These are reptiles that live in various habitats all over the world; dry stone walls, sunny woods, dark holes and crevices, under rocks, amongst piles of firewood, in long grass, they can even stay hidden under a pile of old leaves. They are carnivorous reptiles and eat things such as; mice, rats, birds, insects and even fish. Snakes do not have ears therefore they can only feel vibrations through the ground. A good idea when you are outdoors, or if the children are just outside playing, is to take your music player outside (if possible) and sit it on the ground (out of direct sunlight of course) and this should deter any snakes lurking in the garden from coming too close.
If you are going for a walk in the woods or mountains, take a walking stick (or pick up an old branch of a tree whilst on your travels) and use this as you go along, the vibrations should help warn snakes off.
Snakes have various methods of defending themselves such as hissing loudly, excreting a foul-smelling liquid from glands on their body and playing dead. Some snakes however can be more aggressive and imitate the viper by swinging their flattened head and neck out towards the predator and hissing loudly, giving a warning that they may strike.
Most snakes are harmless but there is a minority of them that are venomous and if bitten, can be fatal to humans causing extremely painful injury or even death. Therefore with any type of snake bite, you should always seek medical attention immediately.
Types of snake that can be found in Lake Como are; water snakes which are common but totally harmless and vipers (vipera aspis) which are common on paths, fields, under warm rocks and in woodland area. Vipers are venomous and are distinguishable by their arrow-shaped. Their scales are more ridged rather than smooth.