Glittering Lake Como, situated a one-hour drive north of Milan in the Lombardy region, is Italy’s most glamorous lakeside retreat — and the ultimate destination for those in search of a stylish escape in a breathtakingly beautiful setting. Follow our insider’s guide to the finest luxury villas to rent in Lake Como, the very best restaurants, and the most stylish boutiques…
On the greatest lake
Hugged by the majestic Italian Alps, Lake Como is where Italian high society and Hollywood stars (notably George Clooney who owns a villa in Laglio) align. It was Virgil who named it ‘the greatest lake’ and with vistas and visitors this dazzling you might be inspired to pen some poetry of your own.
Properties here are in a premier league and whether you’re kicking back with a glass of vintage fizz or contemplating a spot of paddleboarding, it’s all about the sparkling waters and the prime locales for lapping up the gorgeous views.
Come to Como for the scene and the ultimate change of scene. Getting the keys to one of the most exclusive luxury villas to rent in Lake Como is your ticket to an unforgettable travel experience: take a tour of the region’s stunning countryside and charming villages; chill out in its bustling waterfront bars and cafés; hit the Italian boutiques; go hiking in the mountains, and feast in its star-spangled restaurants. And when you’re ready to set sail, you’ll find a wealth of options for magical adventures, from luxury boat trips to windsurfing on the lake.
Secret havens: the best villas to rent in Lake Como
If you’re seeking a lakeside retreat with a serious wow factor, prepare to be suitably impressed— the luxury villas to rent in Lake Como are arguably the finest properties in Europe in terms of flashes of architectural genius for maximising natural light and framing showstopper views. From the chicest retreats made for two to luxury villas to rent for weddings in Lake Como and lakeside gatherings of all sizes, discover ‘la dolce vita’ at one of these six picture-perfect luxury villas with fabulous waterfront vistas…
Best for intimate gatherings
If you’re dreaming of basing yourself in beautiful Bellagio, look no further than the sublimely situated Breakwater Bellagio. With seven ensuite bedrooms, this newly renovated waterfront property boasts a modern infinity pool, and spa areas with a sauna — and incredible views of the Lecco branch of the lake.
Your private chef is on-hand to create Italian feasts and all the dishes your heart desires, and this villa is fully staffed with butler service and housekeepers — and a Salpa Soleil 18 boat (no license required) is at your disposal throughout the stay. From £45,000 per week.
Best for young families
Take a peek inside Villa Pigra. This luxury villa to rent on Lake Como is a liberty-style villa built in 1909 and recently fully restored to its former glory. Situated in the popular lakeside village of Argegno, it’s home to 8 gorgeous guestrooms, an infinity pool with Jacuzzi and pool house, a smart gym and a yoga area. Your little ones will love the magical onsite treehouse, and there’s also a trampoline, Tibetan bridges and zip line.
This villa is fully serviced with a villa manager, chef and housekeeping team to ensure a first-class experience, and additional services include a personal trainer, tennis coach, masseuse and shopping assistant available upon request. From £66,600 per week.
Best for wedding parties
Searching for the perfect luxury villa to rent for weddings in Lake Como? Picture yourself dancing the night away at Villa Limonta, a stunning 18th-century property surrounded by a century’s old botanical parkland and boasting a unique 200-metre private waterfront — with its own private jetty for arrivals by boat. Situated a five-minute drive from Bellagio, it has 8 bedrooms (and 8 bathrooms) with grand designs and exquisite interiors throughout, and vast amounts of space inside and out for special events and weddings.
The pool (heated upon request) is a beautiful haven, and there’s also a sauna and a fully equipped gym. — From £14,000 per week — and this villa has a number of different pricing options for events and celebrations. Get in touch for more information.
Best for food and art lovers
The decadent neoclassical Villa Serbelloni, situated on the banks of the Riviera della Tremezzina, is a feast for the eyes — and a great choice for foodies as the property comes with a private chef, features a majestic dining room, and the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, with its five restaurants is a short stroll away. Exquisitely beautiful inside and out, its lavish halls are adorned with ornate frescoes and every room, including its six suites, is filled with precious collections of art. And the views from the pool are picture-perfect.
You’ll enjoy complimentary use of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo’s award-winning spa, fitness facilities, tennis court and pools. This villa is fully staffed with a butler, chamber maid and housekeeper completely at your disposal. From £56,000 per week.
Best for privacy
If you’re seeking seclusion and a sense of deep peace, hole up in high style at Civenna View, a stunning mid-Century Gio Ponti designed villa nestled in a hillside forest above Bellagio and set in three acres of private grounds. With incredible 180-degree views spanning the Lecco arm of Lake Como right around to the Swiss Alps, this Italian luxury villa rental has six bedrooms, a beautiful pool and is within walking distance of the shops and restaurants in the village of Civenna.
Cleverly designed by the architect to provide maximum natural daylight and frame the most fabulous views, the top living room has 11 large windows facing Lake Como, perfect for sunrise and sunset — and the property also features his unique belly fireplace and talking pit. From £19,000 per week.
Best for large groups
For those planning a great escape with a big group of friends or extended family, 10-bedroom Villa Camilla is one of the best large villas to rent in Lake Como. Perched on the western shore, this magnificent 19th century villa is owned by the noble family, the Marchesi di Rozzano, and is a symbol of Italian style. Star attractions include a private chef, an ancient stone cellar with a vast selection of Italian and international wines, a flood-lit tennis court, a games room for grown-ups and a children’s playground. There’s also a private jetty for motorboats, making this one of the very best luxury villas to rent in Lake Como.
If you’re keen to make a bigger splash, there’s a vast menu of additional services available, including hire of seaplanes, motorboats, windsurfing, water-skiing and kite-surfing equipment, as well as guides for cultural tours and excursions and in-villa services from babysitting to beauty treatments. From £32,000 per week.
The top tables in Lake Como
Lake Como’s fine dining scene exudes sophistication and culinary excellence. You’ll find the very best restaurants in Lake Como in the towns of Varenna, Bellagio, Tremezzo, Lenno, Menaggio and Como, of course, and for simple but delicious traditional fare, make sure to stop for an authentic feast in the little local trattorias in the region’s charming villages.
And did you know that Lombardy is home to 59 Michelin-starred restaurants, the highest number in Italy? There are seven Michelin-starred restaurants in Lake Como alone. These star-spangled venues include the celebrated Kitchen restaurant in Como, which serves a modern interpretation of classic Italian cuisine; the buzzing Il Sereno al Lago, located in the Il Sereno Hotel in Torno with magnificent lake views, and Mauro Elli’s elegantly rustic and romantic Il Cantuccio, situated the heart of the Brianza countryside.
Luxury shopping in Lake Como
When in the city of Como, you’re never very far from a suitably chic shoe shop, and stores filled with the most celebrated indie designers, as well as big label Italian fashion brands. The historical centre is a maze of pretty cobblestoned streets where you’ll find fabulous boutiques near the lake in Piazza Cavour, and along Via Caio Plinio and Via Vittorio Emanuele.
Prime pickings from Gucci to Comme des Garcons are to be found at Tessabit Plinio (Piazza Cavour 34) and high-end and avante-garde Italian menswear at T78 (Via V. Emanuele 78). And for more high-end retail therapy, go shopping in Bellagio — this beautiful town is also home to the finest artisan stores, jewellers and gourmet food outlets, as well as cutting-edge clothing.
For exclusive updates on an array of international luxury villas and apartments, chic new properties and our impressive selection of enticing travel itineraries, sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter here.