Menaggio is a picturesque town of ancient origins overlooking Lake Como. Menaggio is loved by tourists all over the world, especially because of its elegant lake promenade and its proximity to Bellagio, Varenna and Tremezzina.
The upper part of the town still retains a medieval look, showing how its position has always been important for trade and travels between Lombardy and the area north of the Alps. In this guide I collected the best things to do in Menaggio, so get ready to pack your bags and start planning your visit to Lake Como!
Menaggio, a walk in the elegance
Upon your arrival in Menaggio, you may want to experience the town the way a local would. In that case, you can simply start from Via Calvi and take a look at the small shops of craftsmen and retailers, who sell local products such as shoes, clothing, and home accessories.
While walking, you should pay attention to the Church of Santa Marta, which you will find in the middle of the street. Take some time to visit the interior of the church, and admire the ancient paintings that date back to the 17th century.
By continuing your walk in the direction of Lake Como, you will get to Piazza Garibaldi. This is where you can start your walk on the elegant lakeside, after sitting for coffee or ice cream in one of the many bars that overlook the lake.
During your walk along Viale Benedetto Castelli, the road that runs along Lake Como, you will notice a lot of facilities that allow you to rent a boat in Menaggio. If you have enough time and money to do it, don’t miss this chance. Lake Como is even more beautiful when seen from the water!
Now, if you aren’t too relaxed to face a lot of steps, you can head for the oldest part of the town. Get to Via Castellino da Castello and see the enormous perimeter walls that once bordered the ancient castle, now largely demolished.
Enter the narrow Via Strecioum and get to one of the most picturesque bridges over the Senagra stream, where you can enjoy the sound of the waterfall below. On the bridge you will find a bas-relief by Vannuccini, as well as a chapel that is dedicated to the Madonna di Caravaggio (the apparition of the Virgin Mary in Caravaggio, Lombardy, in 1432).
Continue along the footpath and you will reach the hamlet of Loveno di Menaggio. Loveno is known mainly for being home of the beautiful Villa Mylius Vigoni, definitely one of the best things to see in Menaggio.
Villa Mylius Vigoni houses the German-Italian Center for European Excellence: this is a high level conference center that “aims to foster the Italian-German dialogue in a European and global context”. Every Thursday afternoon, except in August, it is possible to take part in a guided tour of Villa Mylius Vigoni and its extensive park (more info here).
If you are in Menaggio and want to relax on a beach, you can choose between the public beach Lerai and the Lido di Menaggio, which offers two swimming pools, a restaurant and a small playground for children.
Also, you have the chance to take a boat tour to enjoy Lake Como from a unique point of view.