Lake Como (Lago di Como in Italian, also known as Lake Lario from its Latin name) is the most beautiful and spectacular of the Italian lakes. Constrained on all sides by steep mountains flanks, Lake Como is shaped like an inverted Y, with the romantic village of Bellagio nestled at the junction of the branches.
In the backdrop of the snow-capped Rhaetian Alps, Lake Como is bestrewn with fruits trees, palatial villas, manicured gardens and idyllic belvedere terraces. Nature here combines the organised elegance of the Italian Renaissance with the wilderness of Victorian gardens.
Wordsworth, who visited the lake in 1790, regarded it as "a treasure which the earth keeps to itself". The French writer Stendhal came here in 1818. In The Charterhouse of Parma, he described Como as the most enchanting and beautiful place on earth. Virgil simply called it "our greatest lake".
With a depth of 410 metres (1,345 ft) Lake Como is Europe's deepest lake outside Norway. 46 km long from north to south and covering 146 kmē, it is the third largest lake in Italy after Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda.
An inordinate number of celebrities have had homes on the shores of Lake Como since the Roman Antiquity (chronologically): Virgil, Pliny the Elder and the Younger, Stendhal, Franz Liszt, Gianni Versace, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Branson, Madonna, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Ronaldinho, and Ben Spies. Matthew Bellamy, lead singer of Muse, has a recording studio on the shores of the lake used for their album The Resistance in 2009.
Attractions are listed geographically, from west to east (left to right) and north to south (top to bottom).
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