís now a prestigious hotel
and Villa Giulia, prestigious private residence.
Villa Balbianello with its park is a destination for pleasant
trips. Then again the residences of many VIPs like Villa
Fontanelle from Versace, Villa Oleandra that belongs to George