Lake Como

lake in Lombardy, Italy

Lake Como is a lake of glacial origin in Lombardy, Italy.


  • I am beside the lake (Como), / The lonely lake which used to be / The wide world of the beating heart / When I was, love, with thee. / I see the quiet evening lights / Amid the distant mountains shine; / I hear the music of a lute, / It used to come from thine. / How can another sing the song, / The sweet sad song that was thine own / It is alike, yet not the same, / It has not caught thy tone. / Ah, never other lip may catch / The sweetness round thine own that clung; / To me there is a tone unheard, / There is a chord unstrung. / Thou loveliest lake, I sought thy shores, / That dreams from other days might cast, / The presence elsewhere sought in vain, / The presence of the past. / I find the folly of the search, / Thou bringest but half the past again; / My pleasure calling faintly back / Too vividly my pain. / Too real the memories that haunt / The purple shadows round thy brink / I only ask'd of thee to dream, / I did not ask to think. / False beauty haunting still my heart, / Though long since from that heart removed; / These waves but tell me how thou wert / Too well and vainly loved. / Fair lake, it is all vain to seek / The influence of thy lovely shore / I ask of thee for hope and love / They come to me no more.
    • Letitia Elizabeth Landon, The Lake of Como, Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book (1837) - Elizabeth Landon describes Lake Como with melancholy for having broken her love with the critic John Forster, with whom she was in love for a long time on Lake Como.
  • And dimly seen, a tangled mass. Of Walls and woods of light and shade. Stands beckoning up the Stelvio pass Varenna, with its white cascade. I ask myself is this a dream? Will it all vanish into air? Is there a land of such supreme. And perfect beauty anywhere! Sweet vision! Do not fade away; Linger until my heart shall take- Into itself the Summer day And all the beauty of the lake.
  • And, (Lake) Como! thou, a treasure whom the earth / Keeps to herself, confined as in a depth / Of Abyssinian privacy. I spake / Of thee, thy chestnut woods, and garden plots / Of Indian-corn tended by dark-eyed maids; / Thy lofty steeps, and pathways roofed with vines, / Winding from house to house, from town to town, / Sole link that binds them to each other ; walks, / League after league, and cloistral avenues, / Where silence dwells if music be not there: / While yet a youth undisciplined in verse, / Through fond ambition of that hour, I strove / To chant your praise ; nor can approach you now / Ungreeted by- a more melodious song, / Where tones of nature smoothed by learned art / May flow in lasting current. Like a breeze / Or sunbeam over your domain I passed / In motion without pause; but ye have left / Your beauty with me, a serene accord / Of forms and colors, passive, yet endowed / In their subinissivencss with power as sweet / And gracious, almost might I dare to say, / As virtue is, or goodness; sweet as love, / Or the remembrance of a generous deed, / Or mildest visitation of pure thought, / When God, the giver of all joy, is thanked / Religiously, in silent blessedness; / Sweet as this last herself, for such it is. /
  • Coming back here often (on Lake Como) is like a drop of poison; it makes you want to never leave. (Stendhal)
  • I saw through him telling me all the lovely places we could go for the honeymoon Venice by moonlight with the gondolas and the lake of Como he had a picture cut out of some paper.
  • In the past, the rich bought houses and villas only on the hills of Lake Como, as Pliny did with Villa Commedia, in order not to lose their sight and to avoid flooding. "The poor went to the shore to have the water lick their feet".
    • In passato i ricchi compravano le case e le ville solo sulle colline del Lago di Como, come fece Plinio con villa Commedia, per non perdersi la vista e per non avere allagamenti. "In riva a farsi lambire i piedi dall'acqua ci andavano i poveri".
  • Everything is noble and delicate (on Lake Como), everything speaks of love, nothing recalls the ugliness of civilization. The villages located halfway up the coast are hidden by trees, and above the tops of the trees rises the graceful architecture of their slender bell towers. If some small field, fifty paces wide, occasionally interrupts the "bouquets" of chestnut and wild cherry trees, the satisfied eye sees plants growing happier and more vigorous than elsewhere. Beyond these hills, whose peaks offer hermitages that we would all like to inhabit, the amazed eye discovers the peaks of the Alps, always covered with snow, and their sublime austerity reminds him of the misfortunes of life, and this increases the voluptuousness. of the present hour. The imagination is moved by the distant sound of the bell of some tiny village hidden under the trees; and the sounds carried on the waters, which soften them, take on a color of sweet melancholy and resignation, and seem to say to man: Life is fleeing, so do not show yourself so reluctant towards the happiness that presents itself, hurry to enjoy. The language of these enchanting places, which have no equal in the world, restored her sixteen-year-old heart to the Countess.
Castle of Lierna Lake Como
View of Lake Como over Bellagio, from Lierna Lake Como
European high nobility on Lake Como, 1900
  • I want to go back to Lake Como !!
    • Daniel Craig, [3], He cryed like a monkey: "I want to return to Lake Como", Dagospia, 30 November 2021
  • Nobilis toto Lario Lierna. (Modern Latin)
  • Lake Como is the most beautiful lake in the world.
    • Huffington Post, 2014
  • Little church of the Castle of Lierna Lake Como: Finally a little church that is a bit ours.
  • Dieter Zetsche, Global President of the Daimler-Mercedes Group, during the summer [...] you can see him strolling through the felt Lierna Lake Como or preparing his boat for a trip on the lake.
    • Pierluigi Bonora, [4], Il sogno italiano di Zetsche: salire in sella a Mv Agusta", Il Giornale, September 30, 2014
  • I was convinced that Lake Como was a large basin of water similar to the Tahoe, also surrounded by immense mountains whose slopes reach the shores, but here the lake is not a basin, since the banks are articulated like those of a stream and is a quarter or two thirds wide of the Mississippi. Along the coast there is not a single strip of flat land, but endless chains of mountains which suddenly emerge from the lake surface and rise towards the sky for one hundred or two hundred feet, constantly varying in shape. The rocky ridges are covered with numerous plant species and dotted with white villas that peek through lush foliage. Even on the top of the promontory we saw pretty little houses perched on picturesque pinnacles, more than a thousand feet above our heads.
    • Mark Twain, "The innocents abroad", New York, 1896
  • I fell in love with my wife on Lake Como. (John Legend)
    • Cited in Prima Como, John Legend svela: "Mi sono innamorato di mia moglie sul Lago di Como, 18 may 2020, [5]
  • It is my first trip here on Lake Como [...] A fantastic place.
  • Lake Como? One of my favorite places.
  • Lake Como is one of the best destinations such as Saint-Tropez, Porto Cervo, Capri or Venice, in the Champions League of luxury tourism (Ernest Young)
  • Lake Como Style [...] La bella cosa. (Ron Perlman)
  • Lierna Lake Como It's like Monte Carlo! (George Clooney)
  • Lake Como is one of the best destinations such as Saint-Tropez, Porto Cervo, Capri or Venice, in the Champions League of luxury tourism
  • Lake Como is like Saint-Tropez and Capri. (Lady Gaga)
  • No sound of wheels or hoof-beat breaks / The silence of the summer day, / As by the loveliest of all lakes / I while the idle hours away. / I pace the leafy colonnade / Where level branches of the plane / Above me weave a roof of shade / Impervious to the sun and rain. / At times a sudden rush of air / Flutters the lazy leaves o'erhead, / And gleams of sunshine toss and flare / Like torches down the path I tread. / By Somariva's garden gate / I make the marble stairs my seat, / And hear the water, as I wait, / Lapping the steps beneath my feet. / The undulation sinks and swells / Along the stony parapets, / And far away the floating bells / Tinkle upon the- fisher's nets. / Silent and slow, by tower and town / The freighted barges come and go, / Their pendent shadows gliding down / By town and tower submerged below. / The hills sweep upward from the shore / With villas scattered one by one / Upon their wooded spurs, and lower / Bellagio blazing in the sun. / And dimly seen, a tangled mass / Of walls and woods, of light and shade, / Stands beckoning up the Stelvio Pass / Varenna with its white cascade. / I ask myself, Is this a dream? / Will it all vanish into air-? / Is there a land of such supreme / And perfect beauty anywhere? / Sweel vision! Do not fade away; / Linger until my heart shall take / Into itself the summer day, / And all the, beauty of the lake. / Linger until upon my brain / Is stamped an image of the scene, / Then fade into the air again, / And be as if thou hadst not been.
    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Cadenabbia, 1874 [6], - In Longfellow’s words, the beauty of Lake Como is so unbelievably paradisiac that he’s worried it can fade away at any moment. Like all kinds of happiness in this life.
  • The secret of happiness? I understood this by buying a house on Lake Como. At first I was thinking of an investment. Then, when I saw the workers who worked there, singing and drinking good wine, I realized they were better off than me. For 25 years I have eaten standing up and running. They took the time of their lunch break and went home thinking about dinner. (George Clooney)
  • The Holy Grail, the cup of the Last Supper was taken by a disciple of Jesus, Giuseppe d'Arimatea to collect the blood that dripped from Jesus' side following the wound inflicted by the centurion. From Palestine he found refuge in Britain ... When the barbarian armies advanced into Europe in the sixth century, they wanted to take him to a safer place. A priest left for Rome to deliver it to the Pope. The priest stopped on the Isola Comacina to escape the invasion of the Lombards. And the merit of the successful resistance against the barbarians was given to the Holy Grail and the Church of Isola Comacina was erected in honor of the Holy Grail. But with the victory of the Lombards, an attempt was made to bring the relic to safety [...] from Piona, then from Colico and hidden in a remote place in the Val Codera, where its traces have been lost. It is said that it was hidden behind a huge boulder and that when the friars sent by the pope returned to retrieve it, they found the place covered by the boulders of a landslide... and the Holy Grail nowhere to be found. According to someone it would still be here, lost under the stones in the valley.
    • [7], La leggenda del Santo Graal e del lago di Como: quando fu portato sull'Isola Comacina, QuiComo, February 27, 2023
  • Lierna Lake Como has my veneration is my favorite place on earth. (Pliny the Younger)
    • From [8], Bollettino della Società geologica italiana, Volume 30, Società geologica italiana, 1911
  • That there is a God, when you look at the sky of Lake Como, is evident. (Robin Williams)
  • The other night the view appeared even more surprising and picturesque. On the other side (of Lake Como) cliffs, trees and very white houses reflected their perfectly clear images on the lake and long beams of light, coming from distant windows, marked the motionless surface. Immediately next to it, great silver mansions under the moon shone among a thick dark and shapeless foliage, among the shadows that fell from the top of the cliffs and touched the lake edge where every stretch of the magical vision was reflected several times and with precision.
    • Mark Twain, Cites in The innocents abroad, John Camden Hotten, Londra, 1872
  • Little church of the Castle of Lierna on Lake Como: Finally a little church of our own.
  • The most interesting relic of the church of San Giovanni in Torno on Lake Como is the Holy Nail, one of the nails from the passion of Jesus. It is said that a German bishop returning from the Crusade in 1099 found refuge in the village and before leaving again he donated the precious Nail to the population of Torno.
  • At dusk, when everything seems to fall asleep, and the music of the vesper bells comes pouring over the water, one can almost believe that nowhere else than Lake Como can one find such a haven of quiet rest. Now, from my window, here in Bellagio, I have a view of the other side of the lake, as beautiful as a painting. A precipice with a corrugated and jagged wall rises to a height of eighteen hundred feet; on a tiny ledge halfway up that vast wall, nestles a church, small as a snowflake, no bigger, in appearance, than a house for house martins; all around, hugging the base of the cliff, there are a hundred orange groves and gardens, dotted with white houses, thickly covered by them, which can be glimpsed at times; opposite three or four gondolas linger lazily suspended on the water – and in the refined mirror of the lake, mountain, chapel, houses, orange groves and boats are reproduced with such clarity and clarity, that it is hardly possible to understand where reality ends and begins the reflection!
  • [...] at eventide when everything seems to slumber , and the music of the vesper bells comes stealing over the water, one almost believes that nowhere else than on the Lake of Como can there be found such a paradise of tranquil repose.
    From my window here in [sic] I have a view of the other side of the lake now, which is as beautiful as a picture. A scarred and wrinkled precipice rise to a height of eighteen hundred feets; on a tiny bench half way up its vast wall, sits a little snow-flake of a church, no bigger than a martin-box apparently; skirting the base of the cliff are a hundred orange groves and gardens, flecked with glimpses of white dwelling that are buried in them; in front three or four gondolas lie idle upon the water – and in the burnished mirror of the lake, mountain, chapel, houses, groves, and boats are counterfeited so brightly and so clearly, that one scarce knows where the reality leaves off and the reflection begins!.
    • Mark Twain, Cites in The innocents abroad, John Camden Hotten, Londra, 1872, p. 149
  • Lake Como [...] is not like Lake Geneva surrounded by large fields well delimited and cultivated with the best systems, which suggest money and speculation. Here, wherever I turn, I see hills of unequal altitudes clothed with trees planted at will that the hand of man has not yet damaged and forced to bear fruit. Among these hills with admirable lines that plummet towards the lake for so singular steep slopes [...]. Everything here nobly, exquisitely speaks of love, there is nothing that reminds you of the ugliness of civilization. Halfway up the hill, hidden by large trees, the hamlets nestle and beyond the tree tops the architectural vagueness of their bell towers rises. If some small field intrudes here and there in the groups of chestnut and cherry trees, the plants seem happily to grow more vigorous than elsewhere and the gaze rests happy. And beyond the hills, whose summits offer hermitages that everyone would gladly inhabit, the astonished eye catches sight of the perpetual snow white of the peaks of the Alps which in their solemn austerity remind him just as much of the adversities of life, as much as it is enough to value the present well-being. The sound of the bell of a distant village lost in the woods stimulates the imagination: the notes flow on the water, fading in a tone of resigned melancholy and seem to say to man: life is fleeing, do not resist the happiness that comes towards you [...] hurry to enjoy it.
  • Lake Como has always been a magnet for the elite. (Janine di Giovanni)
  • The house in Italy (on Lake Como) has changed me. I spend the summer there normally, not the latter. I was always running, I learned to slow down. Observing them after a day of work, sitting at the table, a good wine, chat, friends, they are people who enjoy life, know how to celebrate it. (George Clooney)
  • When you write the story of two happy lovers, place them on the shores of Lake Como. I do not know a district more manifestly blessed by heaven; I've never seen another where the charms of a life of love would seem more natural [...] and start it with these words: "On the shores of Lake Como."
    • Franz Liszt, From the letter to Louis de Ronchaud dated 20 September 1837
  • You, Lario (Lake Como) very great. (Virgil)
  • Who that looks on these tawny hills | Cradling calm day new-born, | Who that sips mead from Como’s stills | This fragrant, sun-bathed morn, Will, bating reverende, record | Fair Como’s wrathful, ways, | And wont only ungrateful, hoard | The tale of her «bade days’?» | To day her ripples play bo-peep, | And dimple at the rocks | Lack in melodious mimicry | A sounding billow mocks.
    • Jean Carlyle Graham poet, [9], Varenna To Italy. Odes et episodes 1927. Stab. di arti Grafiche Lazzeri. Siena.
  • The secret to happiness is owning a convertible and a lag. (Peanuts)
  • The lake as a whole is sweet, loving, Italian. Steep close-ups, warm colors of the houses; snowy horizon and all bordered by splendid houses, made for study and for love. – Taglioni, Pasta, on the left bank of the lake starting from Como. – Villa Sommariva; stone stairway descending into the water to embark on the gondola, large trees, roses blooming on a fountain.
  • That branch of Lake Como, which turns southward between two uninterrupted chains of mountains, entirely in sinuses and gulfs, depending on how they protrude and recede, almost suddenly narrows down, and takes its course and figure of a river, between a promontory on the right and a wide coast on the other side.
    • Quel ramo del lago di Como, che volge a mezzogiorno, tra due catene non interrotte di monti, tutto a seni e a golfi, a seconda dello sporgere e del rientrare di quelli, vien, quasi a un tratto, a ristringersi, e a prender corso e figura di fiume, tra un promontorio a destra, e un’ampia costiera dall’altra parte. (Modern Italian)
  • The descriptions annoy me; even the most beautiful. It took me ten years to cross "that branch of Lake Como".
    • Le descrizioni mi danno fastidio; anche le più belle. Per attraversare «quel ramo del lago di Como» ci ho impiegato dieci anni.
  • It is the most voluptuous place I have ever seen in the world. Nature enchants with a thousand unknown seductions and one feels in a state of rare sensuality and refinement.
  • I want to go to Como because my grandmother had Italian origins and her ancestors emigrated from Genoa to America and settled in a small town in Texas called Como. That's why I want to see Lake Como, the real one.
  • Villa Melzi on Lake Como is especially adorned with his works. Many cities in Italy, Germany and England preserve monuments of his genius: his homeland is happy with many of them. Giovanni Battista Comolli an artist of European fame.
    • Delle sue opere si adorna in particolar modo la villa Melzi sul lago di Como. Molte città d’Italia, di Germania e d’Inghilterra conservano monumenti del suo ingegno: di parecchi ne va lieta la sua patria. Giovanni Battista Comolli un artista di grido europeo.
  • One is still close to the mountains (of Lake Como) and yet the desire already perceives the plain and a vast silent fertility.
    • Si è ancora prossimi ai monti (del Lago di Como) e nondimeno il desiderio già percepisce la pianura e una vasta silente fertilità.
      • Hermann Hesse, Lago di Como Grand Tour: Il Lario in venti racconti d’autore da Lassels (1670) a Hesse (1913), 2021

Leonardo da Vinci

  • Le cose disunite s'uniranno e riceveranno in sé tal virtù che renderanno la persa memoria alli omini.
    • Disunited things will unite and will receive in themselves such a virtue that they will restore lost memory to men. (referring to the promontory of Bellagio which unites the two branches of Lake Como)
Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci, work location Cave of Laorca Lecco Lake Como
  • Pervenni all’entrata di una grande caverna, dinanzi alla quale restando alquanto stupefatto e ignorante di tal cosa, piegatomi ad arco e ferma la stanca mano sopra il ginocchio, colla destra feci tenebra alle abbassate e chiuse ciglia, per vedere dentro vi discernessi alcuna cosa, questo vietatomi per la grande oscurità che là dentro era, e stato alquanto, subito si destarono in me due cose; paura e desiderio. Paura per la minacciosa e buia spelonca, desiderio per vedere se là dentro fussi alcuna misteriosa cosa. (Codex Arundel 155r, Modern Italian)
    • I came to the entrance of a large cave, in front of which, remaining somewhat amazed and ignorant of this thing, bending over in an arc and keeping my tired hand still above the knee, with my right hand I shaded my lowered and closed eyes, to see inside if it were possible to see something inside, but it was not possible due to the great darkness that was inside there, and I was there for a long time, two things immediately occurred to me; fear and desire. Fear of the menacing dark cave, longing to see if there was anything mysterious inside. (describes the Grotta di San Giovanni a Laorca in Lecco Lake Como which portrays the virgin of the rocks in the painting)

(Modern Italian)

  • cose fantastiche.
    • great stuff (referring to the surroundings of Lierna on Lake Como, Fiumelatte and the mountain of Grigne).
  • E i magior sassi scoperti che si truovno in questi paesi sono le montagnie di Mandello, visine alle montagnie di Leche e di Gravidonia. In verso Bellinzona a 30 miglia a Leco, è quelle di valle Ciavenna; ma la maggiore è quella di Mandello, la quale à nella sua basa una busa di verso il lago, la quale va sotto 200 scalini e qui d’gni tempo è diaccio e vento. (Modern Italian)
    • And the largest stones discovered in these countries are the mountains of Mandello, near the mountains of Lecco and Gravedona. Towards Bellinzona 30 miles from Lecco, and those of the Chiavenna valley; but the largest is that of Mandello, which is in its valley towards Lake Como, which descends for a distance of 200 steps and here in every season there is ice and wind.
  • A riscontro a Bellagio è il Fiumelaccio (Fiumelatte), il quale cade da alto più che braccia 100 dalla vena donde nasce, a piombo sul lago, con inistimabile strepitio e romore. Questa vena versa solamente ad agosto e settembre. (Modern Italian)
    • Opposite to Bellagio is the Fiumelatte, which falls from over 100 meters from the source where it is born, plumb over the lake, with inestimable clamor and noise. This vein of water pours only in August and September.
  • Invalsasina infra Vimognio et Introbbio amandesstra entrando per la via di Leccho si trova la Trosa fiume che chade da un sasso altissimo e chadendo entra sotto terra elli finisscie il fiume. (Modern Italian)
    • In Valssasina between Vimogno and Introbio on the right as you enter via di Lecco is the Troggia river which falls from a very high stone and as it falls it enters the ground where the river ends (referring to the surroundings of Troggia Falls or Cascate della Troggia on Lake Como in the mountain of Grigne).
  • 3 miglia piulla sitruova liedifiti della vena delrame e dello arzento presso auna terra detta Pra Sancto Petro e vene di fero e cose fantastiche. [...] sono molto più frigidi luoghi delli altri della valle per esser sottoposti al monte Grigna, assai questo gli nuoce. Imperocché gli asconde il sole, che poco o nulla sopra lor riluce, da che entra in Scorpione fin che si n’esce d’Aquario (Modern Italian)
    • 3 miles further on is the building of the vein of copper and silver near a land called Prato San Pietro and veins of iron and fantastic things. (referring to Mine of Prato San Pietro, Cortenova) [...] The other places in the valley are much colder due to being under the mountain Grigna, this hurts them a lot. Also because it hides the sun, which gives little or nothing above it, from the moment it enters Scorpio until it leaves Aquarius.
  • La Grigna è la più alta montagna ch'abbi n' questi paesi, ed è pelata (Modern Italian)
    • Grigna is the highest mountain I've seen in these countries, and it's bald.
  • Su per detto fiume si truova chadute di acqua di 400 braccia le quale fanno belvedere, ecci bon vivere a 4 soldi per ischotto. Per esso fiume si chonduce assai legniame (Modern Italian)
    • Up this river there are falls of water of 400 fathoms which make a viewpoint, and here one can well live on 4 sous. This river yields a lot of timber. (referring to the Acqua Fraggia Fall)
  • truovasi di miglio i(n) miglio bone osteriee (Modern Italian)
    • You can find good taverns from mile to mile. (referring to the Crotti of Monte di Lierna hut)
  •   Encyclopedic article on Lake Como on Wikipedia