However, if you venture across the water in a ferry and into the green expanse, an enchanting treasure trove of stunning churches and Roman remains awaits you.
Uninhabited for centuries, the island was a fortified stronghold during the late Roman Empire before becoming a military base for the Goths and then the Byzantines, who surrendered to the Longobards in AD 588.
In 1169, the island and its nine churches were razed to the ground by the Holy Roman Emperor Federico Barbarossa and Como’s army as punishment for supporting Milan during its decade-long war with Como for supremacy in Lombardy.
Though the island was destroyed and remains virtually uninhabited to this day, the lives of its previous inhabitants are commemorated every year with the Festival of Saint John, which takes place on June 24, the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist.
If Saint John’s Day falls during the week, the festival takes place on the following weekend; however, this year it falls on a Saturday and will go ahead on the exact day dedicated to the saint.
The event is celebrated with a mass in the ruins of the island’s Basilica of Saint Eufemia, while locals participate in a procession dressed in period attire, and a stunning firework display illuminates the picturesque lake setting in the evening.
Of course, the festival wouldn’t be Italian without a spread of traditional local fare, flowing wine, music and dancing, all of which fill the entire weekend!
If you happen to be visiting the luxurious banks of Lake Como in the second half of June, a trip to Isola Comacina for this centuries-old event will be well worth it.
And even if you miss the main event and are travelling to Como at another time, why not venture over to the tiny island to soak up both its natural magnificence and rich history?! After all, Isola Comacina truly is a place like no other.