You are planning your fall holidays? Thinking to spend your fall break in Italy and thinking of Lake Como is the right spot? Which activities are best? We are sharing with you our favorite tips for a splendid fall vacation at Lake Como.
Is an autumn holiday on Lake Como worth it?
Autumn is the perfect season to explore the wonderful scenery around Lake Como. No matter what your preferences; hikers, culture-vultures, nature enthusiasts or just sightseers looking for peace and tranquility, there is something here for everyone.
While the summer tourists find plenty of adventure and marvels to enjoy, it is when autumn arrives in October, and the visitor numbers begin to dwindle, that serenity reigns at Lake Como. At this enchanting time of year, the climate is pleasant and the lake is at its most picturesque.
This is the magical time when the throng of bustling crowds have died down and the northern Italian towns are quiet and welcoming. With the change of season, the locals return to reclaim the piazzas, and visitors can truly experience the authenticity and charm of the region’s age-old traditions.
You can stroll along the vibrant cobbled streets at a leisurely pace and watch the boats glide over the water from solitary vantage points. The warm autumn colours paint the scenery in the parks around the famous villas, weaving their artistic vision of a magical landscape.
Enjoy a leisurely sightseeing tour, relaxing in the seasonally mild temperatures. You can sit and watch the colorful sunrises and spectacular sunsets transform the still waters of the lake into flaming palettes of autumnal gold and tangerine. Is fall vacation around Lake Como worth a trip? Definitely yes – we are sharing valuable tips on activities especially during fall. How is the weather like at Lake Como?
How is the weather in autumn on Lake Como?
Throughout the year, be sure to check the weather forecast for any planned trips to Lake Como, and adapt your packing to the prevailing season. In autumn, you can enjoy the warm Italian sunshine through the day, while during the night the temperatures tend to drop. It can be useful to have a raincoat and umbrella handy, as well.
In October, the average temperature during the day is 13°C. This is warmer than in many other parts of Europe. Autumn and Spring are ideal seasons for visiting Lake Como, with such welcoming mild temperatures and clear visibility. These are the ideal conditions for sightseeing, visiting attractions, taking invigorating walks and just generally enjoying the lake scenery.
Festivals and Events at Lake Como
In autumn, there are some very interesting local festivals held around lake Como, which makes this an ideal time to immerse yourself in the local culture.
There is a lot on offer, especially for the epicureans:
Orticolario at Lake Como
In the Villa Erba Park, you can admire a thrilling floral display and garden design ideas on the first weekend of October. During the Orticolario exhibition, talented international landscape architects present their awe-inspiring creations and offer plants, flowers and decorative outdoor accessories for sale.
Morbegno in Cantina
There are more than fifty old cellars, hidden in the walls of the historic center of Morbegno (Sondrio) and the surrounding villages – about 45 minutes from the villa. They open their doors several times, on weekends in October. Visitors can taste local cuisine and a selection of the excellent Veltliner wines.
October is chestnut time. You can collect chestnuts along the hiking trails yourself and be entertained by the many Castagnata festivals that take place along the lake, such as Dervio, Bellano, or Peglio above Gravedona. You can immerse yourself in authentic local culture and traditions, everywhere. In many places, the proceeds from these wonderful events are donated to charitable causes.
Mostra del Bitto
In the Valtelina Valley, north of Lake Como, the award for the best Bitto cheese is traditionally celebrated every year in October, in Morbegno. Meanwhile, local cheeses, wines, apples, honey and salami can be eaten around the city, in an exuberant atmosphere steeped in traditional music and fascinating customs.
Even in autumn, many tourism sights and attractions are still operating. Some of them are even more charming during that time of the year and awaiting for you to relax.
Explore by boat
It cannot be called a genuine visit to Lake Como unless you explore the area by boat. Lake Como conjures up images of beautiful lakeside towns and colorful villages lining its shores. On your boat trip, experience the enchanting sights of pastel-colored villas, magnificent gardens, and quaint little boulevards all along the coast.
At this time of year, the scenery is quieter, with much fewer boats and ferries on the lake.
Public transport by boat on Lake Como is provided by Navigazione Lago di Como. Many cities have their own dock. Timetabled services may be less frequent from October to Spring, but the ferry is still a simple and convenient means of transport and sightseeing.
Even in autumn, the rental stations still offer boats up to 40hp for hire for self-steering, or romantic Riva boats complete with their own skipper. Whether you use the ferries or hire a boat yourself, either way you can discover the delights of the lake and explore its surrounds.
Visit the towns
Bellagio is also called the “Pearl of Lake Como”, and is one of the most popular towns on the lake. The magnificent, long waterfront promenade invites you to take a leisurely walk under colorful autumn leaves, and enjoy a cup of warm cappuccino served in one of their cozy little cafés. In the low season you have the opportunity to have the popular street, Giuseppe Garibaldi, all to yourself for a moment and snap the perfect photo for Instagram.
Varenna is a picturesque and traditional location on the eastern shore of Lake Como, with just 700 inhabitants. Highlights include the beautiful promenade on the lake, the narrow streets with their charming houses, the old church, Chiesa di San Giorgio, and especially the breathtaking view from the Castello Vezio.
The characteristic medieval village of Corenno Plinio is located directly opposite our terrace on a steep rocky spur. When visiting this locality, time seems to stand still, each stone tells a story. The impressive panorama and the grace of the surroundings make Corenno Plinio such a unique place in the world.
Marvel at Villas
In autumn, countless dreamlike villas surrounded by wonderful parks are decorated in warm colors created by a vista of colorful leaves. While the gardens can be busy and crowded in summer, you can discover your favorite place in autumn in a quieter atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
The villas are usually open from March to November, so they are available for extended autumn walks. Highlights around Lake Como include the Villa Carlotta with its magnificent botanical gardens, the Villa del Balbianello on the Lavedo peninsula, in Bellagio the gardens of Villa Serbelloni above the city, and Villa Melzi directly on the lakeshore. Also open until autumn are the park gates to Villa Olmo in Como and Villa Monastero in Varenna, a 12th-century monastery that became a noble residence surrounded by botanical gardens.
Immerse yourself in the lake’s museum culture
The Volta Museum honors Como-born physicist, Alessandro Volta, who invented the battery. The museum houses a variety of fascinating objects related to his life and displays scientific instruments from his research and experiments in the field of physics.
The Como Silk Museum informs visitors about the entire production process of silk from silkworms to colored yarns, and from hand printing to fashion collections.
In a renovated old spinning mill, more than 160 magnificent exhibits are on display, from smugglers’ rowing boats to sailboats, transport ships to traditional pleasure boats and Riva yachts. You can also see the famous Lake Como fishing gondolas and how they worked.
Take day trips to the northern Italian lakes
Besides Lake Como, there are other Upper Italian lakes that can also be easily reached during autumn.
Walking through Verona, visitors can marvel at the Roman Arena and the house commemorating the story of Romeo and Juliet, and later enjoy Sirmione on the peninsula of Lake Garda with its well-preserved castle.
One of the most popular activities on Lake Maggiore is island hopping. You can visit all three islands by boat and explore the exquisite gardens and lovely palaces. Lake Lugano is picturesquely situated on the border between Switzerland and Italy. Climb Monte Brè to catch stunning mountain views and enjoy a hike to visit the natural treasures. Or take a trip to Monte San Salvatore. In the city you can enjoy some luxury shopping and a variety of art galleries and museums.
A day at Lake Iseo is also a unique experience. Monte Isola, the village of Lovere, the nature reserve of the Pyramids of Zone and the large bank of Riva di Solto-Fonteno are the highlights for this excursion.
Take a city tour
Unlike summer, when busy traffic can be nerve-wracking, fall is perfect for exploring neighboring cities and regions on a day trip.
Our personal favorites during fall are Milan and Bergamo.
In Bergamo, on a steep hill, lies the old town with its narrow, cobbled streets lined with buildings from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. From the new part of the city, it can be reached by funicular or via streets that wind upwards to the impressive gates in the bastions dating back to the 16th century.
The world metropolis of Milan, the European capital of fashion and design, is an hour’s drive from here and an excellent place for a day trip. You will be amazed by the huge selection of shops and boutiques during a shopping spree or you could visit the museum in the Skala, the historical museums at Castello Sforzesco, the Museo del Duomo, or the Museum of Italian Design (Design Museum Triennale di Milano)
In this Post you find more Insidertips on the surrounding cities.
Enjoy traditional cuisine of Northern Italy
When the large crowds of summer tourists leave the area, the larger restaurants and cafes also end their season. However, in autumn this presents the opportunity for visitors to sample the authentic local cuisine, with the region’s friendly hosts.
The culinary specialties of Lombardy are varied and intense in taste. Among the specialties of the kitchen is Osso Bucco alla Milanese (veal knuckle with risotto). Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese is a Veltelin dish made from buckwheat tagliatelle, cabbage, sage, potatoes and cheese.
Or perhaps you could sample the hearty stew, Cassoeula: cabbage, savoy and pork are served with polenta. This traditional dish is especially popular in autumn and winter. All parts of the pig are used for this dish, including the tail, feet and rind. The dishes are combined with local and seasonal ingredients such as chestnuts and polenta and risotto. Typically served in this region is risotto, made with Perch from Lake Como (Risotto Con Pesce Persico).
Whatever your gourmet dining choice, no dish should go without a glass of wine from the local region.
Taste local wine
Wine lovers must insist on sampling the distinctive wines from the cellars of the region, and discover how they are produced in autumn. The climatic and environmental conditions on upper Lake Como in the north, provide the ideal conditions for viticulture. In the area, on Lake Superior around Domaso and Colico, an intense and full-bodied grape is grown, which tells the story and tradition of the area and the Upper Lake. The cellars of the small, family-run businesses are open to visitors and their signature wines can be tasted on site.
Cook like a real Italian
Take a real Italian cooking class with us and learn the art of pasta making, the best seasoning for tasty sauces or the secrets of crafting an excellent Italian pizza. Many of the local chefs want to inspire a passion for Italian cuisine and the Italian lifestyle, and would love to share their enthusiasm with you!
Take unforgettable fall hikes
The change of seasons on Lake Como can be especially enjoyed on a walk along the lakeshore. Admire how the water offers double the beauty when the trees and towns are reflected along the shoreline. At this time of year, there is plenty of space and solitude to enjoy a peaceful retreat by the lake. A romantic walk along the promenade in Gravedona and Tremezzina, or on the other side of the lake in Varenna or Bellagio, invokes a sense of relaxation and that welcome sensation of winding down.
However, more demanding hikes can also be most welcome in autumn. From walks with the whole family – some of which are suitable for prams – to challenging alpine tours, the mountains around the lake have a lot to offer. Almost in any weather, the Greenway del Lago and the easy tours around Breglia, can be mastered.
Our tip: Particularly in autumn, please check the weather conditions on a daily basis and have an extra layer of clothing ready..
Tackle a bike ride
Autumn is an ideal time for mountain tours on Lake Como. Whether with a mountain bike ride downhill, a road bike up the pass, or ebikes along the lake – physically you can really get going.
Ultimately, each path leads to the top and reveals a magnificent view for your enjoyment. There are wonderful tours available, especially around Gravedona and Domaso, or in Valsassina. The Sentiero Valtellina on the northern shore of the lake is the ideal destination for numerous mountain bike and bike tours. If, on a warm day, the lake panorama with the back drop of the towering Monte Legnone builds up, then a perfect cycling day is guaranteed.
If you bring your two-wheeler, you can safely store it in our garage.
particularly recommend the guided bike tours with Bebike – their experience has shown that the most beautiful tours can be taken in April and October.
Try water sports
Sporting activities on the water in cooler temperatures may not be for everyone, but if you feel like a challenge and the adrenaline rush, you should take advantage of the ideal wind conditions in autumn on a sailboat, or as a windsurfer or kite surfer.
Even beginners get their money’s worth: numerous sailing and surfing schools offer courses and the necessary equipment. So: get into the wetsuit.
Tee off in hill country
The Menaggio and Cadenabbia Golf Club was built in 1907, by the Englishman, J.H. Taylor. It is the second oldest golf club in Italy. The 18-hole course, surrounded by greenery, maintains an English atmosphere and is great to play. The breathtaking scenery of the region contributes to the golfing experience. However, the course is physically demanding due to the hilly terrain. Therefore, this attraction is ideal for autumn – when the temperature is milder. From February to November, golf fans can work on their handicap here.
Hit the slopes
From November, the ski resorts in the area are open. A day on the slopes is just over half an hour away from the lake, in Valsassina and Valtellina. Our guests can tackle the slopes of Madesimo/Campodolchino, with more than 40 kilometers of thrilling slopes at their disposal.
In Lanzo, on the Italian-Swiss border, beginners also gather at Mount Sighignola with breathtaking views of Lake Lugano. The hiking trails of Monte San Primo and Monte Generoso are ideal for snowshoeing.
Treat yourself to luxury
If you are looking for relaxation, we recommend a wellness day in one of the various day spas that can be found around the lake. Although some of the high-end luxury hotels only allow access to their wellness areas to hotel guests, we have wonderful tips for our guests:
warm up with a hot stone massage in the Grand Hotel Tremezzo’s hammam spa or in one of the saunas. Afterwards, we give ourselves the illusion of seeing the turquoise waters of the panoramic pools and whirlpools seemingly flowing directly into the lake.
You can also book a day of wellness at the Grand Hotel Victoria in Menaggio.
The thermal bath, Bagni Vecchi, offers a unique recreational experience, about 2 hours from the villa, in Bormio. Cold and warm pools, an organic hay sauna, and a Turkish bath are just some of the highlights on offer at this historic bath. Throughout the year, the outdoor pool offers a truly spectacular panoramic view over the Stelvio National Park and the Dolomites.
Our conclusion on fall vacation to Lake Como.
Lake Como with ist magnificant surrounding in Northern Italy is always worth a trip. During fall you find traditional festivities and events, the authentic life and encounters with locals. Many activities are offered. This way you can plan your fall vacation according to your own preferences and style. What makes fall so special is the peaceful atmosphere without the tourist crowds of the summer. During fall Lake Como and the outlying mountains have a special charm. Komm and immerse yourself in an unforgettable fall trip to Lake Como.