"Alto Lario - a new destination?" Gravedona by Paolomusc

Gravedona Travel Guide: 14 reviews and 22 photos

The top of the lake

If you have ever been to Lake Como in Italy, you will know that it is the deepest and longest lake in Europe, and you may well have stayed in Menaggio, Bellagio, Tremezzo or Cadenabbia, but you may not know that just a little further up the lake is Gravedona.

Gravedona is a small town perched on the edge of the lake with tiny alleyways and houses that tumble down to the lakeside. It was once the most important town in the upper lake area (Alto Lario) but today is a pleasant, non-touristy place to visit.

Just down the road is Dongo, where Mussolini was caught after WW2 trying to escape with his girlfriend and his money. He was held overnight in the small mountain village of Germasino, which is above Dongo, and then transfered down to Dongo in the morning. Before the authorities could get up from Milan to take him, the partisans gave him a quick trial and then shot him and his girlfriend and hung them upside down from the lamposts - gruesome or interesting? Perhaps more interesting is the restaurant at Hotel Dongo which is frequented by George Clooney although he may have sold his house on the lake now, so might not go there so often.

North of Gravedona is Domaso, the main watersports town for the lake. There are lots of hotels in the resort and its easy to get to and easy to get from there to anywhere else on the lake. Its a lot more reasonably priced than the middle lake too.

2015..since writing my initial intro for Gravedona, its worth pointing out that there are more restaurants and hotels opening up here and the resort is growing. It's still not big and touristy, and I don't think it ever will be, but its worth knowing that the choice for accommodation and meals is getting bigger.

Unusual Trees!

The trees along the lakeside are covered with leaves in the hot summer, providing welcome shade from the heat but during the winter when this photo was taken, its fascinating to see the way the trees have grown into each other, a sort of 'brotherhood of trees'

Rooms with a view

There are lots of quality hotels in the resort including the Hotel Regina, right on the lakeside and the very traditional italian Hotel Lauro which I have stayed in and thoroughly enjoyed. I have stayed at the Hotel La Villa more often though and know the management well. This picture is the amazing view from room 112 at Hotel La Villa in Gravedona; fabulous!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Less tourists and very italian
  • Cons:Not so many restaraunts and bars as larger resorts (But this might also be a pro!)
  • In a nutshell:Wonderfully welcoming little italian town set in spectacular location on the shores of a beautiful lake.
  • Last visit to Gravedona: Jan 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (14)

Comments (2)

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    May 11, 2011 at 5:45 AM

    Now, YOU are making ME homesick for Lake Como. These pages entice me - I will explore Gravedona much more as I do visit my nephew there - not as often as I would like. Grazie for a lovely tour here! <(•¿•)>

  • tpal's Profile Photo
    Apr 10, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    Ciao Paolo, No matter how hard I try, they always peg me as a tourist. I loved Gravedona but sadly could spend only a short time there. I hope to correct that this October when we will spend 2 weeks on Lake Como. Great tips...Tom

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