Lake Como in April, May, June

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Lake Como, Italy in Spring is the most popular time of year for visitors. Lake Como is Italy’s most romantic holiday destination and one of the world’s top travel destinations. Visiting Lake Como in April, May or June the weather will be delightful and the landscape and gardens blooming. You’ll also be able to enjoy some very special events and celebrations, such as the annual “Como Festival” known as the “Festival of San Giovanni”, which is celebrated in June with a spectacular fireworks display. Here is some useful information about traveling to Lake Como in April, May and June.

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Lake Como town of Varenna

Location

Lake Como is located in the region of Lombardy, not far from Switzerland and is an easy day trip by train from Milan.  Unlike many other lakes, Lake Como is shaped like and upside-down Y with three branches; the western branch (Como branch), the eastern branch (Lecco branch) and the northern branch. The town of Bellagio is the middle point where all three branches meet. Each section has a unique view and landscape of surrounding mountains.

Getting to Lake Como

The closest airports are Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate or Bergamo Orio al Serio. Get there by train from Milan to Como on the western branch. Keep in mind that trains to the western branch only go to Como. To get to the towns on the eastern branch, to Lecco and the other towns such as Mandello del Lario, Varenna, and Colico, local trains run up the eastern coast and stop at all towns.



What to expect

Statistics

According to the Como-Lecco Chamber of Commerce, pre-pandemic statistics from 2018 reported that only 29.8% of tourists in the Lake Como area came from Italy, compared to the 70.2% of international visitors. Most international visitors came from Germany (538,050 visitors), the UK (370,124 visitors), and the USA (308,577 visitors).

April and May are very good times to visit as the influx of tourism on Lake Como is at its highest in June, July and August. Expectations for the tourism industry for 2022 are promising. The Ministry of the Interior has provided endowments and funding for local business to get back up on their feet, so to speak, after losses caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

However, overall, tourism in Italy will suffer losses due to recent events in Ukraine. According to Assoturismo, in 2019 Russian tourism in Italy generated approximately 1.7 million arrivals. The Easter holiday was one of the most popular with Russian and accounted for almost 20 million euros in turnover for hospitality businesses. [Source]


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Language & Communications

The language spoken on Lake Como is Italian and in most major tourist spots like Como, Bellagio and Varenna, local shop keepers and hotel staff will speak English or German. Surprisingly, in some towns, you will not find many who speak foreign languages.

Wi-fi and telephone connections are very good in the main towns and mainly run through underground fiber optic cable. In some of the smaller, remote towns, internet connections depend on satellite connections but are quite stable. International TV channels are easily viewed with satellite as well.

Daylight

In April sunrise is at about 6:20 AM, and sunset is about 7:45 PM. In May the days begin at around 6 AM and sunset at 8 PM. Late June is when we start seeing long summer days with the sunset as early as 5:50 AM and sunset as late as 8:30 PM.

Weather and temperatures

The days are noticeably longer in spring, and the days can be sunny and warm with cool evenings. In April the temperatures start rising compared to the cool winter months.  Although average temperatures are around 16°C (60.8° F) you may be surprised by some warm summery days in April and May. Humidity is quite high at around 70-73% and sun showers leaving behind rainbows are quite common at this time of year. Afternoon hailstorms are typical in June.   

Lake Como in April

                Temperatures reach an average high of 16°C (60.8° F) and an average low of 8°C (46.4°F).

Lake Como in May

                Temperatures reach an average high of 19°C (66.2° F) and an average low of 11°C (51.8°F).             

Lake Como in June

                Temperatures reach an average high of 24°C (75.2°F) and an average low of 15°C (59°F). 

What to wear

I wear my short trench coat in spring. A typical spring day on Lake Como; patchy clouds. This photo was taken in Menaggio in May.

Dressing in layers is best for all seasons, but especially in spring. You will need a jacket; a trench coat, a light puffer jacket, or a medium-weight leather jacket. Always have a hoodie, windbreaker or cardigan to wear for extra warmth in the evenings.

Humidity is high and rain is very likely, so having a good pair of grippy shoes is a good idea. Especially if you are staying in Bellagio or Varenna where there are stone steps that can get slippery in the rain.  Wearing comfortable shoes is essential when exploring Lake Como, save your high heels for a night out on the town in Milan. A compact, foldable umbrella is always handy to have in your bag as well as sunglasses. If you’re coming in May and June, bring a couple of summery outfits, with a jacket for the evenings.

What else to pack

Be sure you have your phone charger and all your other gadgets. You’ll need an international adapter and a converter. The Italian light socket is 220 V (a US socket is 110 V). Prongs in Italian plugs are round (not flat like US plugs). Plug adapters allow you to plug in your device but if your appliance only works on 110 V you will also need a converter.  Not having the right converter can literally blow out your device.

Over-the-counter medicines like Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Paracetamol are available without a prescription but if you need special medications be sure to bring them with you. If you are diabetic or suffer from epilepsy or other conditions, wearing an id bracelet could make the difference in case of an emergency.

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Where to Stay & Getting Around

According to Booking.com, there are 1,047 properties listed for Lake Como, Italy, so how do you choose? The best way to choose a hotel on Lake Como is by location. Lake Como is not an oval-shaped lake you can just drive around. It is shaped like an upside-down Y, with three branches; the western branch (Como branch), the eastern branch (Lecco branch) and the northern branch. The town of Bellagio is the middle point where all three branches meet. Each section has a unique view and landscape of surrounding mountains.

You will also have to decide on a budget. Lake Como has some of the most luxurious and exclusive 5-star hotels in all of Italy. There is also a generous selection of 4-star hotels offering quality service and a large assortment of modest 3-star and rental accommodations.

Where to Stay in Lake Como

Book Accomodation at Lake Como

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Getting Around Lake Como By Car

If you have a car and are confident driving on narrow roads, you will have no problem driving to any of the towns on the lake. There are car ferries at larger ferry ports. However, if you plan on traveling by train, the eastern branch is the best location.

Road conditions

Keep in mind that April 25th, May 1st and June 2nd are national holidays in Italy. If these days fall near a weekend, there will be traffic. If you decide to rent a car, be aware that these days are popular for long weekend excursions. Calculate extra travel time keeping in mind that there may be traffic on the ring roads around Milan or the airport.

Easter is usually in March or April, so also be aware of Easter holiday traffic. (See this year’s events below). Easter holiday travel is very common at this time of year. Families will go to the lake or spend time in the surrounding mountain areas. The weather is warmer and day-trip traffic increases. If possible, travel by train.

If there are heavy rains, landslides are not uncommon and may block roads, but heavy rains occur more frequently in July. Fallen trees and rocks may block roads. In very severe conditions, even houses have been swept away with landslides.

Getting Around Lake Como By Train & Ferry

Lake Como Passenger Ferry

Trains

Trains to the western branch only go as far as Como. If you plan on staying at any of the towns north of Como, you will need to take a taxi or public bus.

Trains run all the way up the eastern branch offering easy access to many towns such as Lecco, Mandello del Lario, Lierna, Varenna, Bellano, or Colico.

Trains to Lake Como towns are usually local trains used by commuters and students. After June when school ends, the timetable changes. Although there are fewer students and more tourists, for reasons unknown, there are fewer trains and they get crowded. You cannot book a seat on commuter trains, so the best thing to do is to get to the station early and wait on the track. The Trenitalia app is useful for booking tickets and tracking trains.   

Ferries

If you plan on exploring other sections of the lake, most towns have a ferry stop. In smaller towns ferries may not pass frequently. The main hub for ferries is between Varenna, Bellagio and Menaggio.   Ferry tickets and timetables can be found on navigazionelaghi.it.

Some ferries allow bicycles and cars, some are passenger only. You cannot book tickets for vehicle transport online, you must buy them upon arrival at the ferry port, so it is best to get there in advance.

What to eat

As you may already know, Italians are finicky about their cuisine and eating foods that are in season.

Fruits in season during spring are Cherries, Apricots, Strawberries, Peaches, Melon, Plums, and Oranges.  It’s a great season for Macedonia (fruit salad) and homemade Crostata (pie). Prosciutto e Melone (cured ham and melon) is a typical spring/summer dish.  
 
Vegetables in season during spring are Zucchini, Eggplant, Asparagus, Rhubarb, Radishes. Simple pasta dishes with vegetables such as Pasta alla norma, Spaghetti alle zucchine, Fiori di Zucca (fried zucchini flowers) are great to try at this time of year.

Risotto al Pesce Persico (Perch Risotto) is the regional dish of Lake Como and fresh perch is fished during June and July. If you eat Risotto al Pesce Persico at any other time of the year, it is most likely made of frozen or farmed perch, whereas if you eat it at Lake Como in June or July it will be the catch of the day.

Dove-shaped Colomba cake is a special pastry made at Eastertime. Chocolate eggs and bunnies are also widely available at this time of year. Local pastry shops will have their own creations and the Icam chocolate factory outlet store in Lecco (Via dei Pescatori, 53, Lecco) is a great place to get locally manufactured chocolate.

Aperitivo is the equivalent of a rich and refined happy hour. Usually late afternoon-early evening, but not uncommon even before lunch. Prosecco, Spritz or even a beer are good choices for an aperitif. Non-alcoholic choices include Crodino, soft drinks or just sparkling water with lemon.

Learn to cook with a local in her home with the Ceserine group, an association of men and women who love cooking and sharing their local heritage. You can join a family, cook with them and share an authentic evening learning about Italian culture.

CLICK HERE FOR LAKE COMO FOOD TOURS

Sightseeing, museums & activities

Villa Balbianello , Lake Como
Villa Balbianello, Lake Como

Villas, museums and gardens open in March and will be open throughout the spring and summer. In June, many landmarks and museums extend their opening hours. Villa Balbianello, Villa Carlotta, Villa Monastero and Villa Melzi all have beautiful gardens and the flowers are in full bloom at this time of year.

Hiking is a great activity all year long. Be careful after rainfall as rocky paths can be slippery. It is highly recommended to go with a guide as the terrain may vary in different areas.

Sailing on Lake Como is a special experience. Even if you do not sail, there are many regattas from April to June. Grab a lakeside table, sip some prosecco and watch the sailboats glide along the shimmering waters. Or you can enjoy a meal onboard a sailboat at sunset.  

If you don’t mind cold water, kayaking on Lake Como is fun too. Kayak experiences depart from Bellagio or Colico. SUPs are also popular. You can choose from a 1-hour tour or a full-day bike and kayaking excursion.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW TOURS & ACTIVITIES ON LAKE COMO

Events 2022


Bookmark this page and check back to see updates on events on Lake Como.

April 02-03, 2022, Sailing/Regatta Coin Trophy

April 08-10, 2022, Sailing/Regatta Trofeo A. Pini team race

April 17-18, 2022 – Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, national holidays

April 17, 2022 – Crafts & Collectables Street Market, Domaso

April 25, 2022 – Festa della Liberazione, national holiday

May 1, 2022 – Festa del lavoratore, (Labour day), national holiday

May 01, 2022, Sailing/Regatta Area Championship

May 05-08, 2022, Sailing/Regatta 3rd stage of the UNIQUA Italian Cup

May 13- 15, 2022, Lake Como Comic Art Festival 2022, Villa Erba in Cernobbio

May 21-22, 2022, Sailing/Regatta ACT 2 AON H22 National Circuit Regatta

June 2,2022 – Festa della Repubblica, national holiday

June 12, 2022, Sailing/Regatta 1st Area Selection

June 25, 2022 – Festival of San Giovanni – local festival and fireworks show. Seen best from Bellagio, Isola Comicina and the western branch of Lake Como.

June 25-26, 2022, Sailing/Regatta Mauro Gini Trophy


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About Author /

Originally from New York, Celia now spends her time between Milan and Lake Como sharing her discoveries and experiences living in Italy. Follow @CeliaAbernethy on Twitter

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