Lake Como lives in the minds of millions of aspiring travelers as the ideal vacation destination; it is the stuff of dreams; a place where love, leisure, laughter, landscapes, light and luxury conspire to make any stay on Lake Como – be it ever so brief – a memory to last a lifetime. Like many Lake Como hotels, we here at Palazzo del Vice Re are passionate about our lakeside home, its particular charms and peculiar characteristics. We know you will be too, once you have had the opportunity to experience it. But where is this paradise on earth, you ask? How did it come to be? And what do I need to know to make the most of my time on lovely Lake Como?

How it all began…

The geological history of Europe is fascinating. Millions of years ago, the Paleo-African and Paleo-European land masses collided, kicking off the formation of Europe’s great mountain ranges in a process that continues – ever so slowly – today. An archipelago of volcanic islands originally in the sea between the two continents was thrust onto the European mainland to form the peninsula of Italy with the long line of Apennines down its middle (see a cool animation of this process below). Several ice ages over the last 2 million years – the most recent around 20,000 years ago – blanketed the entire Alpine chain in a solid sheet of ice. When the glaciers retreated, they dragged rocks and sediment down with them and left deep, lake-filled valleys in their wake – our very own Lake Como is just one of them. It’s true that they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, but the Italian lakes from Maggiore to Garda were literally eons in the making…

Historic Earth

Where Lake Como is situated in Italy

When you look at the Lake Como Italy map, the Italian peninsula dangles like a thigh-high boot from the continent of Europe, with the island of Corsica just off the knee and the island of Sicily almost touching the tip of the toe in Calabria, separated by only 5 miles of water in the Strait of Messina. The heel of the boot is Puglia’s sun-kissed paradise, and snow-capped mountains stretch across its wild, wide north from the Dolomites in the East to the Monte Bianco massif in the west. Nestled in the foothills of the pre-Alps that straddle the Swiss border lies Lake Como, also known locally as the Lario, the Italianized version of its Latin name “Larius”.

Lake Como is at the center of Northern Italy, about half-way between Turin and Venice as the crow flies. It is Italy’s third-largest lake, after Lakes Garda and Maggiore, but thanks to its unique upside-down Y shape its 106-mile perimeter is the longest of the three. Clocking in at 1,345 feet at its deepest point, Lake Como is the deeper than any other lake in Italy and most of Europe (only 4 Norwegian fjords are deeper!). The narrowest point between two shores – at just over 2,000 feet – is between Careno and Torriggia, while the widest point is 2.5 miles where all three branches meet at Bellagio’s Punta Spartivento, literally the “point that divides the wind”. The area between the lake’s two southern branches is called the Triangolo del Lario – a mountainous triangle powerful enough to split the retreating glacier of yesteryear in two and create the Como and Lecco branches of Lake Como. For more detailed maps of Lake Como, click here.Lezzeno is our hometown – a long village stretching along four miles of prime Lake Como coastline just south of Bellagio. It has to be seen to be believed:

Lake Como, your fair-weather friend

On a sultry summer’s day, Lake Como feels very “southern” to the average visitor, although you might be surprised to hear it has the same latitude as Maine. Its climate is known among climatologists as a “humid subtropical” climate zone, similar to others in eastern Australia, northern India and the southern US. Here, the summers are long and fairly warm, but the winters are short and mild. Lake Como weather is almost always beautiful, particularly from April to October (just the months we are open here at the Palazzo!). Rain is more frequent in spring and autumn, although there can be dramatic thunderstorms during the summer – often in the late evenings – which are truly a spectacle to behold. Lightning illuminates the whitecaps on the usually smooth surface of the lake and the palm trees bend and flap in the wind. Temperatures range from a low of around 34°F in January to 84°F in July, with temperatures generally more pleasant than cities like Milan or Venice no matter what the season.

The shelter of the lakeside hills and the presence of such a large body of water give Lake Como its own unique microclimate allowing flora normally found at more southern reaches to flourish and giving locals a livelihood. It was the Romans who recognized the ideal conditions on the lake – despite being so far north – for growing grapes and olives, and the both industries are still thriving today. We have friends on the lake’s northern tip with a lovely family-run winery, where we like to send our guests to taste the wine. And as the name suggests, Oliveto Lario on the Lecco branch of the lake is renowned for its centuries-old olive oil production, while master craftsmen in nearby Limonta are known for the decorative (and useful!) objects they carve from olive wood.

It was the Duke of Milan who had the idea in the 14th century to plant mulberry trees on Lake Como – the silkworm’s favorite food! – and kickstarted centuries of vibrant silk production that as late as 1972 exceeded that of both China and Japan. Legend has it that the ladies of our village of Lezzeno kept the silkworms warm inside their shirts so that they would survive the winter and live to spin another day! The Como region is still home to many successful silk companies like Mantero and Frey, which are still active on the silk market, selling both at local shops and exporting their made-in-Italy masterpieces across the world.

Lake Como Today

Nowadays, people flock to Lake Como from all four corners of the world for all sorts of reasons – Lake Como weddings, historic villas, lush gardens or traditional local fare– and we have made it our goal here at Palazzo del Vice Re to be the best source of information on Lake Como things to do. Or maybe our insider insight on how to make the most of your stay on Lake Como will inspire you to book our historic palace for your next vacation in the Lario!

Here is a quick recap of some of the posts we have already shared for Palazzo del Vice Re guests who looking to Live as a Local in Luxury

There is more than one way to get to the Palazzo, plus a lot of exciting things to see along the way from Milan, from Rome and from Venice. Or maybe you prefer an eco-friendly holiday and want to go carless?

Lake Como is full of adventure, for the SUP and kayak-curious, for cyclists, or for leisurely walkers and ambitious hikers.

Cruise enthusiasts rent a boat and explore on their own or book a convenient water taxi right from the landing stage by the Palazzo – and see this stunning Lake Como scenery from the water with one of our expert guides. Don’t miss the chance for food with a view at these lakeside restaurants!

Sure, we’re biased about our amazing Sun Terrace just below the Palazzo, but there are several lakeside beach clubs – from the swank to the sporty – that invite you to kick back and watch the world go by. And if you’re looking for a good book to read while you’re there, look no further

When the explorer in you calls, we can plan a daytrip for everyone from fashionistas to spa-goers. Fans of STEM, silk or sweets will love a day in Como town, while vino lovers won’t want to miss the nearby wine region of Valtellina.

BOOK NOW

Lake Como lives in the minds of millions of aspiring travelers as the ideal vacation destination; it is the stuff of dreams; a place where love, leisure, laughter, landscapes, light and luxury conspire to make any stay on Lake Como – be it ever so brief – a memory to last a lifetime. Like many Lake Como hotels, we here at Palazzo del Vice Re are passionate about our lakeside home, its particular charms and peculiar characteristics. We know you will be too, once you have had the opportunity to experience it. But where is this paradise on earth, you ask? How did it come to be? And what do I need to know to make the most of my time on lovely Lake Como?

How it all began…

The geological history of Europe is fascinating. Millions of years ago, the Paleo-African and Paleo-European land masses collided, kicking off the formation of Europe’s great mountain ranges in a process that continues – ever so slowly – today. An archipelago of volcanic islands originally in the sea between the two continents was thrust onto the European mainland to form the peninsula of Italy with the long line of Apennines down its middle (see a cool animation of this process below). Several ice ages over the last 2 million years – the most recent around 20,000 years ago – blanketed the entire Alpine chain in a solid sheet of ice. When the glaciers retreated, they dragged rocks and sediment down with them and left deep, lake-filled valleys in their wake – our very own Lake Como is just one of them. It’s true that they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, but the Italian lakes from Maggiore to Garda were literally eons in the making…

Where Lake Como is situated in Italy

When you look at the Lake Como Italy map, the Italian peninsula dangles like a thigh-high boot from the continent of Europe, with the island of Corsica just off the knee and the island of Sicily almost touching the tip of the toe in Calabria, separated by only 5 miles of water in the Strait of Messina. The heel of the boot is Puglia’s sun-kissed paradise, and snow-capped mountains stretch across its wild, wide north from the Dolomites in the East to the Monte Bianco massif in the west. Nestled in the foothills of the pre-Alps that straddle the Swiss border lies Lake Como, also known locally as the Lario, the Italianized version of its Latin name “Larius”.

Lake Como is at the center of Northern Italy, about half-way between Turin and Venice as the crow flies. It is Italy’s third-largest lake, after Lakes Garda and Maggiore, but thanks to its unique upside-down Y shape its 106-mile perimeter is the longest of the three. Clocking in at 1,345 feet at its deepest point, Lake Como is the deeper than any other lake in Italy and most of Europe (only 4 Norwegian fjords are deeper!). The narrowest point between two shores – at just over 2,000 feet – is between Careno and Torriggia, while the widest point is 2.5 miles where all three branches meet at Bellagio’s Punta Spartivento, literally the “point that divides the wind”. The area between the lake’s two southern branches is called the Triangolo del Lario – a mountainous triangle powerful enough to split the retreating glacier of yesteryear in two and create the Como and Lecco branches of Lake Como. For more detailed maps of Lake Como, click here.Lezzeno is our hometown – a long village stretching along four miles of prime Lake Como coastline just south of Bellagio. It has to be seen to be believed:

Lake Como, your fair-weather friend

On a sultry summer’s day, Lake Como feels very “southern” to the average visitor, although you might be surprised to hear it has the same latitude as Maine. Its climate is known among climatologists as a “humid subtropical” climate zone, similar to others in eastern Australia, northern India and the southern US. Here, the summers are long and fairly warm, but the winters are short and mild. Lake Como weather is almost always beautiful, particularly from April to October (just the months we are open here at the Palazzo!). Rain is more frequent in spring and autumn, although there can be dramatic thunderstorms during the summer – often in the late evenings – which are truly a spectacle to behold. Lightning illuminates the whitecaps on the usually smooth surface of the lake and the palm trees bend and flap in the wind. Temperatures range from a low of around 34°F in January to 84°F in July, with temperatures generally more pleasant than cities like Milan or Venice no matter what the season.

The shelter of the lakeside hills and the presence of such a large body of water give Lake Como its own unique microclimate allowing flora normally found at more southern reaches to flourish and giving locals a livelihood. It was the Romans who recognized the ideal conditions on the lake – despite being so far north – for growing grapes and olives, and the both industries are still thriving today. We have friends on the lake’s northern tip with a lovely family-run winery, where we like to send our guests to taste the wine. And as the name suggests, Oliveto Lario on the Lecco branch of the lake is renowned for its centuries-old olive oil production, while master craftsmen in nearby Limonta are known for the decorative (and useful!) objects they carve from olive wood.

It was the Duke of Milan who had the idea in the 14th century to plant mulberry trees on Lake Como – the silkworm’s favorite food! – and kickstarted centuries of vibrant silk production that as late as 1972 exceeded that of both China and Japan. Legend has it that the ladies of our village of Lezzeno kept the silkworms warm inside their shirts so that they would survive the winter and live to spin another day! The Como region is still home to many successful silk companies like Mantero and Frey, which are still active on the silk market, selling both at local shops and exporting their made-in-Italy masterpieces across the world.

Lake Como Today

Nowadays, people flock to Lake Como from all four corners of the world for all sorts of reasons – Lake Como weddings, historic villaslush gardens or traditional local fare – and we have made it our goal here at Palazzo del Vice Re to be the best source of information on Lake Como things to do. Or maybe our insider insight on how to make the most of your stay on Lake Como will inspire you to book our historic palace for your next vacation in the Lario

Here is a quick recap of some of the posts we have already shared for Palazzo del Vice Re guests who looking to Live as a Local in Luxury:

There is more than one way to get to the Palazzo, plus a lot of exciting things to see along the way from Milan, from Rome and from Venice. Or maybe you prefer an eco-friendly holiday and want to go carless?

Lake Como is full of adventure, for the SUP and kayak-curious, for cyclists, or for leisurely walkers and ambitious hikers.

Cruise enthusiasts rent a boat and explore on their own or book a convenient water taxi right from the landing stage by the Palazzo – and see this stunning Lake Como scenery from the water with one of our expert guides. Don’t miss the chance for food with a view at these lakeside restaurants!

Sure, we’re biased about our amazing Sun Terrace just below the Palazzo, but there are several lakeside beach clubs– from the swank to the sporty – that invite you to kick back and watch the world go by. And if you’re looking for a good book to read while you’re there, look no further

When the explorer in you calls, we can plan a daytrip for everyone from fashionistas to spa-goers. Fans of STEM, silk or sweets will love a day in Como town, while vino lovers won’t want to miss the nearby wine region of Valtellina.

BOOK NOW