Lenno is located in a bay on the westside of Lake Como and approximately 30km the town of Como. There are great views of Bellagio from here. At the southern end of the bay you can find the Lido di Lenno which has a great restaurant and a beautiful sandy beach area. There is plenty of seated areas; benches, large soft cushions or sunbeds where you can lie back and relax. If you need to retreat out of the intense heat, pop into the restaurant/bar area and cool off with a nice ice-cold drink. The Lido also has a dance floor and becomes a club in the evenings at the weekends, there is a great party atmosphere and the music plays into the early hours finishing around 4 o’clock in the morning. There is normally an admission fee however there is a free pebble beach a little further along.
Villa Balbianello built in the 1500’s is situated in Lenno the edge of the Lavedo promontory and is probably the most famously known villa on Lake Como. The villa was originally constructed by Cardinal Angelo Durini, where a small Franciscan monastery had originally stood. Following the death of Cardinal Durini, the complex was sold to Giuseppe Arconati Visconti who enriched the garden and the loggia. After the first World War, the American general Butler Amos renovated the whole complex. The villa later became the home of the famous Arctic explorer Guido Monzino, who, in 1988, left the Villa to the FAI, the Italian National Trust. The villa is comprises of two squared buildings; the one in the lower part of the garden includes a church, with two bell-towers, which was a part of an older Franciscan monastery. The breath-taking terraced gardens with magnolias, azaleas, cypresses and so much more, give you an excellent panoramic view of the lake and mountains. Villa Balbianello featured in the James Bond film “Casino Royale” and also “Star Wards II: Attack of the Clones”. You can only see inside the villa by taking an organised tour.
There are lots of other interesting buildings to see in Lenno; Baptistery of St John the Evangelist, Acquafredda Abbey and the Santo Stefano Church which is located in the XI Febbraio piazza, near the baptistery. The church was built around the 5th or 6th century B.C.but has since gone through restoration works. The church façade is baroque style. The inside of the church is adorned with amazing frescoes dating back to the 17th century and you can see the trapezoidal crypt, with five bays and three apses. The alter-piece represents the martyrdom of Santo Stefano, this dates back to the 16th century.
For walking, why not take a stroll up into the hills where you can see the church of San Andrea or the Monastery of San Bernadetto (which is further uphill). If you are looking for a bit of a challenge, from Lenno you can take the path that leads you up to Monte di Tremezzo (1700 mts) where you will have some excellent views. Be prepared for an all day walk/hike and a traverse through a tunnel right through the cliff (small torch advisable) up to the domed summit. The descent is easier as there is an old military road from the summit down to the slopes of Argegno. You can then take the cable car from these slopes near Argegno down to the lakeside if you wish.
Take a boat tour from Lenno to see other towns and villages along the lakeside, or you could even hop off and make your own way back by walking part of the way or catching the local bus. There are good bus connections into the town of Como as well as up to the north of the lake (normally C10 bus). You can easily walk to the village of Mezzegra or even Tremezzo but take care as there are sections of road without any pathway.