Cernobbio stretches from the foot of Mount Bisbino (1325m) to the western shore of the Lake Como, is close to the Swiss border and just a few kilometers from Como.
Inhabited in ancient times, the first historical information on the village dates back to the 12th century. It is still possible to find traces of the medieval “castrum” (fortified village) around today’s Piazza Castello.
Over the centuries, the village has been repeatedly sacked and razed to the ground. In the 1800’s, the industrialization process together with luxury housing and tourism development marked an important turning point in the economy and social structure of the village.
Cernobbio is known for its wonderful villas the most famous being the 16th century Villa D’Este. Others include the Villa Pizzo, the liberty style Villa Bernasconi and the late 19th century Villa Erba – once the home of Italian film director, Luchino Visconti.
On the picturesque lakeside square, the Piazza Risorgimento, you can go for a “passeggiata” or relax on a lakeside bench and gaze at the lake. It is a picture perfect view, framed by the alps of Switzerland and Lombardy mountains.
On the Piazza there are several cafes and restaurants, including Harry’s Bar; a great children’s playground and carousel and a marina where you can hire a boat.
Every Wednesday is market day in our village. Situated on the lakeside piazza, it is a big market with fresh food, clothes and plants. The old village surrounding our apartment features wonderful shops and cafes and on the lake sits the Cernobbio Lido - a 25 metre swimming pool and children’s paddling pool with spectacular lake views.
There are six churches in our village and surrounds. Often the melodic sound of church bells, chiming in unison, rings out around our valley. The nearby Church of Saint Vincent has a beautiful Baroque façade, the parish church of Saint Michel in nearby Rovenna contains a remarkable astylar cross from Romanesque times and a Baroque altar, designed by Barberini; while the church of Saint Stephen at Piazza Santo Stefano boasts beautiful frescoes.
Cernobbio is ideal for hiking and mountain biking. Great paths lead to the top of Mount Bisbino and then travel the Via dei Monti Lariani, a route that runs for 125 km from Cernobbio through the mountains of the western shore of Lake Como up to Sorico.
You can also jump on a bike and ride to Como, along the lakeside road to Lario and beyond, or across the border into the rolling Swiss countryside.
No matter what time of year, Cernobbio’s lakeside setting is spectacular. From the early 20th century liberty style boat pier, you can hop on a ferry or steamer to explore Lake Como and its wonderful villages. One thing is certain, a day trip on the lake is an absolute must for any visitor.