For a romantic, idyllic little location in Italy, find yourself spending time at Menaggio Italy. This is one of the villages around the pretty lake of Lake Como. It’s a great little village to stop at, whether for a day trip, during a road trip or for more than a night. It is a peaceful, pretty pitstop location for those wanting to enjoy Lake Como away from the more popular spots. Read on to know more about Menaggio, Italy!
How To Get To Menaggio Italy
For those taking a plane first, the closest big international airport for visiting Menaggio is Milan Linate, but Milan Malpensa and Milan Bergamo are just as easy based on train connections from Milan to Como. Or as an alternative, you could also fly to Zurich Switzerland first, see a few Swiss locations first. Then from Switzerland head over to Como afterwards.
Then from Como you have then a few options to reach Menaggio.
How do I get from Como to Menaggio?
Once you have arrived in Como Italy, you can then take either a local bus that takes a journey around the lake to Menaggio.
There is also the local boat that you can use to visit, depending on the timetable during the period you visit. This is the most fun way to arrive of course, by the lake.
Alternatively you can arrive in Menaggio Italy by car. There is not too much public parking that we found during our own visit, so on a busy day it’s not best, but still doable. The drive from Como to Menaggio takes only 50 minutes and you follow the Italian small road the whole way along Lake Como.
TIP: When visiting by car, make sure to have the blue parking permit badge to use for leaving in your car. This is often used in many places along Lake Como.
Menaggio Italy Highlights
This little village has everything you need for a few romantic days away from home together or for an easy day trip while passing through. Here are some of the highlights we’ve enjoyed and more that you can enjoy too:
This beautiful villa, completed in 1745, is located just a short ferry ride from Menaggio and is famous for its stunning botanical garden and art collection. This villa is now an official museum, with collection artwork of Antonio Canova, Bertel Thorvaldsen and Giovanni Migliara on show here. The art displays are mainly located on the lower floor, but you can also visit the upper floor which has an elegant gallery as well as providing views over Lake Como.
Whereas the botanical garden is just lovely to see, especially if visiting during the Spring or Summer seasons. The gardens are a true delight for nature lovers and a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to the Lake Como region.
Cycle Or Walk Along The Lake
Menaggio has a lovely new cycle path as well as for those who want to walk along the lakeside. You can start this from Menaggio, following first the former state road 340, towards the Northern end of the lake.
The route takes you through the smaller fishing villages (like Nobiallo), beach areas, historical sites and a few artistic points. Keep in mind however that some parts of the route will cause you to be close to the road, so it’s not fully separate.
Visit The Madonna della Grazie (& Lake Views!)
This beautiful church shrine sits atop a hill overlooking the lake and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The path to the shrine is mostly pebbles, so it’s doable and not so difficult for those who often hike. On a hot day, make sure to take water with you.
If visiting with a car, it is about an hour from the car park below the church of San Rocco.
For those into a bit of golf for a day, you could consider visiting Golf Club Menaggio Cadenabbia. Their website shares that they are the second oldest golf club in Italy! So that must be special!
It is an 18-hole course surrounded by greenery in an atmosphere of English tradition. But with of course the warm Italian sunshine and Lake Como nearby. There is also a library and guest house for those wanting to spend more time here.
Rent A Boat Or Kayak
Menaggio is a great place to rent a little boat or kayak. we have yet do to this ourselves, but do plan to do this during the summer. We see that AC Boat is one of the highest recommended in the area, but there are also a few more companies offering the same. So it depends on your visiting dates and if interested in this!
To highlight in more detail, the restaurants here have the cutest terraces to relax at while enjoying a local Italian dish. It’s peaceful to take a coffee and dream away while sat right next to the lake with gorgeous views.
A recommendation for a coffee with a view is to find a table at Caffè Centrale. They can get busy, but there are plenty of tables and chairs inside and out so find a spot and relax, watch the boats on the lake and enjoy a warm (or cold!) drink.
Another easy sit down location is Cafè del Pess. Here they have a large terrace overlooking the piazza and lake. it is not overly priced and definitely a treat to sit here for the afternoons for an Aperol spritz.
For a bite to eat right on the lakeside, La Grolla Menaggio is the place to choose. They have great service from start to finish, combined with delicious dishes to choose from. The tagliatelle (when we visited) was so delicious we could have ordered another plate. Make sure to save room for desert, such as for tiramisu.
For those craving pizza, visit Pizzeria Lugano. Even though it has Lugano in the name, it’s a local place with delicious pizza options. The portion sizes are pretty big here with plenty of choices, so you wont be leaving a table of theirs hungry.
For an all round, delicious restaurant but with limited choices, Osteria Il Pozzo is the perfect little spot. Don’t let the limited choices put you off, as you’ll be in for a treat. We have dined here and every dish we tried was perfect. My personal favourite was the pumpkin ravioli.
Lastly for those looking for only ice cream, head to La Fabrica del Gelato. No explanation is needed here as you won’t be disappointed!
While we have yet to stay in many hotels in Menaggio, we have gathered a list of hotels in Menaggio you could choose to stay at. These are based on having a higher rating than 8.5 on Booking, and located in Menaggio for walkable distance around the area.
Antico Menaggio – A four star rated holiday home with 2 bedrooms. It is beautifully furnished with all facilities needed for one night or for longer. It is within walking distance of all local restaurants and shops, as well as the swimming and lake activities. Perfect also for those wanting to make their own breakfasts, lunch and dinners.
On Booking.com rated 8.7 out of 10.
Grand Hotel Victoria – For those looking for more luxury, this 5 start hotel is only 100meters from the centre of Menaggio. It’s perfect for those wanting to enjoy a swimming pool and spa treatment while visiting. All their rooms are advertised with air conditioning (perfect for after those hot summer days at the lake!) and elegant furnishings for a relaxing vibe.
On Booking.com rated 9.2 out of 10.
Hotel Bellavista – This is a three star hotel with a panoramic terrace with bar and views across Lake Como. The rooms are pretty big and their in house restaurant has an international cuisine and lake fish specialities.
On Booking.com rated 9.6 out of 10.
Sarah’s Place – For another apartment of your own, Sarah’s Place can give you that homely vibe away from home. This place is perfect for those with a car, as there is free parking on site. It is also 140m2, making it perfect for those travelling in a group. It has lake and garden views as well as a terrace to relax on.
On Booking.com rated 9.4 out of 10.
For Couples Visiting Menaggio
For couples, it’s worth to stay in Menaggio as its less busy than other areas of Lake Como, has great connections to other villages by boat and the restaurants here all serve the most delicious Italian dishes. It is also well connected with visiting nearby Switzerland if you wish too, such as a day trip to Lugano or the small village of Ascona.
Our recommendation is to stay at the Grand Hotel Victoria for couples. It’s a 19th-century elegant hotel with the best service and pool area for a refreshing dip. Perfect if you are having a busy vacation and want also a bit of relaxation at your hotel.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Is The Best Time To Visit Menaggio Italy?
The best time to visit is in Spring and Summer, when the village is the most prettiest with flowers, sunshine and the warm heat of the season. This time is also best for enjoying a boat trip on Lake Como, where you can take a direct boat from Menaggio to Varenna and Bellagio across the water.
Is Menaggio nice? Is Menaggio worth visiting?
We think so! It’s one of the quieter but just as pretty spots on Lake Como to visit for a day or longer. It has more of a local vibe, less tourists and still well connected with Varenna and Bellagio which are more popular.
Can You Swim In Lake Como Menaggio?
For those wanting to swim directly in Lake Como near Menaggio, head to the Spiaggia Lerai beach area, which is less than 10 minutes from the centre of Menaggio. It’s a rocky beach, so don’t expect sand, but still perfect for those wanting to swim, sunbath and relax with a book.
How much is the ferry from Varenna to Menaggio?
If you are arriving by boat from Varenna to Menaggio, the boat (as per 2023 prices) share that a round trip for adults is €9.20. This takes only 15 minutes for the journey. You can check your journey and the prices for your exact visit on their main website.
Which is better Menaggio or Bellagio?
We personally think that both are equally good, so if you can combine seeing both during your visit then do so! This is easy to combine with the local boat from Menaggio to Bellagio and back.
How do I get from Lugano to Menaggio Italy?
The easiest way from Lugano to Menaggio is with a car, which takes around 45 minutes total without traffic. This is a direct route through the north of Lake Lugano via Porlezza Italy.
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