Lake Como or Lario
Among the large sub-alpine basins, Lake Como or Lario is the third lake in extension and the deepest (410 m at Argegno). Its upside-down "Y" shape is characteristic and due to the bifurcation in the direction of the glacier, blocked in its descent towards the valley, by the Mount Palanzone ridge. Though Lake Como is situated at the slopes of the pre-Alps, it presents Mediterranean vegetation, for which it was admired by the Greek colonies reaching Northern Italy. Lake Como was also loved by the Romans and the Lombards: the construction of the Strada Regina (Queen's Road), which departs from Como, was decided by the Lombard Queen Teodolinda. In more recent times, the Lake was an inspiration for the artists and intellectuals of the Romanticism, pulled to the area by its atmosphere, particularly suitable for meditation and creative impulse. Still today, the area attracts a great number of tourists, due to the charm of its environment, its precious artistic heritage, the possibility to engage in aquatic sports and in the higher altitudes, summer and winter mountain sports. The Cathedral and the "Broletto" in Como, the splendid noble villas and Romanesque churches scattered around the lake are the proof of an ancient and glorious history. This history comes alive in the splendour of the characteristic villages, their picturesque small ports and renowned local crafts products, such as glass, leather, wood and silk objects.