Since Roman times, the aristocracy and the wealthy have flocked to Lake Como, one of Italy's most famous bodies of water, because of its proximity to the Alps and its many cultural and artistic treasures. It's home to several sprawling residences like the Villa Olmo and Villa Carlotta.

George Clooney, a Hollywood star, is just one of several celebrities who had or currently have a property on Lake Como's shoreline. As the third-largest lake in Italy, the fifth deepest in Europe, and the deepest outside of Norway, Lake Como has several fascinating hidden facts that add to its appeal.

10 Despite Its Immensity, Lake Como Has Only One Island: Isola Comacina

Near the western side of Lake Como's Como arm, in front of a gulf known as Zoca de l'oli (a Lombard name referring to the local small-scale manufacturing of olive oil), is the wooded island of Isola Comacina. Spectacular vistas and verdant Mediterranean greenery are two of the island's most notable features. From the medieval complex of Santa Maria Maddalena in Ossuccio, visitors can take a private taxi boat to the island of Comacina or take a ferry operated by the Lake Como Public Navigation Company.

9 Lake Como Has Had Many Names

The Ancient Greeks named the lake Lario at first. This name, derived from the word 'lar,' and meaning 'deep,' was changed to Lacus Larius by the Romans, who also dubbed it Lacus Comensis, later abbreviated to just 'Como.' Commonly referred to as Lago di Como in modern-day Italy, the lake is also known as Lake Como, Lake of Como, or Como Lake in guidebooks. It takes its name from the city of Como, which is home to countless works of art, cathedrals, gardens, museums, theaters, parks, and palaces, and is one of the most visited cities in the Lombardy area.

Related: These Are The Best Things To Experience In Lake Como

8 With Almost 100 Kilometers Of Shoreline, Lake Como Boasts One Of The Longest Coastlines In Europe

Its mountain-backed shoreline, complete with exquisite mansions, magnificent gardens, winding walks, and little churches, provides visitors with spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding area. Lake Como's shores, dotted with beaches and resorts, offer a relaxing space where locals and tourists can unwind on hot days. Sala Comacina, one of the lake's beaches, is a modest sandy beach with dark sand and is located within Teresio Olivelli Park, which has lawns, a playground, and football and volleyball fields.

7 Several Mountains Surround The Lake

Lake Como's mountains and valleys are some of the most beautiful in the Lugano Prealps region. By exploring the area on foot, visitors can appreciate the rolling hills and dense forests for what they are. Como is home to 215 named peaks that attract visitors worldwide. Monte Cardinello is at the top of the list (2520 m). It stands atop the Lugano Prealps in the Lepontine Alps, a mountain range in the northwestern portion of the Alps. Monte San Primo is the highest peak. Travelers can go there if they like mountainous summer vacations or winter activities; the amenities are versatile enough for either.

6 Lake Como Has Inspired Many Poets, Writers, Musicians, And Artists

Numerous painters have drawn inspiration from Lake Como over the centuries. Spending time on the lake and its serene waters have inspired writers, painters, musicians, and filmmakers to develop new ideas, imagery, and creative directions. Franz Liszt aptly characterized the quiet beauty of the lake when he stated of Lake Como, "I have never seen another place where the charms of a life of love can appear more natural. I do not know of any other place that is more demonstratively graced by heaven."

Hollywood has frequently chosen Lake Como as a location for its blockbuster films because of its stunning landscape and picturesque cities. In 2004, Ocean's Twelve, starring Lake Como resident George Clooney, was filmed on-site at the lake. Casino Royale (2006), Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002), The Other Man (2008) with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, The Luzhin Defence (2001) with Emily Watson and John Turturro, and Al Pacino's Bobby Deerfield (1977), to name just a few, were all filmed in or around the lake.

4 The Winds On The Lake Are Distinctive

The lake lies in a basin bordered by mountains cut up by valleys descending to its shores. The waters of the lake, particularly those near the Lecco branch and the northern part of the lake, benefit from the wide range of air currents made possible by these features. As a result, there can be dramatic shifts in the state of the water. The lake can be tricky to sail, full of unexpected obstacles. It is possible to go from calm to being buffeted by a strong wind and surrounded by rough, choppy waters quickly.

Related: 10 Beautiful Italian Lakes To Add To Your Travel Bucket List

3 Lake Como Has The Shape Of An Inverted Y

Lake Como is shaped like an inverted Y and has three separate branches, with the northern branch commencing in Colico, the Lecco branch to the southeast, and the most famous chapter, that of Como, to the southwest, making views of the lake superb from each end. Because of its peculiar upside-down Y shape, Lake Como has the longest perimeter of any lake, measuring 171 kilometers.

2 Lake Como Has Tons Of Villas

Like in the past, Lake Como is a popular vacation spot for the well-to-do who can afford to settle in one of the charming coastal towns or purchase one of the numerous available villas. Its banks overlook historic houses of astonishing beauty and refinement, representing great architectural marvels from the 16th to the 19th century. Sometimes, the estates that comprise these imposing structures house rare plants from different parts of the world.

1 Lake Como Receives A Lot Of Rain

The winters are cold and damp in Como, which has a humid temperate climate. Summer weather ranges from mild to hot, with plenty of sunshine and frequent thunderstorms. Como receives the most rain among Italian regions, and lake levels can rise when the lake spills over its banks. Visitors to Lake Como may enjoy the area even if it rains by checking out the many museums and eateries that line the lake.