9+ Unique Things to Do in Como Today

Tucked away in Como lies a trattoria where risotto secrets simmer. But what ancient tales do its flavors whisper? Discover...
Date Published
March 8, 2024

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Let's get real for a sec—have you ever dreamed of a place so enchanting that it seems ripped straight from a fairy tale? Well, pinch yourself, 'cause Lake Como's not just real; it's the Italian backdrop of your most whimsical fantasies, wrapped in a ravioli of charm! Famous for its jaw-dropping landscapes and a playground for the celebs, Como's much more than just a pretty face. But what's the real scoop—what makes it a wandering soul's paradise?

From gobbling down authentic risotto in a hidden local trattoria to stepping back in time with Como’s venerable churches and villas, this heavenly slice of Italy offers you a buffet of experiences that'll make your Insta feed weep with joy. And no, you won't just be sitting around sipping espresso (though that's on the table too). You'll be hiking secret trails, joining artisans in crafting silky masterpieces, and getting a bird's-eye view from the Brunate funicular. Let's dive into a vibrant journey of savoring, exploring, and soaking in every bit of Como's unparalleled allure.


Savor Authentic Risotto in a Secluded Trattoria

Picture yourself taking a bite of creamy, savory risotto that's just bursting with flavors straight out of an Italian grandmother's recipe book. Well, you don't just have to dream about it—you can live it in a secluded trattoria by Lake Como. Here, culinary experiences aren't just meals; they're time capsules capturing the essence of Italian cuisine.

Who's it perfect for? Food lovers, couples seeking a romantic backdrop, and, of course, risotto aficionados. And if you're all about those behind-the-scenes culinary secrets, you're in for a treat. These quiet trattorias are often family-run, engulfed in storytelling as rich as the food on your plate.

Nearby, you'll probably spot a cobblestone path or scenic lakeside view, so after indulging, take a wander. Digestion walk, anyone? Oh, and don't rush—Italian dining is an art best savored slowly. Expect to linger for a couple of hours, because good food combined with the dreamy Como landscape is something you'll want to stretch out as long as possible.

For the full-on Lake Como experience, this is a definite to-do. You'll mix with locals who know their risotto like the back of their hand and tourists who have ventured off the beaten track for a genuine taste of Italy. The crowd? Perfect for anyone who appreciates the finer things in life. Consider the backdrop of a glistening lake and majestic mountains as your bonus.

Are you ready to dive into the heart of Lake Como's culinary scene and taste a dish that's been perfected over generations? Then a secluded trattoria is your destination. Grab a spoon, twirl it into that creamy delight, and let each bite teleport you to gastronomic heaven. Trust me, your tastebuds will thank you—a million times over.


Unearth the History of Como's Ancient Churches

Imagine stepping into a time machine, hurtling back centuries to when Como's skyline was peppered with spires and domes, not cell towers. Now open your eyes, because you're standing before the ancient churches of Como, where every stone whispers secrets from the past.

What's so special about Como's ancient churches? They are living timelines that chart the city's spiritual and architectural heritage. With their worn cobblestones and echoes of ancient hymns, these sacred locations charm both the faithful and history buffs alike. But enough with the preamble—let's dive into what makes these churches unique!

As you wander through the hallowed doors, you'll notice the intricate frescoes that beg to be gawked at. Each church is a museum in its own right, showcasing art from bygone eras that managed to dodge history's eraser. And guess what? Many of them are free to enter. I'm talking about a deal sweeter than gelato on a hot day!

Now, you've got to hit up the Basilica of Sant'Abbondio—it's like the VIP room of Como's religious scene. With its twin towers reaching heavenward, this 11th-century marvel will have you craning your neck in admiration. Don't just be a lookie-loo; these churches often have the loveliest little nooks where you can reflect or light a candle.

Is it family-friendly? Yep, kids can marvel at the mighty columns. And for you thrill-seekers, there's something undeniably adventurous about exploring these ancient, echoing halls. Spend a good hour here—you won't regret it.

But wait—there's more! Tucked nearby these divinely inspired structures are charming piazzas bustling with local life. Grab an espresso, kick back, and relish the blend of devout history and vibrant present-day Como. It's an Italian cocktail of culture that'll buzz through you long after you leave.

So you, intrepid traveler, come and peel back the layers of time. Let these ancient churches of Como captivate your soul, stir your spirit, and instill a sense of wonder that's as eternal as their spires.


Wander Through The Serene Villa Melzi Gardens

Imagine stepping into a canvas painted with lush green tones, a touch of floral color, and the gentle whispers of history carried by the breeze. That's what it feels like to wander through the Villa Melzi Gardens. Your Villa Melzi gardens tour should be a relaxed, leisurely affair. You might spend anywhere from 2 to 5 hours here, but who's counting when each step reveals a new secret?

As you meander down the picturesque pathways lined with towering trees and beds of vibrant flowers, you'll feel like you've stepped into a living work of art. It's the perfect spot for lovers of tranquility or anyone who appreciates the simple romance of nature. Couples stroll hand-in-hand, artists find their muse, and even solo explorers discover a peaceful moment of solitude.

Villa Melzi isn't just a feast for your eyes either. The air is perfumed with the scent of blooming azaleas and rhododendrons, giving you that deep, "I'm definitely in paradise" kind of sigh. What's nearby? Just the breathtaking views of Lake Como, providing a blue, serene backdrop to the greenery.

If you're bringing the family, the kids will have a blast playing hide and seek behind ancient statues or counting the different types of plants they can find. And for history buffs, there's plenty to explore! Every statue, every bend reveals a bit of the past, whispering tales of a time when Italian nobility roamed these very grounds.

Before you say arrivederci, make sure to find that perfect spot—a bench, perhaps, beneath a towering cypress tree—and take it all in. Villa Melzi isn't just a place; it's an experience, a tranquil moment captured in time, just for you. Go ahead, let the serenity sink into your soul.

Feeling inspired to walk the paths of nobility? Check out this guide on planning your visit to the serene Villa Melzi Gardens. You won't regret it!


Embark on a Hidden Hiking Trail near Como

There's something indescribably exhilarating about strapping on your boots and hitting a hiking trail that's off the beaten path, away from the well-trodden tourist routes, wouldn't you say? Well, Lake Como has over ten hidden trails waiting to share their secluded vistas and whispering woods with you.

Here's why you'll fall in love with these trails:


  • Tranquility Awaits: Imagine inhaling the fresh, pine-scented air as you meander through chestnut groves, stumbling upon an ancient hamlet where the modern world seems like a distant memory.
  • Diversity of Flora: Whether you're an amateur botanist or simply appreciate nature's palette, the diversity of plant life will captivate you with every step.
  • Panoramic Views: Every once in a while, you'll emerge onto a clearing that offers a panoramic view of the lake, so gorgeous it'll feel like nature is bragging.


So lace up your hiking boots and prepare to be awed! One trail, in particular, wraps around the mountainside and pops you out on a cliff overlook. That's right, you'll find yourself gasping at an aerial view of the blue-green waters that seem to extend infinitely. You'll also want to keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife. And bring your camera, because you're going to want to remember this.

Whether you're an adrenaline junkie or a family looking for an afternoon of adventure, these trails have something for everyone. Most are suitable for kids who love a good romp in the woods, and none of the hikes are too long. Expect to spend a blissful two to three hours surrounded by nature's best.

Oh, and don't forget to grab a map from the local tourist office or check out some recommended routes here. You'll definitely want to stay on the right path – the magic of these trails lies in their tranquility and untouched beauty.

So what are you waiting for? The hidden trails of Lake Como are calling your name, whispering sweet nothings of adventure and breathtaking views. It's time to answer the call and make some unforgettable memories.


Join an Artisanal Silk Scarf Workshop

Ever fancied getting your hands all tangled up in luxurious silk and creating something utterly fabulous? That's what's on the agenda when you join an artisanal silk scarf workshop. Trust me, it's not just any workshop – this one's special. We're talking about Como, Italy’s silk capital, where the air practically shimmers with creativity!

In Como, silk isn't just a fabric; it's a way of life. When you step into one of these workshops, you're not a mere tourist—you're a craftsman, an artist, an integral part of Como's living history. You'll feel the smooth threads glide between your fingers as you learn the secrets of silk-making passed down through generations.

You don't need to have the skills of a seasoned seamstress. They welcome silk newcomers with open arms! Whether you're a solo traveler looking for a unique experience, or a family searching for a fun group activity, this workshop is your ticket to the local scene.

Here's the scoop on what makes this silk scarf workshop in Como stand out:


  • It's hands-on: From dyeing to weaving, you'll be involved in every step. And yes, there's a high chance you'll spill dye everywhere, but that's part of the fun, right?
  • It’s personal: As you create, you'll hear stories about Como's silk tradition. You might even feel like you're part of a centuries-old guild of silk magicians. Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but it's truly immersive.
  • It's rewarding: Leave with more than just memories. You’ll have a splendid scarf to show off, proving your newfound artisanal skills to everyone back home.


So how long should you budget for this escapade? Give it at least half a day to really sink into the experience without rushing. After all, you can't rush art, especially when it's destined to hang around your neck!

If you get the chance, swing by the Silk Museum Como afterward. It’s the perfect follow-up to see how the pros do it and maybe gather inspiration for your next workshop. Because let's be honest, once you've felt the thrill of silk-making, one scarf might just not be enough.


Soak in Panoramic Views with the Brunate Funicular

Ready for a ride that's more than just getting from point A to B? Hop onto the Brunate funicular, a charming old-world train that's your golden ticket to spectacular vistas. Brace yourself; this isn't just a ride, it's a gateway to sublime eye candy.

Track down this historic funicular, which has been zipping folks up and down since 1894. Is it a favorite among tourists? You betcha! But even the locals can't get enough of it. You’ll find everyone from wide-eyed travelers to Como residents who simply know a good view when they see one.

Give yourself, like, a solid hour to take the entire funicular experience all in. Here’s the lowdown: you board at the lower station, and as you ascend, Como shrinks into a toy town right before your eyes. And once you hit Brunate? Bam! You're smacked with a panorama of Lake Como that's so stunning, it'll give your camera a workout.

Are you solo, attached at the hip to your better half, or wrangling a gaggle of kiddos? Doesn’t matter! The Brunate funicular is ace for all. Even the little ones will get a kick out of the ride—just imagine their faces glued to the window, eyes as big as saucers.

But the party doesn't stop at the mountain’s peak. Stroll around the quiet town of Brunate, peek into the cozy cafes, or lace up for some light hikes nearby. You've got options, and the views? Well, they stick with you wherever you wander up there.

Make sure to carve out a slice of your plans for this experience. It's easy peasy to find, sat right above the city, and it's your secret pass to photos that’ll blow up your feed. Catch the details at this friendly link here, and trust me, your senses will thank you later.


Relish the Quiet Moments at Piazza Cavour Como

Imagine you're sitting at a café nestled in the corner of Piazza Cavour, the sound of the lapping lake water playing a gentle tune in the background. The scent of freshly brewed coffee mingles with the aroma of ancient stones warmed by the sun. Piazza Cavour in Como is that rare blend of serene lakeside vibes and the quiet hum of city life. It's a place where time slows down enough for you to actually enjoy it.

Located right by the lake, Piazza Cavour is the perfect spot to relax and watch the world go by. Throw in a backdrop of the majestic Alps, and you've got a postcard moment just waiting to happen. Solo travelers, couples, families - all are drawn to its understated charm. Whether you're flying solo or herding a group, there's a sweet spot just for you here.

Here's an insider tip: wake up early and take a sunrise stroll. You'll have the cobblestones mostly to yourself, and the rising sun paints the historic buildings in golden hues. Oh, and before you ask, the answer is yes! This is a prime spot for those envy-inducing vacation photos – just try to snap them before the afternoon crowds roll in.

As for nearby attractions, you're in luck - you're steps away from Como's fabulous collection of boutiques and eateries. And while you're soaking in the ambiance, don't miss the chance to enjoy some people-watching or to strike up a conversation with the friendly locals. Piazza Cavour Como isn't just a place - it's an experience. Give yourself at least an hour here; though, if you're like most, you'll probably wish you had more time.

So, what's the hold-up? Pull up a chair, order a gelato, or sip on that creamy espresso. Let the beauty of Lake Como wash over you. This is not just a piazza; it's a little slice of Italian heaven... And it's waiting for you right now.


Taste Olive Oil on a Farm Overlooking Lake Como

Picture this: You're standing on a sun-kissed farm, the air rich with the scent of olives, and in front of you, Lake Como glistens like a jewel. Welcome to your Como olive oil tasting adventure! There's something magical about sipping on liquid gold while beholding the serene waters, isn't there? You can't get this kind of experience just anywhere.

Como's unique microclimate and rich soil give birth to some of the most exquisite olive oils you'll ever taste. You see, it's not just about the olive oil—it's about feeling connected to this slice of Italian paradise. Whether you fancy yourself an amateur chef or an epicurean enthusiast, your palate is about to dance with delight.

Here's how you'll spend your time: Start by touring the groves where these little green gems soak up the Mediterranean sun. Next, witness the alchemy of olives transforming into oil. Finally, sit down with the farm's proud producer, and let them take you on a sensory journey:


  • Savor the bold, peppery notes of the freshest extra virgin olive oil.
  • Discover the subtle hints of almond and artichoke, a trademark of Como's cultivars.
  • Learn to pair these liquid treasures with food like a true Italian.


A visit to one of these farms isn't just a quick stop; it's a couple of hours-long affair that'll appeal to your senses and leave your foodie soul satiated. And hey, it's a hit with all crowds—families can enjoy picnics surrounded by nature, while singles and couples find it's a serene spot to unwind.

While you're there, you might as well take a bottle or two home. Drizzling this oil on your dishes back home? It's like taking a piece of Como with you. Each drop carries the essence of the place—its sunshine, its breezes, its tranquil beauty. And whenever you use it, you'll remember this perfect day overlooking Lake Como, where you fell in love with the art of olive oil.


Discover Como’s Tradition at the Silk Museum

Silk isn't just a fabric; it's a journey—especially at the Silk Museum in Como. You'll unravel the intricate tapestry of Como’s silk-making history, a tradition woven deep into the city's identity.

When you stroll through the museum, the sheer variety of silk artifacts catches your eye. Gorgeous textiles, ancient looms, and a rainbow palette of colors tell a story that started way back in the 1400s. Como was the place where threads turned to gold. Well, almost! The silk industry here was so hush-hush and covetable, it might as well have been gold.

Now picture this: You’re exploring room after room, each one a chapter of a tale so rich, it feels like you've stepped back in time. And here’s the kicker—this isn't just looking at old stuff. This is about getting the low-down on how Como became a global powerhouse in silk production. From the raw silk cocoons to the lustrous finished products, it’s like you’re walking alongside the artisans of yesteryear.

Let's break it down:


  • Who's it for? Fashionistas, history buffs, or anyone with a knack for the finer things in life.
  • Nearby attractions? Plenty! Grab a gelato and saunter over to the lakeside, or zip to more historic sites within minutes.
  • Time to spend? Give it an hour or two, more if you're feeling captivated by the silken threads.


Featherweight scarves, ties that scream 'Italian craftsmanship,' and fabrics that could've dressed royalty are all here. Not just to look at, but also to understand and appreciate—because every weave has a backstory that's waiting to be told. The Silk Museum isn’t just a place; it’s a tribute to Como’s silky-smooth legacy, making it a unique spot for both locals and tourists eager to touch a piece of history.

So, come on by! Whether alone, with your significant other, or your family in tow, you'll leave a little more elegant, your hands itching to create a bit of magic with Como’s celebrated silk.


Enjoy a Secluded Lido di Lenno Beach Day

Picture yourself lounging on a comfy sunbed, the warm Como sun on your skin, and the sound of gentle waves lapping at the shore. Got it? Good. Because that's exactly the kind of chill-out session you'll experience at Lido di Lenno. It's not just a beach—it's relaxation leveled up!

This little haven screams 'take it easy' with every grain of sand and every cozy sunbed. Forget the crowded tourist spots—Lido di Lenno is all about that sweet, sweet seclusion. It's the ultimate chill zone for:


  • Solo sunbathers who want to hear nothing but the rustle of turning pages.
  • Loved-up duos seeking a quiet corner to murmur sweet nothings.
  • Families where the kiddos can build a sandcastle empire, and parents get to wind down without a care.


Got an hour or two? Great! Plant yourself right here. But if you're up for a slow day, you can easily stretch out your beach bliss from dawn till dusk.

You're probably thinking, "Sure, relaxation is grand, but what about some nibbles?" Worry not, friend—Lido di Lenno delivers! Grab a bite at the on-site restaurant or sip a cocktail at the beach bar, all without lifting a toe from the sand.

So, whether you're a hardcore lounger or a casual dipper, Lido di Lenno rolls out the beach towel for a memory you'll want to Instagram, but with a vibe so serene, you might just forget your phone exists. Now, that's relaxation with a capital R!


Learn Rowing with a View at a Lake Como Club


Have you ever watched rowers glide smoothly over the water and thought, "I could totally do that"? It's your lucky day because you can learn to row in one of the most picturesque places on the planet! Trust me, those rowing clubs in Como aren't just for show.

The beauty of Como's rowing clubs isn't just in the splash of the oars or the teamwork—it's all about the view. Paddling across the shimmering waters with the backdrop of lush mountains and grand villas, you're part of a living postcard. Here's a secret—they're open to newcomers, and the locals are super friendly to learners.

Now, hold on to your hats because this isn't your average workout. Even if you're a solo traveler (rowers are, by default, great at making friends on the fly), a couple looking to do something other than gazing into each other's eyes, or a family wanting to bond over something unique, rowing in Como has you covered. It's a hit of adrenaline, mixed with peacefulness and a side of stunning scenery.

You're probably wondering, how long should you carve out of your day for this? Honestly, spend half a day if you can. Not only do you get to learn something cool, but you've got time for a leisurely lunch nearby. Most clubs offer a few hours of training, which is just perfect.

Keep in mind, though, that you may need to book in advance through a club's website, and hey, while you're at it, check out some neat rowing tips to get a leg up (or is it an arm up?).

In a nutshell, rowing in Como is not just exercise; it's an experience that feeds your soul. Plus, it's one of those rare experiences where you feel like part of the local tapestry, rather than just another tourist.ipmap


Explore the Castello di Vezio and Its Legends


In the heart of Varenna, perched high above Lake Como, sits the Castello di Vezio, a medieval fortress enveloped in mystery and ghost legends. For a touch of the supernatural, the ghost legends surrounding the castle will send a thrilling chill down your spine while you roam its ancient halls.

This stoic sentinel has been keeping watch over the lake since the 11th century. It's not just a feast for history buffs; the castle provides some of the most jaw-dropping views of Lake Como – talk about a photo op that'll have all your friends double-tapping in envy!

So, are you into phantom-seeking or selfie-snapping? Either way, Castello di Vezio has you covered. Walk through the olive groves to get there and once inside, give yourself a good hour to explore. And if you're feeling extra bold, take a guided tour to learn about the eerie tales that whisper through these walls.

Now, let's get real, this isn't your run-of-the-mill boring old fortress. Expect to be wowed by the live birds of prey demonstrations. Yeah, you heard that right, real birds of prey up close and personal! It's a hit with kids and adults alike, so the whole family can get in on the action.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a tranquility seeker, the castle is an oasis of adventure and peace. It caters to everyone from solo explorers to families to a group of friends looking for a memorable day out.

Oh, and before you leave, step into the artist's workshop on-site. Who knows, you might find a unique souvenir to remember your own legendary day.

Get ready to conquer the legend; your Castello di Vezio adventure awaits. Trust me, you'll want to keep your camera handy – this place is the definition of 'Insta-worthy'. Learn more about the castle's ghostly legends and add an epic chapter to your Como travel story!



Q: What to do in Como for a day?

A: Hit the main sights: the majestic Como Cathedral, serene Lake Como, and the funicular for epic views. Shop and dine in the charming town center.

Q: Free things to do in Como?

A: Stroll along the lakefront, explore Como's old town, and visit the educational Silk Museum without spending a dime.

Q: Things to do in Lake Como?

A: Take a boat tour, visit Villa Carlotta, chill at pebble beaches, and get lost in luxuriant gardens.

Q: Things to do in Como San Giovanni?

A: Wander around the picturesque streets, grab a gelato, and check out the art in local galleries.

Q: Things to do in Como Reddit?

A: Redditors recommend visiting the Brunate lighthouse, eating local risotto, and shopping at the Como market.

Q: Things to do in Como in winter?

A: Enjoy the Christmas markets, ice skate in the square, taste the seasonal cuisine, or take a misty lake walk.

Q: Is Como Town worth visiting?

A: Absolutely, Como offers a mix of history, culture, and breathtaking scenery that's hard to beat.

Q: Is there much to do in Como?

A: Yes, there's plenty - from historical landmarks and art galleries to cozy cafés and vibrant markets.

Q: Is 2 days enough in Lake Como?

A: It's tight, but you can cover the highlights. Prioritize must-sees and plan for a busy, fun-filled two days.

Q: Is Como Italy a walkable city?

A: Sure is. Most attractions are close together, perfect for walking and soaking in the vibes.


Final Words

Phew, you've covered all this ground exploring Como's hidden hiking trails, enjoying serene gardens, and tasting the local olive oil—feels like quite the adventure, doesn't it? You even delved into the world of silk making and rowed across the lake with a view. Remember the unique ambiance of that secluded lido beach day? Yeah, we can't forget it either.

Now, as you sit back, maybe contemplating your next move in this Italian haven, let us tell you: Como still has sleeves full of surprises. There are so many things to do in Como, each moment spent here is bound to be unforgettable. Keep this guide handy, and let the charm of Lake Como's experiences be your compass to a trip filled with rich memories.

Meet the Author
Aria Ohlsson
Aria Ohlsson, the Instagram storyteller extraordinaire, takes you on adventures through her enchanting narratives. An avid hiker, she scales peaks and weaves tales of mountaintop triumphs. When she's not conquering trails, you'll find her immersed in classic novels, finding inspiration for her next tale.
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