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Lake Como, Como

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The third largest lake in Italy (145km2), Lake Como (or Lario) is fed by the river Adda and 36 smaller rivers. It is one of Lombardy's most beautiful spots. It lies between Brianza and Valtellina like an upside down "Y" and so has three distinct sections: the Colico stretch to the north with its mountainous and varied shores, the Lecco stretch to the east with its bare, rocky shores, and the arm of Como with gentle, green banks. Historically, the lake has been a place of transit since ancient times (in proto-historical times there was a road that ran along the crest on the western side of the lake). Remains of the various cultures and peoples that have lived there throughout history have been found around it: villas, sanctuaries, chapels and monasteries lie all around its lovely surroundings. Villa D'Este at Cernobbio, the ancient church on Comacina island, Villa Carlotta at Tremezzo, Bellagio, Piona abbey, the small hamlet of Varenna, Como and its monuments, the ancient mule track of Mount Bisbino, the wide views seen from Brunate are just some of the many attractions the shores of the lake offer to tourists and artists. Besides the standard visits by car, the ferry lines of the lake's transport company offer superb views of the lake.