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Want To Swim In Lake Como! (Note These 7 Things)

Lake Como aerial panoramic view from the drone
Lake Como Aerial Drone View

Lake Como in Lombardy, Northern Italy, is not ideal for swimming because it is a lake with deep areas, plus moss settles along the shore. Even though not the best, there are sections along the 47 km stretch of the lake where swimming is possible.

This article will discover the safe places along Lake Como where swimming is possible, any dangers that individuals could encounter while swimming in the lake, what lies beneath the lake, and any noteworthy facts relating to the lake.

Note the Best Time to Swim in Lake Como

The lake is located in the basin of the Alpine. The water temperature is cold. A drastic temperature change after prolonged sun exposure could be detrimental. The optimum time of the year to enjoy the waters of Lake Como is between March and November.

Many crowd the beaches along Lake Como, specifically during July and August. The months that are considered the best for swimming. Privacy on the beaches is practically impossible, as people try to hide from the heat. However, this does not mean you cannot enjoy the atmosphere.

Let’s comprehend Lake Como’s average weather and temperature using the following table to ease the selection of the best month to drop in Lake Como.

MonthHigh/Low (°C)Rain (In Days)
January8/35
February8/35
March11/57
April14/810
May19/1212
June23/1610
July26/188
August25/189
September21/158
October17/128
November11/78
December9/55
Source: NOAA

Can You Swim In Lake Como In Winter?

Yes, visiting Lake Como in winter – from December to February can make your trip less expensive than in the prime months. Still, I would not suggest you swim during this time because the temperatures can reach as low as 3 degrees celsius, which is not much of a pleasant experience. However, because Lake Como never freezes, you can still swim in it if you’re not faint-hearted.

Instead of swimming, you can taste local food – Pizzoccheri, Risotto Alla, Sciatt, Pesce Persico, and Milanese can kickstart your unforgettable experience. For an avid skier or snowboarder, places like Bormio, Lecco, Livigno, Madesimo, Piani Di Bobbio, Livigno, and the Alps of Engadin can engage you for a whole day of snow experience, and these places are also an easy reach from Lake Como town.

In winter, more aesthetic travelers can benefit from the less crowded lake Como to talk with locals, and booking restaurants without worrying about seat availability, spa hotels, and Lake Como lights are another level – you can’t miss it!

Pollution in Lake Como (Read Before Drinking & Bathing in Como)

Understanding the pollution in Lake Como can be done using many techniques; in the past, none of these practices were imposed on the lake, but Goletta dei Laghi is actively measuring the levels of bacteria and micro-plastic in lake Como. Lake Como is well under safety as of 2021, 2019, and 2018.

For reference, Lake Como had counted an average of 28,500 microplastic particles per cubic kilometer. However, on some parts of lake Como – between Dervio of Lecco and San Siro on the Como side counted up to 500,000 particles per cubic kilometer.

After seeing the increasing concern about plastic in the lake, the Italian Ministry of the Environment started the ‘Plastic Free Challenge’ initiative in 2018 to raise awareness, which Como has followed well. For example, Lido in Faggeto Lario and the bars here are well running themselves without single-use plastic (IMO, banning single-use plastic should give higher priority than banning multi-use plastic for significant impact)

After all my research, I can conclude that Goletta dei Laghi’s annual checks associated with Legambiente on both plastic waste and the biological side will continue their checks and actively share their data with local and national administrative entities.

They will work upon the data and gives tourist a third-party assurance that lake Como is safe for swimmers.

According to a Como Newsletter, 99% of public beaches on Lake Como are safe to swim. The numbers are accurate because the water quality is checked every month from April to the end of October (swimming is more advisable between these two months).

However, not all public beaches can gain the trust quickly because, after the analysis done on eighteen beaches on lake Como side from Griante on the west bank to the Como itself.

The Spiaggia Rivabella Crotto, Lezzeno was reported to be close in 2017 due to high levels of pollutants, though it is open now as figures are reasonable.

One primary concern for Lake Como in the past was DDT (a pesticide) and PCBs (used in electronic devices). Both are considered toxic chemicals, can exist for a long time, and accumulate in the food chain. The research has been put together to examine the levels of PCBs and DDT, where researchers took samples and cores in 2009. The cores serve as a medium for researchers to construct the timeline for lake Como’s last 20-25 years.

It was found that the core samples showed a gradual decline in the PCBs between 1970 to 2009; it is a combined total of 200 nanograms drop per gram of dry sediment over those years.

However, researchers noticed a noticeably increment in around 2000-2002 where the PCBs were close to 300 ng/d d.w, which may be due to the contents traveling with three floods. On the other side, levels of DDT never showed a decline. Instead, it remains constant over time.

Due to the findings in all studies, It is highly advisable to check this government website to know whether a particular place is safe to swim, bathe, or drink near Lake Como. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Install Google translator if you want this Italian page in English
  2. Click to Menu (3 lines)
  3. Click on Thematic Areas, and from the dropdown, select bathing for swimming or drinking if you want to know whether the water in any commune near Lake Como is safe to drink.
  4. There, type the name of Comune (Village, resort, and any other notable locality) like Domaso.
  5. The Map will zoom in to select the locality, and the highlighted part of the river or lake will address the pollution and safety of bathing or drinking water.
  6. Please see the legend on that same page where different colors mean different things; note that a particular river or lake may be closed due to other reasons than pollution, as stated in the legend.
  7. Now zoom in enough to take note of the place. In Domaso’s example, Camping Gardenia, Gera Lario, and La Punta are safe swimming. However, check one more time on the website provided for frequent information.

Safe Places For Swimming In Lake Como

The main thing needed for safely swimming in Lake Como is common sense. Individuals should enter the water slowly, especially after sunbathing for some time, and not swimming immediately after eating.

Can You Swim In Lake Como

Most beaches are club-managed and tend to be upscale and trendy. Free access to beaches is possible if the upscale atmosphere is not what you seek.

Read Also: Should You Swim In Crater Lake?

Argegno

Argegno is close to the little harbor in the town. Argegno is a grassy beach and an excellent location for groups and family outings.

Bellagio

Bellagio has two locations that are suitable for swimming. The Libe and San Giovanni. The Libe is a breathtaking beach excellent for those seeking a tan. San Giovanni is a free access beach that has a pebble shore. Unfortunately, it could be challenging for people with disabilities.

Sorico

Sorico is an excellent place for swimming and scuba-diving due to the depth of the water and the wide-open spaces. It is also an ideal spot for fishing.

Domaso

Domaso is a section of the lake that has two divisions. One is a free area and the other an area managed by clubs. The beach is relatively small but very comfortable for swimming.

A-List Of Other Activities To Enjoy On Lake Como

  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Paddleboarding
  • Scuba diving
  • Fishing
  • Boat tours

Things To Look Out For In and Around Lake Como

The Mediterranean waters have sharks, and this is very common. You can rest assured that there are no sharks in the waters of Lake Como. The Northern Pikes and the Zander are large fish species in the lake. These fish are harmless, besides a few nibbles on your toes.

Smaller fish species such as Brown Trout, Burbot, and European Perch are also found within the lake.

It often rains on Lake Como; heavy rainfall and flooding are possibilities. Landslides triggered by these phenomena led to evacuations of some towns along the lake. The most recent occurring in July 2021[source]

What Lies Beneath Lake Como?

Lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy. At 1,345 feet deep, it is the deepest lake in Italy and one of the deepest in Europe.

Beneath the terrifying depths of Lake Como lies mystifying wrecks of tanks from the Second World War, steamships, seaplanes, unexploded bombs, weapons, and a massive car cemetery[source].

Christ-Statue-found-under-the-waters-of-Lake-como-in-Limonta
Credit: Antonio Bertelè (Christ statue found in Limonta)

There are also numerous statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary. The most celebrated figure of them all is the Christ of the Abyss. Crosses and other figurines are placed in the crevices to help watch over the divers, who work and look after the lake.

Interesting Facts Relating to Lake Como

The water in Lake Como functions as a thermal reserve, in that, during the summer, the water soaks up the heat from the sun, then released in the winter.

The most famous lake in Italy is Lake Como. Access to the lake is easy as it is located close to Lugano and Milan. It has many club-managed areas. All of which are patronized by tourists, which might account for being so expensive to visit.

The water is regularly monitored for water quality by the local authority, and except for micro-plastic, the lake is well within the safety levels for bacteria. The data collected in 2018 placed Lake Como fourth on the list at 28,500 particles per kilometer[source].

I don’t know how much truth is stored in the legend of cryptid Lariosauro, but many people in time claim the sighting of an animal called Lariosauro that is said to live in Lake Como. To back up the claim, here are three references from Wevillas:

  • On November 18, 1946, two hunters emphasized their meeting with a creature of about 10-12 meters near the shore with reddish scales.
  • In 1954, father-son witnessed an 80-centimeter creature with a rounded snout and webbed feet swimming on lake Como’s water.
  • The recent sighting was in 2003 when a researcher named Giorgio Castiglioni saw an eel of about 10-12 meters long in Leco.

Lake Como: Montana vs. Italy (Which Is More Awesome?)

Lake Como, Montana, pales compared to Lake Como, Northern Italy. The European lake has a vast range of restaurants, clubs, bars, and other amenities that its’ western namesake does not have.

Also, you can visit Venice, which is about 4 hours journey by car and 5 hours by train (give or take) from this lake to enjoy canals, crafty bridges, and beautiful beaches.

Both lakes are great for swimming and have very similar water temperatures. However, Lake Como, Northern Italy, caters to tourists and provides an abundance of activities sets above the water in Montana.

Conclusion

Lake Como is one of the most loved destinations in Italy. This is evident by the number of visitors who flock to the shorelines and waters each year to enjoy swimming and other water activities. Even though it is not ideal, it is one of the best locations for swimming.

There are several beaches along the Latin inverted Y-shaped waters, which individuals can access for free or by joining one of the clubs.

The government of Italy is safeguarding the lake by implementing initiatives to decrease the levels of plastic. There is a ban on micro-plastic in cosmetics and the plastic used in earbuds nationally. Locally, plastic straws have been replaced with biodegradable pasta straws in the bars along Lake Como.

Read Also: Why You Can’t Swim In The Great Salt Lake?