Undoubtly the ancient and characteristic villages, the wild nature and the manicured gardens of the neoclassical mansions make Lake Como a unique place full of charm and magic. What about a dip in its waters? 😉
Just 1 hour from Milan, continuing northwards after Lecco but just before Varenna, you run into a small village named Lierna
A little further on there is a beautiful bay of white stones bordered by a band of green lawn and with a stunning view: Riva Bianca beach (literally White Side).
On one side the bay is closed by the village of Castello, on the other by villas surrounded by trees overlooking the lake.
The dominant color of the entire shore is the green of different shades and the bay offers a stunning panoramic view of Lake Como and its cape Bellagio.
I have often met a couple of geese who are regular guests at Riva Bianca. They move all over the beach like they own the place but their attitude is clumsy and very funny.
The beach is very well maintained and access is free.
Lunch at “Pizzeria Riva Bianca”
Right on the beach there is a cozy restaurant-pizzeria Pizzeria Riva Bianca with typical local dishes and pizza cooked in a wood oven. It’s quite unusual to have lunch by the lake with an incredible view at such affordable prices, which is why I recommend you book an outdoor table by calling at least a couple of days in advance.
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Address: Via Riva Bianca 10, 23827 Lierna, Italy
Tel: +39 342 769 5767
Cost of meals:
Pizza 6-10 euro
First courses: 7-9 euro
Second courses: 8-14 euro
Local wines glass: 3 euro
Castello di Lierna
It is mandatory to visit the Castello, which gives you beautiful views of the lake through ancient stone buildings. The castle, which played a defensive role, has been rebuilt many times, but the ancient walls, the watchtower and the Church of St. Mauritius and Lazarus of the XI century have been preserved to this day.
It is believed that Adelaide, Queen of Burgundy, lived in the Castle kidnapped by the usurper Berengario. She was freed by a friar and a group of knights, who led her to the court of Otto I of Germany, who married her, making her the empress of the Holy Roman Empire.
How to get to Riva Bianca in Lierna
The village of Lierna can be reached by train from Milan Central Station or Porta Garibaldi. From the station to the beach the walk is short and will take about 10 minutes.
If you plan to travel by car remember to leave early because there are few parking lots and more and more people attend the beach.
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Milk river “Fiumelatte”
After enjoying a few hours on the beach and a delicious lunch, you could proceed further towards another attraction on the road to Varenna: Fiumelatte. The mountain stream called Milk River runs and bounces so fast on the boulders that the splashes form a real white foam. It really looks like milk! It is also the shortest river in Italy (250 meters long) and with a nice walk you can reach the spring.