Top things to do

Top Choice Italian in Lake Como East Bank

Osteria Sali e Tabacchi

Tucked away in the hamlet of Maggiana, signposted 3km uphill from lakeside Mandello del Lario (home to the legendary Moto Guzzi motorcycle manufacturer), an eatery that has appeared in countless Italian good-food gu…
Italian in Varenna

Il Cavatappi

Set along a narrow pedestrian lane in the upper part of Varenna, Il Cavatappi is an intimate spot with just seven tables set amid arched ceilings and stone walls, as opera plays quietly in the background. The cookin…
Italian in Varenna

Osteria Quatro Pass

Places that don't have a lake view in Varenna are at a distinct disadvantage, which is why this place works just that extra bit harder with the food and service. Cured meats, lake fish and other local specialities a…
Castle in Varenna

Castello di Vezio

High above the terracotta rooftops of Varenna, the imposing Castello di Vezio offers magnificent views over Lake Como. The 13th-century building was once part of a chain of early-warning medieval watchtowers. Get th…
Square in Correno Plinio

Piazza Garibaldi

Piazza Garibaldi is roughly cobblestoned and it's plain from its time-warped nature that nothing much has changed here down the centuries. Many of the deep-grey, stone houses are still occupied, their inhabitants ca…
Church in Lake Como East Bank

Abbazia di Piona

The Cistercian Abbazia di Piona has a magnificent setting on a promontory stretching out into Lago di Como. There's evidence that a small chapel was built here as far back as the 7th century. The present Romanesque …
Gardens in Varenna

Villa Cipressi

In Villa Cipressi's gardens cypress trees, palms, magnolias and camellias fill terraces that descend to the lake. Even getting here is picturesque: from the square next to the boat jetty (Piazzale Martiri della Libe…
Trattoria in Varenna

Cavallino

Lake-fish specialities pack the menu of this Slow Food eatery set on Varenna's quay. Among the highlights are crostoni topped with a fish and calvados pâté; ravioli filled with lavarello (white fish) in a creamy rad…
Area in Valsassina

Barzio & Around

Some 15km northeast of Lecco, the village of Barzio is important above all as the birthplace of Alessandro Manzoni. Nearby, Pasturo retains something of its medieval feel and is a starting point of a hiking trail to…
Waterfall in Lake Como East Bank

Orrido

Once an industrial centre, Bellano (5km north of Varenna) is a sleepy lakeside town with a singular sight: the Orrido, a powerful waterfall where the river Pioverna thunders down between tight, rock walls before flo…