Lombardy’s Lake Como has picturesque, mountain-backed shores dotted with lavish villas, quaint villages, history and nature. The upscale Italian lake is a favourite haunt of celebrities such as George Clooney, who bought his mansion back in 2002, and it co-starred alongside Lady Gaga in the 2021 film House of Gucci.
But it has long been a popular holiday destination, with its cool alpine air drawing visitors since the Roman era.
These Lake Como properties offer a taste of waterfront living – including a 1920s neoclassical villa with dreamy woodwork and stained-glass accents and a modern duplex with cross-vaulted ceilings and minimalist finishes.
A 1900s villa in a historic park in Valmadrera
8 bedrooms; €2.875m via Knight Frank
Full of whimsy, trompe-l’oeil frescoes and a turreted tower, this 1900s baroque lakeside villa looks lifted from the pages of a fairy tale, and it has the setting to match. Its wide arched windows peek out on great pine trees, Lecco town scenery and unrivalled views of the lake.
It has a wow, triple-height entrance hall, complete with frescos, columns and a marble staircase. There’s also an Italian style vintage kitchen and a fairy tale stone gatehouse with an arched entrance to finish the look.
Modern duplex apartment with historic bones
2 bedrooms; €750,000 via Knight Frank
The loggia at this renovated, two-storey Como apartment has elegant flair: stone pillars support fanned ceiling arches, and there’s potted greenery and courtyard views. Inside, the main living space has a marble-columned and ribbed stone open fireplace, glossy dark wood flooring and floating timber staircase treads, emphasising its sense of space and vertical proportions. White gloss cabinetry in the brick-lined ceiling kitchen adds sleekness to the mix.
A modernist chalet villa in Tremezzina with vaulted timber ceilings
4 bedrooms; €2.9 m via Savills
This waterside chalet’s grand, timber-beamed roof sweeps up a pitch, with umbrella-like overhanging eaves that shade its outside terraces. It sits in large, sunny gardens with a pool and has a spectacular mountain and lake backdrop. Inside, it’s primarily open plan, save for an open staircase that splits halfway to provide dual access to the upper floor, where there’s an open study and bedrooms. There are terracotta floor tiles and an open fireplace, which offer comfortable temperatures year-round.
Visconti Villa In Blevio
3 bedrooms; €6m via Tranio / Lionard Luxury Real Estate
Located within the parklands of the famous Villa da Riva, this lakefront 350 sqm Blevio property dates back to the late 1800s though it’s been completely renovated within the last decade. Eclectic interiors layer industrial and minimalist elements upon original features, such as the greenhouse kitchen with steel-framed windows and stainless steel appliances and marble counters.
The villa has direct access to the water with its own jetty and is surrounded by English-style gardens planted with trees, wildflowers and magnolias and a swimming pool.
1920s art nouveau villa in San Fermo Della Battaglia divided into three apartments
8 bedrooms; €2.2m via Prestige Property Group
The designer of Como’s neoclassical museum Volta Temple, architect Federico Frigerio, designed this 1920s art nouveau house, which stands majestically with an imposing tower. The San Fermo Della Battaglia property is rich in ornate woodwork, most notably a coffered wooden ceiling, and has a ceiling fresco and marble-lined walls.
Standout art nouveau features include full-height stained-glass doors and a window-lined room with yellow and blue glass inserts. It’s formed of three apartments, but it could be reinstated as a single home. And surrounding the art nouveau villa are well-planted gardens and an old pool that requires restoration.