Lake Como is located in Lombardy, Italy. It is the third largest lake in Italy, with an area of 146 km2 (~56 sq mi) . It is over 400 m (~1,312 ft) deep, making it one of the deepest lakes in Europe – the bottom of the lake is over 200 m (~656 ft) below sea level. It is generally thought to be one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe.
The climate is Mediterranean with temperatures averaging 2C (36F) in winter and 30C (86F) at the height of summer. Water temperatures are around 24C (75F) in summer.
The temperate climate produces varied Mediterranean vegetation; magnolias, cypresses, azaleas, laurel trees, camelias, and rhododendrons, and humid areas have tropical and subtropical vegetation. The villas around the lake feature finely landscaped gardens with exotic, and even tropical, plants – some of which are open to the public.
It is famed for its natural beauty, wildlife and spas. Visitors can enjoy sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing, as well as boat rental from most towns around the lake; some also promote water skiing. There are various hiking and walking routes running around the lake and up into the mountains, where views of Como are stunning. The Lake Como Greenway is about a four-mile walk which mostly follows the west shoreline. Visits to nearby spas are also popular.
Skiing is available in winter in the nearby valleys. There is an island on the lake, Isola Comacina, featuring seven ancient Byzantine churches. Ferries run frequently on the lake, both for leisure purposes and to transport people to the various villages and towns along the lake’s shores.