Coronavirus: how to visit Como and its Lake
Current situation on Lake Como
The health situation is closely monitored.
On the web site of the Ministry of Health all useful information and operational guidelines are available about measures that must be respected in Italy to safeguard everyone.
In Lombardy the use of the mask is still mandatory indoor public places and on public transport. You have to wear the mask outdoor too but only if it is not possible to ensure the distances; anyway the rules are constantly evolving: all updates are available at the following link https://www.regione.lombardia.it/wps/portal/istituzionale/HP/coronavirus (in Italian).
If there is intense physical activity, for example running, cycling, trekking, there is no obligation to wear it. The mask is mandatory for children from the age of six, it is not mandatory for people with disabilities not compatible with the continued use of the mask.
The rules of social distancing and frequent hands hygiene with water and soap or other hygienic products are always valid.
For all information about the opening of the borders we recommend you to visit the website of Foreign Affairs.
In this context we suggest to who is still in doubt to confirm his reservation.
The two capitals Como and Lecco are waiting for you with their characteristic historical centers, streets full of shops for your shopping, churches, museums and monuments.
You can swim in Lake Como, in fact it is monitored every month by the Insubria Agency of Health Protection, a the following link http://www.ats-insubria.it/balneabilita you will find the updated data for all locations (in Italian).
Take the opportunity to enjoy Lake Como in complete tranquility without problems of overcrowding, it is an opportunity not to be missed!
How to reach Como and its Lake
Milano Malpensa, Milano Linate, Orio al Serio (Bergamo) and Lugano/Agno (Switzerland) airports are open.
It is important to check your flight since some airline companies are flying with a reduced timetable.
The trains from/to Milan and from/to Switzerland are running normally too.
Here all information about connections from airports and rail links.
Means of transportation
To visit Lake Como area you can use different means of transport such as buses, boats, funiculars/cable cars and trains.
BUSES: the buses run with regular service and it is recommended to purchase the tickets on ARRIVA MyPay app to reduce contacts with the staff (available for smartphone IOS and Android, in Italian). Anyway it is possible to buy tickets at the bus station in Matteotti Square in Como (from Mondays to Saturdays 06.30 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. / 01.15 p.m. – 07.45 p.m., closed Sundays) or at ASF network retailers (all information on their website www.asfautolinee.it, in Italian).
NAVIGATION: boats/hydrofoils run with regular service and it is recommended to purchase the tickets online to reduce contacts with the staff (it is possible to buy through website one way boat tickets only), for all other type of tickets it is possible to purchase them at the pier or, in case there is no ticket office, directly on the boat/hydrofoil. Bar/restaurant service on board, where planned, is available.
New timetables are valid until 20th March 2021.
All information and updates on https://www.navigazionelaghi.it/#
FUNICULAR COMO-BRUNATE: it runs regularly with summer timetable (open until midnight every day), reduced capacity at 30 people per wagon. From 11.01.2021 to 31.03.2021: suspended funicolar service. For further information http://www.funicolarecomo.it
CABLE CAR ARGEGNO-PIGRA: open, from October 10th Mondays to Fridays 06.30 a.m. – 12.00 p.m. and 01.30 p.m. - 07.00 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 09.00 a.m. – 07.00 p.m., for further information http://www.comune.pigra.co.it/c013184/po/mostra_news.php?id=27&area=H
TRAINS: they run regularly.
The ticket office at the Como San Giovanni Railway Station is open every day, including holidays, from 6.00 am to 12.55 pm and from 1.05 pm to 8.00 pm. The ticket office sells tickets for national and regional destinations. International tickets are temporarily not available (with the exception of the Canton of Ticino) which can however be purchased at the Trenitalia self-service ticket machines present at the station.
The ticket office at Como Lago Railway Station is open.
For further information/updates visit these websites https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html and https://www.trenord.it/EN/.
BIKE SHARING (COMO): it is possible to buy the pass through BicinCittà app
Radio Taxi Como 031 261515
Radio Taxi Lario Duemila 031 272000
Taxi Como 031 271000 / 800 012380 / 031 260259
Bellagio Taxi 329 7032702
Bellagio Taxi Service 328 0649328
Taxi Bellagio serale 333 8235536 and 333 2996404
Taxi Menaggio 0344 31244, 335 8036670, 338 2047279, 334 5267507
Taxi Alto Lago 347 9242769, 347 3520540, 335 631574
The hotels in Como are open, here the updated list.
B&B, apartments and holidays homes have reopened too, in this web page the major part is reported. It is necessary to contact them to verify their availability.
The list of hotels and extra-hotels accommodation on Lake Como is available at the following link: https://www.lakecomo.is/be-our-guest-accommodation/
For those traveling by camper there is the possibility to stop at trailer parks.
Check opening times on the following website: http://www.governo.it/it/coronavirus-misure-del-governo (in Italian)
Restaurants, pizzerias, trattorias, bars, pubs, bakeries and ice cream shops are open.
Here you find the list.
If you want to spend a nice lunch break or a romantic dinner next to the lake, in the historical centre of Como, in one of the many small villages or on fresh hills, look for the place that you like the most and if it is possible reserve your table, in this way your culinary experience will immediately start.
10 outdoor activities to do in Como and surroundings
Since, cause of Covid-19, it is recommended to stay outdoor we have decided to list the 10 outdoor activities to do in Como and surroundings, here you are the list:
1. SPINA VERDE REGIONAL PARK
Just behind the city a natural reserve covers a thousand hectars with countless of easy and well-marked paths that extends along the Swiss border from Lipomo to Colverde.
This particular Park is home of many sites of great historical, archaeological and natural value.
One of the most famous is Pin Umbrela that offers a fantastic view of Lake Como first basin and its surrounding mountains but also Tibetan Bridge (Ponte Tibetano) is noteworthy in fact it is very appreciated by children.
Here are based Linea Cadorna trenches and Baradello Castle too: ancient fortress that has always watched the city and now it is the symbol of the Park.
2. LAKESIDE PROMENADE
One of the first things we do just arrived in Como is the lakeside promenade from Villa Geno to Tavernola, 4,5 km long, very charming due to its many villas from Villa Geno to the funicular and from the Aero Club to Villa Olmo. After Villa Olmo it continues until Tavernola pier where you can take the boat to get back to town or you can take the opportunity to enjoy a Lake Como tour. There is the possibility to continue the path and arrive up to Cernobbio, one of the most famous Lake Como villages.
Right over the city you can see a village perched on the mountain… that is Brunate, famous for its view points and walks in the nature.
This small village can be reached with the funicular that takes 7 minutes only.
Just reached the village you can decide to relax in the centre among alleys, liberty style villas, bars, restaurants or undertake an adventure and explore the paths of the area.
The two main promenades are Via Regia and Dorsale del Triangolo Lariano.
Via Regia is very simple because flat and it has a modest altitude (600/650 m a.s.l.) with connecting trails to all lake villages (the most famous trail is Brunate-Montepiatto-Torno).
La Dorsale del Triangolo Lariano is more difficult because it reaches greater heights that exceed 1000 m a.s.l., so the first part is quite steep then you can walk along the ridge that is more or less flat. Along the promenade you will find the Volta’s Lighthouse: a very important piece of Como history and open to the public.
4. FIRST BASIN BOAT TOUR
One of the main activities to do is the boat tour because it is the only way to admire Lake Como beauties and live an unforgettable experience.
We suggest to buy the daily ticket of €8,90 that includes the visit of the first basin, an area rich in villas visible from the lake only.
Since the ticket is daily you can hop on hop off in all stops of the first basin without limits so you have the opportunity to visit characteristic villages like Cernobbio, Moltrasio and Torno.
5. MOUNT BISBINO – MOUNT COLMEGNONE
An other outdoor activity to do with your family is the walk from Mount Bisbino to Mount Colmegnone, it is a very easy walk, mostly flat, with magnificent views of the lake. On the trail there are mountain huts where you can have lunch or a break like Baita Vetta Bisbino, Rifugio Bugone, Rifugio Murelli or Agriturismo Roccolo San Bernardo.
6. THE ‘’VIA VERDE’’
This is a very simple path suitable for all that starts in Moltrasio and arrives in Laglio.
It starts in Moltrasio centre to reach Tosnacco where it continues towards Laglio along a panoramic walk that develops through the villages too so you can explore the most hidden corners of these small centres.
7. THE EXPRESSIONS PATH
The Expressions Path is an easy trail that starts in Schignano and arrives at Mount Comana, fantastic panoramic point.
This walk is dotted with hand carved wooden statues according to the village skilled artists tradition, in fact Schignano is famous for its traditional carnival where handcrafted wodden masks are worn by all.
8. THE GREENWAY
The Lake Como Greenway is perhaps the most known path of all area.
This simple trail starts in Colonno and arrives up to Griante, it can be done in the opposite direction if you wish.
Mostly flat with wide lake views the Greenway is perfect for those who want to combine nature and sport with culture, in fact along the path you can stop in Lenno and/or in Tremezzo to visit the famous Villa del Balbianello and Villa Carlotta.
The luck of this walk is also the possibility to interrupt it everywhere because, being close to the main road, you can stop and come back to the starting point (with public transport too) at any time.
9. ALPE DI COLONNO – MOUNT GALBIGA
An other easy trail to do with your family is the one that starts from Alpe di Colonno and arrives up to Mount Galbiga.
You can reach Alpe di Colonno by car and then continue by foot on a simple path with some ascents.
Along the walk you will find cheese and butter local producers with cows and goats grazing (during spring and summer only).
Just below the top is located Rifugio Venini where you can take a break and just above there is one of the best view points of all lake: in fact you can see both Lake Como, Lake Lugano and Lake Piano.
10. SAN MARTINO
As last option we propose an other trail that starts from the ferry station of Cadenabbia and arrives to San Martino Church, small jewel set in the mountain that overlooks the village below.
It is an easy path, not too much climbing and short (about 1h15m) but it has a magnificent view over central lake.
Touristic attractions in Como
CATHEDRAL: timetable from Mondays to Fridays 09.30 a.m. – 05.30 p.m., Saturdays 10.45 a.m. – 04.30 p.m., Sundays 01.00 p.m. – 04.30 p.m., https://www.cattedraledicomo.it/en/turist/
BASILICA OF SAN FEDELE: open for religious worship only every day 10.00 a.m. – 12.00 a.m., closed for sightseeing, https://www.parrocchiasanfedelecomo.it/home/chiese-della-parrocchia/basilica-di-san-fedele/linterno-della-basilica/ (in italian)
BASILICA OF SANT'ABBONDIO: open every day 07.00 a.m. – 06.00 p.m.
ARCHAEOLOGIC, HISTORICAL MUSEUMS AND VOLTA'S TEMPLE: closed until further notice
PINACOTECA: open from Tuesdays to Sundays 10.00 a.m. – 06.00 p.m.
SILK MUSEUM: open from Tuesdays to Sundays 03.00 p.m. - 07.00 p.m., https://www.museosetacomo.com/?lang_id=2
VILLA OLMO: villa open from Tuesdays to Sundays 10.00 a.m. – 06.00 p.m., gardens every day 07.00 a.m. – 07.00 p.m.
EX-CASA DEL FASCIO: open by appointment writing to email@example.com (tel. +39 031 304466)
WAR MEMORIAL: closed until further notice
KILOMETER OF KNOWLEDGE: (Villa del Grumello park): closed https://www.villadelgrumello.it/it/progetti/km_c/ (in italian)
CASTELLO BARADELLO: open until the 25th of October, mandatory reservation at the following link https://www.spinaverde.it/main/visite-guidate-castello-baradello/ (in italian), open on Sundays 10.00 a.m. – 06.00 p.m., prices 0-6 year olds free / 7-15 year olds €4,00 /aged above 15 €6,00, maximum 10 people, guided tours in English on request
VOLTA'S LIGHTHOUSE (BRUNATE): from November, 3rd 2020 until April, 2nd 2021 open on Saturdays and Sundays 10.00 a.m. – 04.30 p.m.; from December, 5th to December 8th, andr from December, 26th to December 31st, 2020: 10.00 a.m. – 04.30 p.m.
Touristic attractions on Lake Como
Starting from Como it is possible to reach the main points of interest of the area. Hereafter we list some of them, to find other ideas visit the website www.lakecomo.is
VILLA BERNASCONI (CERNOBBIO): open from Fridays to Mondays + public holidays 10.00 a.m. – 06.00 p.m. with mandatory reservation: https://www.villabernasconi.eu/en/acquisto-biglietti-ingresso/
VILLA ERBA PARK (CERNOBBIO): closed
COMACINA ISLAND (TREMEZZINA): closed
VILLA DEL BALBIANELLO (TREMEZZINA): Continuous hours from 10.00am to 6.00pm.
Last entrance to the Garden at 5.15 pm. Last entrance to visit the interiors of the Villa, with a 45 minute guided tour, at 4.30 pm. We recommend that visitors arrive no later than 4.00 pm. Closed on Monday and Wednesday, apart from Italian bank holidays.
17th, 18th, 24th and 25th October: the Interiors of the Villa are open for FAI Members (onsite registration).
From November 3rd: Short-time: continuous hours from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Last entrance to the Garden at 4.00 pm. Last entrance to visit the interiors of the Villa, with a 45 minute guided tour, at 3.30 pm. We recommend that visitors arrive no later than 3.00 pm. We will be closed on Monday and Wednesday, apart from Italian bank holidays. https://www.fondoambiente.it/villa-del-balbianello-eng
VILLA CARLOTTA (TREMEZZINA): From Monday to Friday: 10am – 5pm (the ticket office will open from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 4pm)
Saturday and Sunday Opening: 10.30am– 5pm (last ticket 4pm), https://www.villacarlotta.it/en/visit/
LAKE COMO INTERNATIONAL MUSEUMS OF VINTAGE BOATS (PIANELLO DEL LARIO): closed https://www.museobarcalariana.it/ (in italian)
END OF THE WAR MUSEUM (DONGO): open from Tuesdays to Sundays until November 1st, 10.00 a.m. – 12.45 p.m. / 03.00 p.m. – 05.45 p.m. (reservation recommended with mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp +39 335 8005692), https://www.museofineguerradongo.it/en/
VILLA MELZI (BELLAGIO): closed http://www.giardinidivillamelzi.it/GIARDINI_DI_VILLA_MELZI/HOME_PAGE_ENG.html
THE ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION PARK (BELLAGIO): open with guided tours only. From Tuesdays to Thursdays at 11.00 a.m., from Fridays to Sundays at 11.00 a.m. and 03.30 p.m. with mandatory reservation at the following link https://www.bellagiolakecomo.com/en/bellagio-lake-como-italy/buy-online-experiences-and-services#bookFrame
VILLA MONASTERO (VARENNA): November on Sundays only 10.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m.; December from the 6th to the 8th + all Sundays and from the 26th to the 31st 10.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m. https://www.villamonastero.eu/index.php/en/
VILLA CIPRESSI BOTANICAL GARDEN (VARENNA): open on 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th November and 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th, 20th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st December 10.00 a.m. – 07.00 p.m., https://www.hotelvillacipressi.it/1/86/EN/The_Botanic_Garden_of_Villa_Cipressi_Varenna.htm
VEZIO CASTLE (VARENNA): From November to March open only on sunny Sundays http://www.castellodivezio.it/EN/home-en.html
FORTE OF FUENTES AND FORTE OF MONTECCHIO (COLICO): October open on Saturdays and Sundays 10.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m., booking requested on 31st of October https://www.fortedifuentes.it/ (in italian)
PIONA ABBEY (COLICO): open every day 09.00 a.m. – 12.00 a.m. / 02.30 p.m. – 06.00 p.m., https://www.abbaziadipiona.it/ (in italian)
OREZIA TOWER AND SAN LEONARDO CHURCH (DERVIO): closed
ORRIDO OF BELLANO (BELLANO): November | Holidays and days before: 10.00 am – 05.00 pm. Tickets: €4,00 adults, 6-12 year olds €3,50, €3,00 groups and free under 6 year olds and residents, http://www.turismobellano.it/en/orrido-2/
GHISALLO MUSEUM (MAGREGLIO): closed https://www.museodelghisallo.it/en
There are no particular limitations for public beaches except for individual accountability by adopting respectful attitudes of 1 m. distance among people.
Individual sports that are usually played on the beach (like beach tennis) or in the water (like swimming, surf, windsurf, kitesurf) can be regularly practiced, respecting the measures of interpersonal distancing.
There are many free beaches of different sizes.
Some of the largest are:
Lido di Ossuccio
Parco Civico Teresio Olivelli a Tremezzo
Spiaggia di Santa Maria Rezzonico
North Lake Como
Activities – Experiences
A calendar rich of events and cultural activities for all tastes is available on the website: https://www.visitcomo.eu/en/enjoy/events/index.html
Events organized on Lake Como are available on this calendar (in italian)
Tours on Lake Como with private boats are available.
International seaplane base of Como is open to let you experience the emotion of a seaplane flight.
The Tour Guides Associations are ready to guide individual and groups (max 20 people) in interesting visits and private tours of the city and lake.
It is possible to rent bikes and scooters to discover the region and the small villages following the roads along the lake, paying always attention to the cars, or ,for the more sporty, choosing off-road routes with MTB on mountains or trying to emulate the deeds of own champions along Giro d’Italia and Il Giro di Lombardia routes, reaching Madonna of Ghisallo sanctuary, patron saint of cyclists.
With the family you can peacefully cycle along the lake from Como to Cernobbio (3km), on a bike path at low speed paying attention to pedestrians; in North Lake Como there are two cycling paths: from Menaggio to Porlezza and from Menaggio to Sorico.
Here the list of shops where you can rent bikes/scooters:
Cicli Ferca, via Dottesio 8, it has MTB, trekking and racing bikes (https://rentbikecomo.com/)
Como Rental Solutions, via Manzoni 10, it has city bikes, e-bikes and scooters (http://www.comorentalsolutions.com/home-en/)
Stunning Bike Co-Tours, via Coloniola 37, it has e-bikes, possibility to join to organized tours (https://www.stunningbikecotours.com/)
Run and Bike, via Borgovico 161, it has e-bikes MTB, city bikes and racing bikes (www.runandbike.it in italian)
There are countless walks in the nature or more challenging trekking routes leaving from Como. Here some suggestions
In the ‘’4 Zampe’’ magazine July 2020 edition you can find a lot of useful information about holidays with your pet.