Menaggio relaxes on the western shore of Lake Como, at the mouth of the valley to Lake Lugano. It’s a popular spot for the Milan elite who favour the extravagant piazzas and villas for their summer holidays. But for all its riches, Menaggio remains a welcoming town where a wealth of lake and mountain views (and tempting gelato shops) glitter around every corner. Walking and cycling paths reach around the lakefront and into the mountains behind – and it’s all just a 15-minute ferry ride from Bellagio.
Menaggio town: a walk through the history books
Civilisations have wrestled over Menaggio’s strategic, sheltered seat for thousands of years. A ramble around town reveals remnants of Roman, Spanish and World War II fortifications. Alleys and stone staircases framed by shops, aperitivo bars and restaurants climb to the medieval part of town and the old castle. Here, you’ll also find the stone Church of San Carlo and its distinctly Spanish bell tower. Back at lake level, meander along Menaggio’s tree-lined waterfront – home to a pocket-sized harbour, palatial villas and a monument to the tessitrice silk weavers who once worked in the waterfront mills.
From mountain rifugi to railway routes
Want to do more than marvel at the mountains around you? Take to the hiking trails on Monte Grona, aiming for the rifugio restaurant and alpine dairy farms. The adventurous (and fit) can continue clambering to the peak, which offers dizzying views over three lakes. Easier walking and cycling routes include the route to Porlezza that traces the old railway line between Lake Como and Lake Lugano. Alternatively, head north to Sorico via the prom and abandoned state road that runs through fishing villages and some seriously lovely mountain scenery.
The crossroads of Lake Como
Menaggio is the place where vital trade and transport routes once met, including the Via Regina, which connected Lake Como and Milan to the Alps beyond. These days, you can follow its steep tracks past sanctuaries, villages and stone bridges. Menaggio’s excellent connections extend to its boat routes too. Ferries scoot between the towns on Lake Como’s shores – Bellagio, Varenna, Tremezzo, Cadenabbia, Como Town – or you can explore the lake under your own steam aboard a sailing boat or kayak.
Life on the lake
The squares and waterfront of Menaggio come alive in summer, staging Renaissance concerts, craft markets, book fairs and open-air art exhibitions, as well as a Friday evening market. August’s International Guitar Festival treats visitors to impromptu “musical aperitifs” on the streets, whetting the appetite for the evening performances. Piazza Garibaldi is a great place for soaking up the atmosphere with a cappuccino and plate of polenta in reach.
Why book a summer holiday in Menaggio with Inghams?
At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of Menaggio's best activities at your own pace.
With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Menaggio include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.