Lecco isn’t the main tourist destination around Lake Como, however it’s definitely a place worth visiting. It’s a more affordable place to stay and has a more local feel to it than the other, more expensive towns around Lake Como.
It’s surrounded by mountains like Monte Resegno and its lakeside boulevard is home to some beautiful postcard views. It almost looks surreal.
In this Lecco travel guide, you will learn why you should visit this under appreciated Italian city.
This guide will also tell you how to get there, where to stay, what to do and where to eat. Read on to find out everything you need to know.
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How to get to Lecco?
Lecco is located in Lombardy, in Northern Italy. It’s situated on the Eastern branch of Lake Como. Luckily, Lecco is very well connected to main airport hubs, but also easily reachable by train and by car.
First of all, there is no airport in Lecco. The nearest airport to Lecco is Milan Bergamo (BGY) Airport, which is 31.7 km away.
Other nearby airports include Milan Linate (LIN) (44.8 km), Milan Malpensa (MXP) (58.9 km), Verona (VRN) (127.6 km) and Turin (TRN) (155.3 km).
You could easily fly to one of the Milan Airports and then take the train to Lecco train station, which takes around 40 minutes to an hour. You could also fly to one of the airports and then reach Lecco by car.
Lecco is easily accessible by car, for example from Milan (50 km), Como (30 km), Bergamo (35 km) and Sondrio (80 km).
From experience, I can say that Lecco is very easily reachable by train. For instance, there are frequent trains from Milan or Bergamo to Lecco Train Station every day, which take around an hour and cost 4-6 euros.
We personally arrived from beautiful Lugano, Switzerland, which was also very doable by train. It took us around 2.5 hours from Lugano Train Station to reach Lecco Train Station.
This included one stopover in Monza of half an hour. The views from the train are amazing, as you get to see the lakes and mountains pass by.
Getting around in Lecco
Now that you’ve reached Lecco, how can you get around? You can get around in Lecco by bus, train, foot or car. Especially the waterfront promenade and the old town of Lecco are very walkable.
If you’re staying a little outside of the city center of Lecco, I would recommend using the bus to get around in Lecco.
You can buy bus tickets at small shops, such as Tobacco shops and the tickets are usually quite cheap (around 1.30 euro per person for a one-way-ticket).
If you would like to visit nearby towns I would suggest using the train, as this is very affordable and easy to use.
In case you’re renting a car, it will also be very easy to reach the nearby towns by car. Another way to visit nearby villages would be to travel by ferry from Lecco.
A popular place to visit by ferry from Lecco is Bellagio, which takes around an hour and a half to reach. Do keep in mind that Bellagio becomes very touristy during the summer months.
Other, smaller nearby villages are reachable from Lecco in half an hour by ferry. What I would personally recommend is to visit some of the nearby towns by ferry and some by train.
Where to stay in Lecco?
An accommodation can really make or break your stay. That’s why I’m keen to give you the best suggestions on where to stay in Lecco.
Would you like to stay in an apartment with a nice balcony, steps away from the city center? Have a look at this apartment here.
If you’re looking to stay in a one-bedroom house in an excellent location in Lecco, I would suggest staying at Huonder House. For more information click here.
If you prefer to stay in a hotel which is located in front of the lake, I would recommend staying at NH Lecco Pontevecchio. This hotel even includes breakfast. For more info and prices have a look here.
Villa del Cigno is a magical place located only 800 meters from the main square in Lecco. Check out the latest prices and more here.
The best things to do in Lecco
This Lecco travel guide would not be complete without the best things to do in Lecco. So… what should you do while you’re here? Read on to find out what are the best things to do during your stay in Lecco.
Walk along the lake promenade
The views across the Como lake are postcard worthy. If you’ve got the chance to walk along the lake promenade in Lecco during sunset, please do it!
Visit the Old Town of Lecco
Nearby the lake promenade, you will find Lecco’s old town. Here you will find numerous restaurants and bars. You’ll also find the remains of the fortified hamlet of medieval Lecco here, such as: the Vallo delle Mura, the Viscontea Tower and the tower where the Basilica’s bell tower was built on.
Take the train to Varenna
Varenna is a picturesque town on Lake Como, consisting of cobblestone streets and colorful houses. If you travel by train from Lecco to Varenna, it only takes 22 minutes and costs 2.90 euros one way.
Varenna is less busy than neighboring town Bellagio, but during the summer season it still gets very busy.
It would be ideal to visit Varenna in June or September, when the weather is still nice and the crowds have gone.
The Walk of Lovers Trail is a lovely little walk along the water and a must-do while visiting Varenna. If you’re curious what else to do in Varenna, have a look over here.
Take a ferry to Onno
If you like non-touristic little villages, head over to Onno by ferry. When I say non-touristic, what I mean is that even in August, during the high season, funnily enough we were the only people at our ferry ride that would get off at Onno.
Although almost no tourists head to this little village, it’s definitely worth exploring for a day.
Go on a day trip to Mandello del Lario
Mandello del Lario is a beautiful little village. It’s almost unknown to tourists and is mostly only heard of because of its Motor Museum. There was not much to find about it on the internet, which immediately made me decide to go there.
It’s very easy to visit Mandello del Lario from Lecco by train (this takes 10 minutes and costs 2-3 euros one way), or by ferry (this takes 35 minutes and costs 3-5 euros one way). For more information on what to do here, have a look over here.
Walk to Malgrate
The town which you can see across from Lecco is called Malgrate. This is a small, not so touristy town worthy of exploring. The walk from Lecco to Malgrate takes approximately 40 minutes and involves some beautiful views across Lake Como.
Visit Orsa Maggiore beach
Orsa Maggiore is a beach worth exploring. We took a taxi here which cost 25-30 euros one way. You could also easily access the beach by car or you could go and walk or cycle here. There is a paid beach and there is a ‘’free’’ beach.
If you like your own, private space on the rocks, I would recommend following the way to the free beach and then heading to the parking lot. If you look closely, you will see a small pathway leading to the rocks. Find your own little spot on the rocks and perhaps even go for a delightful & refreshing swim.
More things to do in Lecco
If you have more time in Lecco, there are more great things to do here:
Hop on a ferry to Bellagio
Bellagio is one of the most popular and most beautiful destinations surrounding Lake Como, however I would refrain from visiting it during the summer months. If you don’t mind a lot of tourists, then you should of course still visit it during the high season.
Visit Como Town
Another famous town around Lake Como is of course the town of Como itself!
Spend a day at Menaggio and Cernobbio
Menaggio is a charming town located on the Western shore of Lake Como. Cernobbio houses some of the most lovely villas in all of Italy. Both are definitely worth exploring!
Take the cable car to Piani D’erna
Looking for great views across Lecco and Lake Como? Take the cable car up to Piani D’Erna. On top of the mountain you can go skiing, hiking or you could simply enjoy the splendid views.
Where to eat and drink in Lecco?
Eating delicious food and having good cocktails or craft beers is always very important to me, wherever I go. Therefore, I’ve made a list of where you should eat and drink in Lecco, so you don’t find out a little too late.
Napule: for great Italian pizza
If you want to eat mouth-watering pizza, please order a pizza at Napule. It’s inexpensive and incredible. Do keep in mind that the place itself is located further away from the city center and it’s not a ‘’romantic’’ place to go for dinner.
If you want a more local feel and you appreciate amazing Italian pizza, then definitely go here. You can also order online from their website.
Their address is: Via Baracca 43, 23900 Lecco.
Instant: for tasty pasta and great cocktails
This restaurant is located at the lakeside promenade and is a local’s favorite. The seafood pasta is especially recommended. Their service is very good and they also serve nice and affordable cocktails.
The address of the restaurant is: Largo Europa 2/4, 23900 Lecco.
Fiore Cucina in Liberta: for a romantic atmosphere
Fiore Cucina In Liberta is a very special restaurant with a romantic setting. I would say that this restaurant is very suitable for couples, but then again this restaurant is great for all kinds of travelers.
After walking past it many times, we decided we should eat here. Eventually, my boyfriend called this his ‘’best restaurant experience ever’’. The menu of the restaurant is served in a book and the service is outstanding.
The property actually used to be owned by the Mafia. Nowadays, the restaurant helps people to reintegrate back into society. Besides the really good cause of this restaurant, the food is really great! In particular, ordering tuna steak is strongly recommended.
The address of this amazing restaurant is: Via Belfiore 1, 23900, Lecco.
Brewery Herba Monstrum: for craft beers
This place is a local’s favorite when it comes to craft beers. It’s a brewery located a little outside of the city center. When we first stepped into the outdoor part of the Brewery, we were met with a few stares as we were the only tourists there.
Despite this, we felt very welcomed by the people there. Besides, the craft beers are excellent and of very high quality. I would really recommend a visit to this brewery if you are a fan of craft beers.
Yimi Bubble Tea: for Asian food & bubble tea lovers
Perhaps you’re more of a bubble tea lover. Then you should definitely visit Yimi Bubble Tea. This is a small little bubble tea shop located across the street from Lecco University. They also sell delicious asian food, such as a Chicken Pancake.
The owner of the shop is very kind and loves to give an explanation of all the drinks and foods that are available.
Filet Bistrot: for high quality food (shopping)
If you’re looking for high quality food to take home with you or if you’re simply looking for good food, I would suggest visiting Filet Bistrot. This is a small shop which also has a bistro.
You can buy high quality cheeses, meats and wines here, but you could also pop in for a quick lunch platter.
It’s located in an alleyway just behind the main street of the historic center of Lecco. Its address is: Vicolo Amilcare Airoldi 5, 23900, Lecco.
If you’re looking for an affordable, less touristic place to stay around Lake Como, choose to base yourself in Lecco. Its lakeside promenade is beautiful, it’s easily accessible and it has great options for where to eat and drink.
Besides, it makes it easy to explore lovely towns nearby such as Varenna, Mandello Del Lario and Onno. This makes it definitely worth visiting.
I’m curious, have you ever stayed in Lecco, or in other towns around Lake Como? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Away with Danae
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