The most beautiful places in Como, Lecco, Milan & Pavia



An impressive eleven provinces constitute Lombardy with its particularly diverse scenery, small mountain villages and large metropolises. These partially very different worlds come together in the region’s north and west. Some of the most densely populated areas of Italy can be found here as well as almost empty parts brimming with distinct beauty. The private association “I borghi più belli d’Italia” is dedicated to highlighting the most beautiful places throughout the entire country. There are seven such places in total throughout the Provinces of Como, Lecco and Pavia and the Metropolitan City of Milan that are far more than mere insiders’ tips.


Province of Como

You will find several magnificent spots around the stunning eponymous city of arts and provincial capital in north-eastern Lombardy. Bordering Switzerland, the Province of Como with the almost magical Lake Como is also home to one of the most beautiful places in Italy that actually used to be a completely independent village for a long time.



Tremezzo was merged with other municipalities twice – 1928 with Lenno and Mezzegra, only for this decision to be reversed in 1947, and again in 2014 with Lenno, Mezzegra and Ossuccio to currently form Tremezzina. However, it is this very area with documented early Roman settlements that was named one of Italy’s most beautiful places. The divine location at Lake Como with its astounding view alone highlights this affiliation. Among the best-known buildings of this formerly independent village of about 1,200 inhabitants is the late 17th century Villa Carlotta, now home to a museum with a large collection of sculptures and an enchanting Italian park. Several more villas lead you through Tremezzo’s streets and along the charming lake promenade. Don’t miss out on stopping by the parish church of San Lorenzo.


Province of Lecco

Small but certainly nice: the Province of Lecco only broke off the Province of Como in 1992. It might be one of Lombardy’s smallest provinces at 816 km², yet it has plenty of hidden treasures to offer around the eponymous capital. Several mountain ranges and the eastern shore of Lake Como provide scenic loveliness. And then, there’s one of the most beautiful places in Italy …



Bellano with its population of approx. 3,400 is more commonly known as the “town of artists.” Numerous writers and painters were born and/or worked here. There are even monuments dedicated to Bellano’s famous sons Tommaso Grossi and Sigismondo Boldoni. Even though the town’s history is closely connected to Roman times, its most famous sight is actually about 15 million years old. Snug paths and bridges lead the way through the narrow, almost endlessly tall rocks of the Orrido gorge. The Gothic church Santi Nazario e Celso features a particularly impressive, partially striped Gothic façade.


Metropolitan City of Milan

The Metropolitan City of Milan is arranged around the eponymous second-largest city of Italy, one of the country’s most precious cities of art. It might have lost about 60 municipalities in recent years due to the establishment of additional provinces and other redistributions, but there are still far more than three million people living here. Ostentatious urban centres and charming suburbs aside, the Metropolitan City of Milan is home to two of the most beautiful places in Italy.




Cassinetta di Lugagnano

With a townscape very characteristic for the Po Valley, this place actually consists of the two town centres Cassinetta and Lugagnano situated on opposite sides of the Naviglio Grande river. Several formidable villas dominate the scenery, not just on the shoreline. Many of them originally belonged to wealth Milanese families who spent their summers here, had massive festivities and receptions here. The neo-classical Villa Trivulzio with a large park facility, the slightly hidden Villa Cattaneo Krentzlin with its window-heavy façade and the stately Villa Visconti are amongst the highlights. In contrast, the Oratorio di San Giuseppe allows you to immerse yourself in the Italian rococo style.



A humongous former Cistercian monastery near the Ticino river is among this place’s main attractions. The Abbazia di Morimondo used to be home to, at times, more than 50 monks despite multiple destructions in the Middle Ages due to conflicts between Milan and Pavia. These days, the monastery is home to two museums. One is dedicated to the old Abbazia complex, the other to the paintings and cartoons of the art nouveau artist Angelo Comolli. Chiesa di San Bernardo is situated slightly outside the monastery walls. Now privately owned and thus deconsecrated, it used to be the church of the local population. Find plenty of cycling and hiking paths around Morimondo leading through nature parks and to Lombardy’s big cities.


Province of Pavia

Last but certainly not least we turn our focus to the Province of Pavia in the southwest of the region. Beyond the eponymous city of arts, widely known for its gripping and eventful history, you will find one of Italy’s biggest wine regions here, the Oltrepò Pavese famous for its Pinot Noir. And then, there are three particularly beautiful places worth seeing and experiencing.



This place of about 420 inhabitants situated on a hill used to be the site of various Italian movies. An inviting town centre with medieval flair and plenty of rock façades awaits you. The only survivors of the old fortress are a massive tower and a few wall pieces. However, the parish church and the oratory came much later. Step inside the Chiesa di San Giorgio to see the lovely wooden triptych and an equally enchanting fresco. Seemingly endless walkways and hiking paths across vineyards and flowery meadows await you around Fortunago.



The history of Varzi (population approx. 3,200) is closely connected to that of the noble Italian Malaspina family with various lineages of Lombard ancestry owning numerous fiefdoms and plots in northern Italy from the mid-10th century onward. In Varzi, they used to own a stately castle, currently owned by the municipality, that continues to dominate the townscape. The oldest structures were established around the year 1200 and extensively restored later. You can visit select wings during guided tours. The 13th century witch tower that used to serve as a prison will supposedly be made accessible to the public soon. Looking a bit non-descript from the outside, the 12th century Capuchin church with its old frescoes is actually among the region’s most beautiful Romanesque religious buildings.





This stunning place with a population of about 1,100 awaits you in the heart of the wine-growing area. Zavattarello, too, is best known for a striking castle. Castello Dal Verme, former home of the war school of mercenary leader Jacopo Dal Verme, is an imposing rock structure with over 40 rooms high above the village. The castle park has since been declared a protective area. Zavattarello’s main square, however, introduces you to the charming Oratorio di San Rocco with an impressive 15th century wooden altar. The originally Romanesque parish church San Paolo might have been given more of a baroque flair in later years but is still worth a visit.


Four provinces, seven beautiful places and plenty of natural loveliness – particularly charming spots with exciting histories, magical sights and alluring scenery await you around Como, Lecco, Milan and Pavia. From long cycling tours to extended hikes to a short walk through the old town centres with their enchanting architecture: the most beautiful places in the Provinces of Como, Lecco and Pavia and in the Metropolitan City of Milan give your next holiday in Lombardy that certain something.

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