Lake Como has a gloomy, yet nostalgic aura which inspires romantics from all over the world. The colorful houses on the cliffs kissing the water are postcard material, especially if you are in a boat and you are looking from the angle of the water. It is an area where a lot of rich folks have vacation homes, so it has a cosmo/tourist ambience, especially in the summer.
There are a lot of small villages around Lake Como, as it stretches all the way up north Italy, close to Switzerland.
Best way to experience the whole thing is through a boat tour.
The train station in Varenna is key if you want to get around in the area.