Lake Como is a long, Y-shaped body of clear blue water surrounded by breath-taking mountain scenery. Its natural beauty and reputation for elegance draw visitors from all over the world to enjoy the very best that Italy has to offer.
Situated near the Italian/Swiss border, in Lombardy region, the small but select town of Como nestles at the southern tip of the lake which bears its name. The ancient Romans built their retirement villas here, and ever since then, the region has maintained its reputation for exclusivity and charm against a magnificent natural backdrop.
The destination of choice for authors and celebrities
The villages and towns around the lake have excellent transport links to Milan. Its international airport and extensive international railway links provide ready access to Lake Como all year round.
There are good rail connections covering the 30 kilometres distance from Milan to the town of Como, and scenic roads link up the villages and towns in this area.
Recent purchases by Hollywood stars echo the earlier fascination that the Lake exerted on the poets of European Romanticism in the nineteenth century. It is easy to see why this region around Lake Como has been a magnet for authors, poets, famous musicians and actors who cannot fail to be inspired by its sunny microclimate and exclusive atmosphere.
The property market
1) Properties in this area are very desirable and none more so than the villas and detached houses in the lakeside town of Cernobbio, one of its main locations. Most of the properties in the ancient town centre have high ceilings with detached wooden beams and exposed stones.
For those who prefer a more modern style there are some elegant condos dating back to the 1970s, often with extensive parks. Some renovated properties of this type are available for about €2,800 to €3,500/sq. m.
The road from Cernobbio to Rovenna passes by many elegant historical villas on the sunny slopes of the hill, most with spectacular views over Lake Como. Prices for these properties can start from about € 500,000. Similar properties can be found in Piazza Santo Stefano, along with some brand new apartments priced at between €3,500 and €5,000/ sq. m.
2) In addition to these premium properties there are also some bargains to be had in more affordable flats and houses located a few kilometres from the lake itself. The climate and the atmosphere remain idyllic, and these less expensive properties set back from the lake are ideal for walkers, golf lovers and fans of all kinds of sport.
Sailing in summer, skiing in winter, stunning walks all year round
Lake Como has an unusually long tourist season because of its geographical location. The lake itself provides countless opportunities for sailing and other water sports, while in winter there is easy access to the major Italian and Swiss ski resorts for some of the best winter sports in Europe.
Lombardy boasts no less than 69 golf courses, 7 of which are within 20 kilometres of Lake Como and the region hosts many sports competitions to attract international visitors. One need only think that Italy has been included among the 10 most alluring golf destinations.
Lake Como is an ideal place to buy holiday villas and flats for family use, because the surrounding area has such a wide range of attractions for visitors of all ages.
Looking for an income property to rent out?
Lake Como is a perfect location for properties which are intended as a buy-to-let investment. There are so many tourists visiting the region each year that it is easy to rent out rooms, flats or whole houses nearly all year round.
Moreover, with recent exchange rates favouring the pound sterling over the euro, this could be a very good time to take an interest in the properties on offer right now.
The popularity of Lake Como with visitors from Italy, Germany, Sweden and other European countries, as well as its high profile in the United States, indicates that interest in the area remains high, and this could indicate very good returns for buyers who wish to invest in this very attractive location.
[Featured image by gabrieleasnaghi]