Малграте / Malgrate

Somewhere among the glitz of the dazzling villas around Lake Como, there is a small town with a lovely promenade and perhaps the most amazing panoramic view… This is Malgrate, which you have hardly heard of, but I advise you to add to your plan when visiting the area!

Where is located, how to get there and where to stay

Malgrate is located at the south-eastern end of Lake Como, directly opposite the larger town in the area – Lecco. It’s convenient to reach by car from Milan (51 km) and Bergamo (42 km), because major road arteries pass around it. If you decide to visit it by train, you will have to get off at Lecco and catch a bus from the train station or walk about 30 minutes. It’s positioned between two of the most popular lake destinations, Bellagio and Varena, equidistant from it by about 20 km.

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Malgrate is a small resort town, with significantly cheaper accommodation options than the popular coastal locations. We also used it for this purpose when we stayed at Acchiappasogni Holiday House. We got a bright and spacious apartment, well furnished and with lots of compliments for breakfast. The hosts had made sure we didn’t miss anything! The house has a pleasant yard where you can sit on warm summer days. They don’t provide a specific parking space, but you can leave your car for free along the entire street.

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More about Malgrate

Its history dates back to Roman times, but the first documentary sources about the existence of a settlement date back to the 12th century. It is assumed that the Romans named it Antesitum, which means “the beach in front“. It got its current name in the 12th century, after a bloody battle around the fort of San Grato during the 10-year war between Como and Milan. After her it was called Malgrato, later transformed into Malgrate. In the 14th century, the Azzone Visconti bridge was built, making it possible to reach Lecco by land, because until then it was only possible by ferry. In the 19th century it reached its heyday, when it was even called “Venice of Lario”!

💡 One of the greatest minds of his time, the genius Italian inventor Pietro Vasena, was born here! In 1948, he set a world diving record using a hand-made submarine… It dives to a depth of 412 m to establish for the first time that Como is the deepest Italian lake.

The promenade to end the day

The dramatic scenery to the opposite coast and the surrounding mountains of Resegone, San Martino and Grigne are fabulous! But even more so after the reconstruction of the promenade, which has now become a wonderful place to relax at the end of the day… Green spaces with plenty of seating, pleasant restaurants overlooking the water and a spectacular water area, creating the feeling that a promenade and a lake merge into one… I would choose to stay in Malgrat every time, just for those walks around the waters of the lake! And in the opposite Lecco, the euphoria was huge, the local football team won promotion to Serie B (the second level of Italian football)… the city was celebrating!

Captivated by the atmosphere of the place, we decided to end the day with a light bite and a cocktail in hand. There are enough restaurants and bars to satisfy you, despite our partial failure. We had chosen La Botte, but after a 20 minute wait for service, we were informed that the kitchen had just closed and they could only offer us drinks… That’s why we moved to next door – Soqquadro. High prices, bad service, but in the end they didn’t manage to spoil our mood from the wonderful view of the coast in Malgrate!

The most impressive view over Como

You can add to your plan an invigorating morning walk to perhaps the most impressive panoramic view over Lake Como! I discovered this place on a previous visit to the area and I guarantee you that the climb up to the Pian Sciresa viewpoint is worth it. In the article “Above Lake Como” you can read detailed information. The walk through the forest isn’t long and leads to a built platform where you can enjoy the whole gulf and the high cliffs rising above the coast of Lecco and Malgrate…