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Lake Como’s marvellous in May, when springtime blooms line pretty promenades and villa gardens flourish in flowery glory. The summer holiday crowds haven’t set in yet, giving you plenty of space and time to explore this legendary Italian lake.
The water might be a little too nippy for a dip (around 16°C at this time of year), but daylight hours are on the increase (a good 15 or so) so there’s plenty of time to enjoy the views from the lake’s edge. You also have lidos and heated hotel pools if you want to get some lengths in. If you’re happy to don a wetsuit, this is the beginning of the kitesurfing season and conditions are good for windsurfing too – find the best winds and services to the north of the lake.
Temperature wise, the transition from spring to summer tends to be well underway, with average highs of 20°C and lows of 12°C. It’s an excellent time of year to do some of the big hikes and bike rides, before the heat and humidity kick in. There’s rain on around 12 days of the month, totalling 190mm or so throughout the whole of May.
The lake hosts food festivals all year round, and in May it’s the turn of none other but the Asparagus! The Asparagus Festival in historic Rogaro celebrates the spindly green wonder with asparagus themed dishes to try, an award for the best bunch of asparagus and an asparagus auction…
Lake Como International Music Festival has been the main event on the annual calendar since 2006, with concerts hosted in gorgeous villas, palazzos, gardens and chapels around the lake – often accompanied by dinner and/or tours of the venue. In recent years, Villa Carlotta has hosted a Sunset in Music event on Fridays in May, featuring Italian opera stars, stonking sunsets and a historic setting.
The British May bank holidays make a terrific time for a long weekend on the lake, and you’ll find plenty to fill a few days with from villa tours to mountain hikes.
If you’re here with the family over May half term, you can spend the warmest days on the lidos, hire a boat to explore the lake or take leisurely walks and bike rides to old villages and castles.
Get a feel of what other months are like in Lake Como with our guides of the lake in June, July, August, September and October. You can also find more on the different villages through our pages on Bellagio, Mennagio, Lenno, Tremezzo and Cadenabbia.