5 things to do in Lake Como area in Autumn

Autumn is the perfect time for walking in clean, crisp air catching the woodland colours of the mountains surrounding Lake Como or the foliage of the stunning gardens of Lake Como famous villas. Autumn is a time to step back and calm down, enjoying a stroll in the charming villages. It is the time of food festivals where you can taste local food accompanied by a good glass of wine. Discover the magic of Lake Como in autumn.

The days may be shortening but there is still lots to see and do. Here’s a few of our favourites and we hope you will try some of them when you are here this Autumn.

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1. Admire the “fall foliage”

Firstly, and perhaps the best reason to visit in the autumn, is to see the spectacular display of colour that the trees and other plants put on each year, turning the landscape into a palette of colors of great beauty.
With the local woodlands transforming into gorgeous shades of orange and gold, and the bright blue skies casting reflections on the water, you’ll have plenty of stunning scenery to to photograph and admire.

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Teresio Olivelli Park

The park, located on the shores of Lake Como just after the church of San Bartolomeo a Tremezzina (loc. Tremezzo), is a small botanical and architectural jewel where there is a monumental staircase and an eighteenth-century tarocchiera made by the rationalist architect Lingeri in 1925.

The vegetation includes many noteworthy specimens, such as an elegant Devonian Pinus, a large camphor, an old Calocedrus decurrens, an avenue of plane trees in compulsory form and several Taxodium distichum, the unusual bald cypresses that sink their roots in the water.

In autumn, walking through the park, you can admire these arboreal jewels while savouring the beauty of a landscape rich in colours and emotions.

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Park of Villa Melzi d’Eril

Built in neoclassical forms between 1808 and 1810, with its proportions the villa is integrated into the second promontory of Bellagio in an elegant way.

The greatest charm of the property lies in the extraordinary park overlooking the lake and in the devices adopted to expand optically the space, actually narrow, between the incipient hill (in turn monumental park) and the lake.

Visitors are welcomed by a small lake of water lilies, just beyond a Moorish style kiosk with an enchanting view of Bellagio and, in front of it, the monument to Dante and Beatrice del Comolli, which seems to have inspired Liszt’s Sonata a Dante. Along the lake and next to a splendid example of Pinus Montezuma there is an ancient Egyptian statue of the goddess Pacht together with others from Napoleon’s Egyptian countryside. This and much more awaits visitors in this park, which in 2016 was named “Italy’s most beautiful park“.

In autumn the fall foliage of the Gardens of Villa Melzi d’Eril is amazing: you can admire the elegant collection of Japanese maples (small cut trees with a very refined bearing where each leaf seems hand painted) full of intense and evocative colors.

Opening times
From 14 September to 1 November 2020
monday – friday: from 12:00 to 18:30
Saturday and Sunday: from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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Park of Villa del Grumello

The seventeenth-century Villa del Grumello overlooks the first basin of Lake Como a few steps from the city center and is set in a park of great natural beauty and unique landscape.
The refinement of its rooms and the enchanting view make it historically one of the privileged residences on the banks of the lake of famous families: the Odescalchi, then the Giovio and from the second half of 800 Celesia.
Since 2006 the Associazione Villa del Grumello has started an ambitious project of recovery and enhancement of the various structures included in the real estate compendium, in addition to the redevelopment of the historic park that frames them, extending over 4 hectares.

The Parco del Grumello is articulated according to a romantic compositional design; the panoramic paths enhance the many viewpoints and the different environments: the majestic cedar and the group of maritime pines, the row of magnolias, the lake fed by the nearby source, in which grow lush lotus flowers, water lilies and other varieties. The parterre is embellished with essences typical of the lake area, with collections of aster, hydrangeas and anemones among the most significant in Italy. Among the different essences of the park, of particular value are the camphor plants, some redwoods and a centenary example of Ginko biloba.

In the Villa del Grumello in autumn, visitors can enjoy a unique experience of history, culture and above all nature, particularly suggestive when the colours of the chestnut season ignite.

Opening times
From June 21 to November 1, every Sunday and holidays.

Consult the website villadelgrumello.it

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Park of Villa Olmo

Villa Olmo is located at the north-western end of the city of Como, at the end of the lakeside promenade of the villas of Borgo Vico (now known as the Lino Gelpi promenade), opened in 1957 to connect some of the most interesting patrician buildings in the city, built in the Baroque and Neoclassical periods. Walking along the promenade and admiring the elegant residences you can perceive that romantic and fascinating combination of landscape and ingenuity and taste of architects and gardeners that, between 1700 and 1800, made the shores of the lake the coveted destination of the Grand Tour of the European nobility and that Villa Olmo, with its park, still evokes today.

The area is characterized by the irregularity of the soil and vegetation, for the wide avenues that run through it, for the presence of the neoclassical temple and many exotic conifers and broad-leaved trees, such as the beautiful example of cedar of Lebanon / Cedrus Libani, 22.5 m high, located in the central body of the villa. Among the plants of great value are: a monumental horse chestnut/esculus hippocastanum, more than 26 m high, some specimens of plane trees / Platanus occidentalis secolari, a giant sequoia / Sequoiadendron Giganteum, a red beech / Fagus Sylvatica.

The park of Villa Olmo in autumn is surrounded by a magical atmosphere, the colors and suggestions of the autumn season give the walk that leads to the Villa, an exclusively pedestrian path, and the park an extremely romantic aspect:
the trees and gardens are tinged with gold and purple, the leaves of a vivid red climb up the walls and cover the path.

Opening times
The Park of Villa Olmo
It is public and available to citizens and tourists.

Winter Timetable
from 1 October to 4 April – every day from 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.


2. Visit the villas away from the summer crowd

From the end of September to November, visiting villas and gardens is an experience not to be missed: in particular, on Lake Como, the warm shades of yellow and orange cover the mountains near the lake and the mild and pleasant temperatures make autumn the right time to visit the villas, enjoying unique and unforgettable views.

Villa Carlotta – Tremezzina

Villa Carlotta welcomes visitors on Lake Como, in Tremezzina, with a magnificent botanical park and rooms full of masterpieces of art.

In particular, in autumn the garden takes on a new charm.
Most of the blooms have finished its work of attracting pollinators (the magnificent flowers of the hydrangeas remain, however, to draw attention even when they have lost their characteristic color and turn to purple) and the park is preparing to rest.

The most curious will be able to delight their eyes by observing the fruits: the ornamental plants bear fruit, and in some cases are very beautiful. It is possible to admire, for example, the delicacy of the combination of the metallic blue berries of the viburnum and the scarlet red ones of the nandine.

The park of Villa Carlotta with the magnificent colors of the fall foliage is even more beautiful and characteristic.
In addition, in autumn the villa organizes many events and courses for adults and children.

Opening times
Open until November 8th

  • Monday to Friday opening: 10.00 – 17.00*.
    last ticket at 16.00, museum closing at 16.30
  • Saturday and Sunday opening: 10.30 – 17.00
    last ticket at 16.00, museum closing at 16.30

* The ticket office will be open from 10.00 to 12.00 and from 14.00 to 16.00 while the Museum will remain open from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 16.30.

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Villa del Balbianello – Tremezzina

On a peninsula from which you can enjoy enchanting views of the lake, this elegant and romantic mansion of the eighteenth century and its amazing garden have hosted writers and travelers until its last owner, Guido Monzino who donated the villa to FAI, in 1988.

From the tip of the small wooded peninsula of Lavedo, stretched sheer to the waters of the center of Lake Como, the Villa elegantly overlooks a wide panorama that makes it one of the most scenic homes of Lake Como.

The garden of the villa has a timeless charm that changes with the changing of the seasons while remaining unchanged in its beauty.
It is a route that ranges from bold pruning and romantic views, avenues lined with statues, panoramic terraces, to culminating in the eighteenth-century Loggia that crowns the entire complex giving a double and aerial view.

The interiors preserve the layout wanted by Guido Monzino and preserve the art collections he collected, the library, various objects related to the expeditions to the North Pole and Everest and numerous prints of the Lario.

A visit to the villa is not to be missed in the autumn when nature is dressed in red and yellow, offering an amazing and colourful spectacle.

Opening times
From 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. all day long.
Last entrance to visit the park only: 17.15.
Last guided tour of the interior at 16.30 (45 minutes)
It is advisable to arrive at the Villa no later than 16.00.

Closed: Mondays and Wednesdays not holidays.

From Tuesday 3 November: from 10.00 to 17.00.
Last entrance to visit only the Park at 16.00.
Last guided tour of the interior (45 minutes) at 15.30.
It is advisable to arrive at the Villa no later than 15.00.

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Villa Bernasconi – Cernobbio
A symmetrical world - Villa Bernasconi Laboratories

One of the rare examples of Art Nouveau architecture on Lake Como, designed by architect Alfredo Campanini as a “fashion house” for engineer Davide Bernasconi, who, of Milanese origin, founded the homonymous silk weaving in Cernobbio at the end of the nineteenth century.

Villa Bernasconi is one of the most significant Italian Art Nouveau creations, both for its architectural design that avoids any symmetry and experiments with soft, free and dynamic forms, and for the new conception of its ornamental apparatus that not only enriches the building, but integrates with it and is the living part. Its design and the artistic value of the decorations are typical features of this style, which here, thanks to the presence of the master of wrought iron at national level, Alessandro Mazzucotelli, touch one of the most significant outcomes in Italy.

Villa Bernasconi is by its nature a welcoming place, a museum-home in which to meet, discuss, experiment and express their creativity.
In autumn, in the Mansarda, outside the path open to the public, an atelier is set up in which interesting courses and workshops are hosted to complete the experience of seeing the “museum of the house that speaks” with proposals for all ages, at times and places even unusual, with innovative and interactive methods.

Opening times
Monday to Friday 14:00-18:00 | Saturday and Sunday 10:00-18:00

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Villa Monastero – Varenna

The charm of Villa Monastero continues even in autumn.
Villa Monastero, owned by the Province of Lecco, is one of the main attractions of the territory for its strategic position in terms of history, landscape, environment and for the different services provided by the compendium, the core is represented by the House Museum that in 2004 obtained the recognition of the Lombardy Region and is fully accessible to the public with its exhibition path that develops in 14 rooms fully furnished, with decorations and original furniture. This historic residence also houses a Conference Centre known internationally for its physics lessons held in 1954 by Nobel Prize winner Enrico Fermi, while the Italian Physics Society still organises its courses every year at Villa Monastero.

The Villa is surrounded by a Botanical Garden that extends for almost 2 km along the lake front from Varenna to Fiumelatte. The complex offers opportunities for recreation and learning thanks to the presence of numerous and rare native and exotic tree species that today reach the considerable figure of more than 900 specimens that have allowed it to obtain the regional recognition of Botanical Garden. Thanks to the particularly mild climate typical of the lake, this garden is home to botanical rarities from all over the world.

Opening times

Days and hours Botanical Garden 2020

  • October and until November 1: every day from 10 to 18
  • November:8-15-22-29 from 10 to 17
  • December:6-7-8-13-20-26-27-28-29-30-31 from 10 to 17

Days and hours House Museum 2020

  • October and until November 1: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 to 18
  • November:8-15-22-29 from 10 to 17
  • December:6-7-8-13-20-26-27-28-29-30-31 from 10 to 17

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Autumn FAI days on Lake Como

A much awaited and repeated appointment every year are the FAI Autumn Days on Lake Como, an opportunity not to be missed to visit the Assets of the Italian Environmental Fund open to the public in exchange for a free contribution.

On Lake Como, the assets of the FAI are: Villa del Balbianello, Tremezzina, loc. Lenno – Villa Fogazzaro Roi, Valsolda, fraz. Oria – Soccorso Tower Barbarossa, Tremezzina, loc. Ossuccio.


3. Walking in the woods in search of chestnuts, while enjoying beautiful views

Thanks to the mild weather, autumn is the perfect time for walking in the mountains surrounding Lake Como and you’ll have plenty of choice on which routes to tackle.

From Rogaro to San Martino

From Teresio Olivelli Park, loc. Tremezzo, you can easily reach the hamlet of Rogaro which lies on the plateau overlooking Tremezzo.

From the plain of Rogaro, an expanse of agricultural lawns located in a particularly bright and scenic place, branch off the mountain paths that lead to the mountains of Nava, Monte Crocione and San Martino.

The walk that leads to the church of San Martino (472 m), located in a panoramic position above the village of Griante, is suitable for all seasons and within everyone’s reach, even if it is entirely uphill. In autumn, walking along this path you can collect chestnuts as well as enjoy a splendid view of Lake Como.

Moreover, in the Historical Hamlet of Rogaro, towards the end of October and on the occasion of the traditional Feast of the Black Madonna, the Sagra dei Biröell e Pelèe is organized every year, which includes the recitation of the rosary in the sanctuary, the enchantment of the baskets and the distribution of roast chestnuts and chestnuts with cream.

Passeggiata San Martino - Griante, Lago di Como

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From Lavedo to Villa del Balbianello

Getting to the Villa is in itself an exciting experience, whether you decide to take the pleasant walk that, starting from Lido di Lenno, gently climbs the slope of the promontory of Lavedo through the woods, or whether you prefer to reach the Villa from the lake by boat.

In autumn we suggest you to choose the walk. On the way back or out you can make a detour from the main road to take the secondary path that crosses a chestnut forest. So you can pick up some excellent chestnuts, and then enjoy them cooked in the oven or sautéed in the pan for the roast chestnuts. Along the way you will also find a viewpoint over the lake.

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Walks in the vicinity of Bellagio

For bike lovers this is the ideal area. After a walk to hunt for chestnuts in the woods of the Valbrona*, you can enjoy a nice ride in the direction of the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Ghisallo, which since the beginning of the twentieth century is the ideal destination for many professional and amateur cyclists, to the point that today the Madonna has been proclaimed the official patron saint.

* Along the ancient mule track that joins the Valbrona to the banks of the Lario rises the pleasant Sanctuary of the Madonna della Febbre, also called “della Valle”.

The place can be reached from the Church of S. rocc, along a short stretch of via Ziniga and then taking a dirt road on the left that goes down leaving room for the old mule track to the lake.

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Walks in the vicinity of Menaggio

Val Sanagra Park

It is advisable to follow the path n° 1 from Piamuro (2 km from the centre of Menaggio) to Barna.
Easy and comfortable path, first dirt and then cobbled with steps. Take the path from Piamuro but instead of proceeding along the dirt road, turn right leaving the cemetery of Loveno on the same. This route allows you to admire the oak, downy oak, black hornbeam and chestnut woods that in this valley have significant infiltrations of pine trees.

For centuries, chestnuts have been the staple food of the peasants and have always been very important for the survival of the various communities of the Sanagra Valley. Chestnuts were imported in the classical period and there are many chestnut groves in the whole Alpine and pre-alpine area, even if today they are almost completely left to themselves. The precious fruit was treated in various ways: dried, boiled, ground and others. The recipe par excellence based on chestnuts is that of the biröll, or the famous roast chestnuts, prepared at the time of harvesting the fruit.

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Tremezzina Gastronomica

A unique event, in the name of local products, pure conviviality and a sense of belonging to the territory.

It is an event that involves the restaurants of the territory offering a showcase to all and ensuring space and visibility to traditional dishes and restaurateurs of Tremezzina.


5. Spend a nice day out with your family

There’s plenty of easy walks or kids-friendly events taking place in autumn.

La Greenway del lago di Como
Nucleo Storico di Campo - Lenno - Tremezzina

To fully enjoy the breathtaking views typical of the autumn season we recommend that you take advantage of the quiet after the summer crowd, as well as the mildest temperatures to travel The Greenway of Lake Como, one of the most beautiful and scenic excursions of the lake.

About 11.2 km long and with a difference in height of 100 meters, allows you to pass through the municipalities of Colonno, Sala Comacina, Ossuccio, Lenno, Mezzegra, Tremezzo and Griante, partly just above the villages and partly along the lakeside, sometimes following the ancient Via Regina.

The itinerary is suitable for all seasons and allows you to enjoy beautiful views of the lake, walking to discover ancient villages, churches, villas and gardens.

In general, Autumn is well suited to organizing excursions, walks and excursions.
In this season the lake transmits intimacy and warmth: you can enjoy the beauty of the landscapes away from the summer crowds, letting yourself be intoxicated by the warm colors that only the autumn season can give.

Organize your trip on Lake Como. See our section dedicated to Walks and excursions.

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