A view of the "Y" turned
upside down from the sky

Lake Como (Lago di Como in Italian, also known as Lario) is a lake of glacial origin and it is set in Lombardy, Italy.

It has an area of 146 kmē, making it the third largest lake in Italy, after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. It is 410 metres deep, the deepest lake in Europe.

It has a very peculiar shape: a "Y" turned upside down. The northern branch begins with the town of Colico, the south-western branch has the town of Como at its end while at the end of the south-eastern branch there is the town of Lecco.

It has one big tributary that is also an effluent: the Adda river, entering the lake in Colico and exiting in Lecco.

This particular geological conformation makes the south-western branch a dead end, so it often happens that Como gets flooded, while Lecco rarely is.

A note about the naming of the lake:

  • The real Italian name is Lario, but this name is rarely used, everybody calls it Lago di Como, literally Lake of Como
  • On guidebooks you can find Lake Como as easily as Lake of Como or even Como Lake
  • Google searches say that Lake Como is much more common, in English, than Lake of Como.
  • It is important to remark that Como is not the name of the lake, even though it might seem so calling it Lake Como. It is wrong to say "Let's go to the Como", if you are going to this lake. Weirdly enough the exact opposite is true with Lake Garda: even though Garda is a town on its shore, just like Como is a town on Lake Como's shore, you can say "Let's go to the Garda".