Overlooking the northern arm of Lake Como, Colico is a small transportation hub in Italy’s Lombardy region. It is backed by the rugged summit of Monte Legnone and is on the doorstep of the Plan di Spagna, a nature reserve and wetland that provides important habitat for migratory bird species.
Things to do in Colico
Situated on a hill to the north-east of Colico is Fort Montecchio-Lusardi, the only World War I Italian fort to be preserved intact and with its original weapons. It was constructed between 1911 and 1914 to control the nearby mountain passes in case the Central Powers decided to invade through neutral Switzerland. Get up close to the 14-kilometre-range French 149 mm guns, then follow the curved gallery that leads to the powder magazines.
Rising atop the nearby Olgiasca Peninsula is the Piona Abbey, a Lombard Gothic-style religious complex built on the ruins of a 7th-century church. Much of the current building dates from the 12th century and houses several Byzantine frescoes depicting the apostles. Wander through the serene cloister and visit the Capitulate Room where the monks would meet to discuss issues and read.
Colico boasts several beaches where you can swim in Lake Como, including Spiaggia La Breva. Neighbouring Spiaggia Ontano is backed by a wide expanse of grass ideal for sunbathing. A hiking trail hugs the lakeshore west to Spiaggia di Piona, a popular launching point for kite surfers and windsurfers.
Getting around Colico
Colico is an hour’s drive from Como and 1.5 hours from Milan and Malpensa Airport. Trains connect to the Colico railway station and ferries travel from the local wharf to towns and villages along the shores of Lake Como. The centre of Colico is compact enough to explore on foot.