Historic architecture, stunning natural beauty, fascinating museums and alpine sports make this one of Lake Como’s liveliest destinations.
The busy lakeside city of Lecco blends centuries-old villas and pretty squares with mountain sports and scenic landscapes. Lecco sits at the southernmost point of the eastern arm of Lake Como, framed by attractive countryside and rugged mountains. The city dates back to the Roman era, grew rapidly during the 18th century and has long been a favored destination of artists and poets.
Lecco’s historic heart spreads along the eastern banks of the River Adda. Walk or cycle along its waterfront promenade while enjoying uninterrupted lake and mountain views. Go to Piazza Mario Cermenati and admire the traditional Italianate buildings. Visit Basilica di San Nicolò, the city’s cathedral. Step inside to see its lavish gilded décor and frescos.
A short walk from the cathedral is Piazza XX Settembre, a large square dominated by the medieval La Torre di Viscontea (Viscontea Tower). Today, the tower houses the Museum of the Mountain and Alpinism. Discover more local history at the Museo di Storia Naturale (Museum of Natural History), set in the impressive Palazzo Belgiojoso. Learn about the life of Alessandro Manzoni at Museo Manzoni, once the childhood home of the acclaimed writer and poet.
Typical of Italian and Lake Como towns, Lecco boasts a wealth of cafés, pizzerias and trattorias. Try tasty focaccia breads topped with locally produced semi-soft cheese such as taleggio.
Don’t miss the chance to explore the surrounding landscapes. Ride the cable car to Piani d’Erna, a plateau on Mount Resegone. Marvel at the sweeping views, follow hiking trails or enjoy winter activities, including downhill skiing and snowboarding. Go to Adda Nord Park for its wildlife, archeological sites and castle ruins.
Lecco is a 1-hour drive from Milan and about a 40-minute drive from Como. Buses and ferries connect the city with the lake’s other towns and villages. Many visit Lecco on daytrips before moving onto other Lake Como destinations such as Bellagio and Varenna. However, with historical and natural attractions, a vibrant café culture and a range of accommodations, it is worth lingering a while amid the city’s captivating charms.