Lying 45km north of Milan within the Lombardy region of Italy is the beautiful Lake Como. At 400 metres, the lake is one of the deepest in all of Europe, and at 146 square km it is one of the largest lakes in Italy. Lake Como is Y-shaped, and at the south-western and south-eastern (the top of the Y) tips are the popular towns of Lecco and Como. In Como, the conditions are very similar to that of Milan. However, due to Como’s proximity to such a large mass of water, conditions are slightly milder than those witnessed in Milan, because the warm waters keep the weather temperate. Other popular towns and villages in the region include Bellagio, Varenna and Menaggio.
The entirety of the Lake Como region is famed for its Mediterranean conditions; summers are long and warm without getting excruciatingly hot while winters are mild and never bitterly cold. Rainfall is moderate, but helps to keep the scenery lush and green – and any grey skies often clear away quickly. Lake Como is well-known and a popular spot for celebrities, it also gained fame when the opening scene of James Bond: Quantum of Solace was filmed there. For regular holidaymakers it is a perfect location for those interested in wind sports as the mountain valleys funnel wind, making it ideal for windsurfing – but is also an idyllic location for lazing by the lakeside and eating wonderful Italian food. As a holiday destination it is similar to the nearby Lake Garda.
Morning in Lake Como
Springtime in Lake Como is very beautiful as the trees and flowers begin to blossom. Holiday makers should be prepared for a chance of rainfall though. Rain is fairly consistent across the year but spring is definitely the wettest season and can see torrential downpours which can last for 1 or 2 days. For example, May sees 128mm of rain across 16 days of the month. However, after the rain you’ll be sure to be met with a good run of sunny clear days. March sees a pleasant 8 hours of sunshine a day, rising to 10 hours in April and a glorious 12 hours in May.
Temperatures in Lake Como in spring are also on the increase, with an average of 9°C in March reaching 16°C in May with highs of 20°C. Evenings can still get chilly, dropping to 8°C in April so you will still need a jacket. With stunning scenery and less tourists than the summer months, spring is a great time to visit Lake Como – just remember to pack your umbrella!
Summer is the most popular time, with glorious weather conditions. Summer in Lake Como begins around May when the average daily high rises to about 20°C. Once you move into June the highs reach 24°C, before peaking at 26°C in the hottest months of July and August. Summer will see the odd day when the mercury rises over 30°C but cool breezes from across the lake will ensure it never feels too hot. Evenings and cooler days are still pleasant, averaging between 18°C and 22°C.
Beautiful Lake Como
Lake Como sees an average of 11 to 12 hours of sunshine during the summer months, making it a popular time for sun worshippers to flock here – and the lake looks amazing in glorious sunshine. Lake Como does experience some summer showers though, with an average of 13 wet days every month, so visitors should be prepared for the chance of getting wet, although July and August are relatively drier with around 97mm of rain each.
Lake Como is magnificent in autumn as the leaves start to change colour. With a change in scenery also comes a shift in weather conditions as temperatures start to drop in September, peaks reaching 22°C. The month of October sees an average temperature of 13°C, cooling to 8°C in November. Visitors can expect some cooler days with lows of just 5°C-10°C so wrapping up with some warm layers is recommended. Autumn is still a great time to visit Lake Como though, with around 8 hours of sunshine every day. The area will be much quieter than the peak summer season, allowing holiday makers to enjoy a peaceful stay.
Hotel Britannia Excelsior in Lake Como. Photo by www.shearings.com
To some extent, Lake Como stores summer heat and releases it throughout winter due to the mass of water, which moderates temperatures throughout the year as the sea does in coastal areas. The surrounding mountains also act as insulation, keeping this area warmer than other locations at similar latitudes. Winters in Lake Como do see temperatures get close to freezing though, and January is generally the coldest month with an average low temperature of 1°C and maximum of only 6°C. The average temperatures of January and February are 4°C and 5°C, respectively. Sunshine levels get down to 6 hours per day in December and January but this an improvement on the 3 hours per day expected in the UK at this time of the year.
Snow may fall in the region on the odd occasion as you head to higher elevations, but it is rare to find it in the lowlands near the lake. The northern parts of Lake Como have a tendency to be a few degrees cooler than the south and the north also receives more rain - this is due to the north’s closer proximity to the Italian Alps.
While summer will see perfect holiday weather, it can be quite crowded and prices are usually higher. Winter can still be a great time to visit as you can make the most of the off season deals and enjoy Lake Como when it’s quiet. With snow on the surrounding mountains, the area is truly picture perfect. Rainfall is lowest is December and February at 46mm and 35mm each month respectively, but it is always worth checking the local forecast for up-to-date information.