In the land of the Aesthetes: Take me to Lake Como!


On the shores of Lake Como

When I meditate, (yes, I sometimes do!), I always picture myself sitting on the terrace of a beautiful Italian palazzo (albeit renovated and with all the modern facilities…) on board of the lake Como. I might add that, up until last May, I had never actually visited the place. I guess you can blame it on George!

This was a very short day-trip from Milan and it left me wanting for more. We only had the time to take a quick boat trip to Bellagio and back, and a short walk in the picturesque town. This is a place that combines the best of everything: a beautiful location, great weather, the Italian flair and some of the best Swiss  characteristics. This is a popular retreat for aristocrats and the wealthy going back to Roman times. Many Italians and Swiss have houses and frequently spend their vacation time here. As you can imagine, it can be an expensive indulgence but it is definitely worth visiting even for a couple of days. Surely “bucket list” material!

I was mesmerised by the views along the lake and beyond. The majestic and obviously well maintained palazzi on the shores of the various “villages” are something out of a fairy tale, a feast for the eyes!

Bellagio

Bellagio

The town of Como

May is a good month to visit in order to benefit from the good weather, before it gets too hot and too crowded. There were already lots of tourists visiting, mainly in groups.

The Jewel of the Crown Villa d’Este is one of Italy’s best-know properties. It occupies an enviable spot in Cernobbio, amid 25 acres of a luxuriously landscaped park.

Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola is behind nearly every aspect of the design of Il Sereno, the first new hotel to be built on top of an existing arched stone boathouse on the shores of the lake, in several decades!

The elegant and bustling town is the primary and commercial centre for Lake Como. Grand villas, palazzi, and churches show the city’s splendour, while colourful piazzas show off its charm. Situated on the lakeshore, it has a marina and a hydroplane “airport” along with its ferry port. Stroll on the promenade and enjoy the views. There are plenty of things to do, concerts, shows and museums to explore.

The town boasts a Duomo, a stellar cathedral that was started in 1396 and constructed over the course of four centuries! A must during any visit is the Como-Brunate funicolare, a steeply inclined railcar ride that takes you up to the village of Brunate. You will have gorgeous sweeping views of the lake, the mountains and the plains of Lombardy beyond.

I have vowed to myself to visit again soon! With a car to drive around to discover it all!

 

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