Menaggio is a beautiful town of ancient origins overlooking Lake Como.
The characteristics of Menaggio make this town unique: those who simply want to relax and experience the atmosphere of the lake can walk through the narrow streets of the historic center and along the very elegant lakefront, one of the longest on Lake Como.
Those who love nature, on the other hand, can choose from several routes that offer unique views and flavors.
And it doesn’t end there: thanks to the public boat service, it is possible to reach other popular lake destinations (such as Bellagio and Varenna) in 15-30 minutes. And with the C10 bus you can go south to Tremezzina or north to Gravedona and other non-tourist towns on the lake.
In this guide I collected the best things to do and see in Menaggio: get ready to pack your bags and start planning your visit to Lake Como!
Just a few minutes from the town’s pier is Piazza Garibaldi, the heart of Menaggio. Here, and in the surrounding small squares, there are many bars, restaurants and ice cream parlors with lake views. From Piazza Garibaldi, streets branch off leading to various points of interest.
You absolutely cannot miss a walk along Menaggio’s lakefront Viale Benedetto Castelli, in my opinion one of the most beautiful on Lake Como. This elegant lakefront is the perfect place for a relaxing stroll among flower beds and colorful houses. Don’t miss the opportunity to take beautiful photographs with Bellagio and Lake Como in the background!
Also, within a ten-minute walk from Piazza Garibaldi are two places that might be interesting for your vacation: the miniature golf course overlooking the lake and the Lido di Menaggio (one of the most popular beaches on Lake Como).
Important note: unlike other towns on the lake, the historic center of Menaggio is completely flat and is therefore perfectly accessible to people with reduced mobility.
From Piazza Garibaldi, you can also take Via Calvi and visit the small boutiques and shops of craftsmen, who sell local products such as typical food, shoes, clothing, and home accessories.
While you’re here, be sure to also visit two of Menaggio’s most important churches: the Church of Santa Marta with its important neo-Gothic facade dating back to 1885, and the Church of Santo Stefano, which forms the backdrop to the lively Via Calvi and has three richly frescoed naves.
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Loveno is a hamlet of Menaggio located higher than the town center. In the mid-19th century, artists and personalities loved to stay in the prestigious villas of this small hamlet still characterized by a well-kept historic center.
My advice is to start from Via Castellino da Castello, then take the historic walk along Via Strecium and from there walk for 15-20 minutes in the direction of Loveno. On the way up you will see the huge perimeter walls that once enclosed an ancient castle, now largely demolished.
Villa Mylius Vigoni
Loveno hosts Villa Mylius Vigoni, definitely one of the best things to see in Menaggio. The villa was built in the first half of the 19th century and is surrounded by a large English garden that, together with the breathtaking view of Lake Como, creates a naturalistic setting of rare beauty.
The villa 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”.
Guided tours of the villa and its extensive grounds are currently suspended, but you will still have a chance to admire the complex from the outside.
Val Sanagra (or Val Senagra)
Val Sanagra is one of the most fascinating wooded areas of Lake Como and takes its name from the river that runs through it.
A peculiarity of this area, which is divided between the municipalities of Menaggio and Grandola ed Uniti, is its still wild environment of forests, grasslands and mountain pastures.
The most convenient way to reach Val Sanagra from the center of Menaggio is to take the C13 bus and then walk for less than 20 minutes. Once you get here, you can walk along several beautiful trails.
My advice is to walk for about 20-30 minutes from the trailhead and continue pretty much straight ahead in the direction of the Vecchia Chioderia Farmhouse, where you can taste local specialties prepared with trout raised on site.
My friends at Slow Lake Como are offering a beautiful guided tour of Val Sanagra: find out now and book it here, you will be amazed!
Rifugio Menaggio (1,400 m, 4,600 ft) is located at the foot of Mount Grona and offers spectacular views of Lake Como and the surrounding mountains.
It is a popular destination, an arrival and departure point for several itineraries. In fact, nature, relaxation, good food and comfortable overnight accommodations can be found here.
To reach the hut, going up from Menaggio, the starting point is Breglia, in the municipality of Plesio (where you arrive by bus C13). From there, along a path that winds through the forest, in some sections steeply uphill, in about 1 hour and 45 minutes you reach your destination.
The hut is open from mid-June to the end of September daily; during the rest of the year it is open on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Another interesting thing to do in Menaggio is to walk about 15 minutes from the lakefront to the hamlet of Nobiallo. At one point, along Via Diaz, you will find a tunnel: avoid it and instead take the scenic bike/pedestrian road, where you will skirt a rock wall and find several picnic tables overlooking the lake.
After a few minutes you will arrive in Nobiallo, a picturesque fishing village whose narrow streets and stairways slope down to the lake.
Riva Super Florida
Public boat tours
❗Looking for information about public boat service? Read my guide to boats and ferries on Lake Como!
Menaggio’s pier is located in Via IV Novembre 89. Here you can catch boats to any town on the lake (as anticipated, central lake towns such as Bellagio and Varenna are only 15-30 minutes away by boat).
Beaches in Menaggio
if you are in Menaggio and want to relax on a beach, you can choose between the public beach Lerai, on the way to Nobiallo, and the Lido di Menaggio, which offers two swimming pools, a restaurant and a small playground for children.
Discover the best beaches in Menaggio!
at a location of your choice
the enchanted valley
Menaggio is definitely worth a visit! Like other popular Lake Como’s towns, it has beaches, places to hike and typical restaurants that will make your trip unique. The boat service will easily take you to Bellagio and Varenna in 15-30 minutes, and you can also get to Tremezzina by C10 bus in 10 minutes.