This small charming town with its beautiful old quarter is situated beside the slopes of Mount Bisbino on the westside of Lake Como, with the larger town of Como only a short drive away. Quaint houses in various colours and narrow streets, picturesque cafes, boutique shops and historic landmarks, not to mention the breath-taking scenery, entice holidaymakers back year after year.
This is an èlite resort which hosts many exhibitions, congresses and international encounters at various levels, all of which are mainly held in the prestigious Villa d’Este, Villa Erba and Villa Bernasconi. Today, Villa d’Este is a luxury hotel with a floating swimming pool. Cernobbio received the honorary title of city with a presidential decree on 24th May 2005. T
It is hard to imagine the town of Cernobbio as an impoverished one, due to the history of wars it endured over the centuries. However by the 19th century, Cernobbio developed a talent for luxury building and tourism. The economy recovered and the town became a prestigious resort. Some of the houses in Cernobbio’s historic centre date back to the 16th century. During the First World War, a defense system was constructed which stretched up onto Mount Bisbino. This defense system was used again during the Second World War.
There are lots of things to see and do in and around Cernobbio. Villa Pizzo is situated on the promontory called “Pizzo” not too far from Villa d’Este. This is a beautiful villa to visit, surrounded by large gardens, the glasshouses and the Volpi Bassani mausoleum. It is normally open to the public from May to September. The Valley Garden is another sight to see, open all year round and admission is free. Unbelievably, these gardens used to be an illegal dumping ground until the early 1980’s when Signora Ida “Pupa” Frati and the association she founded took over the site. The gardens are well tended and each year a concert is held here. The 19th century lakeside Villa Erba, once home of the famous director Luchino Visconti, is now host to many important events and exhibitions.
Taking a guided boat tour is a great way to get close up to some of the villas from the lakeside as well as being a great way to get some amazing photographs. You will get more on the history of the surrounding area and historical landmarks in and around Cernobbio with a knowledgeable guide.