Lake Como; an Italian gem set against the insanely beautiful backdrop of the Alps. A bucket list city for me, Lake Como was the ultimate destination on my list of Italian to-do’s. It’s reknown as not just Italy’s greatest lake, but one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and wow did it live up to that and more. Dreamy boat days with crystal clear water, peachy yellows of the villages, and a backdrop of mountain peaks– You truly feel like you are in the most beautiful place in the world.
A few things to note — Never too hot, never too cold… Rose-colored apartments, shuttered windows… elderly couples water their flowerbeds and neighbors chat about their garden yields of the day… It’s quiet when you need to take a breath, but bustling when you just want to dance the night away… There are romantic street corners for stealing a kiss, and dimly-lit cobblestone paths for when you just want to walk through the city hand-in-hand. Heaven on earth? Basically.
Madison and I visited Lake Como after an insanely busy season for us – and it was just the spot to relax and reset. I recommend taking a deep breath upon arriving, inhaling the peace that this city has to offer.. Just soak up every single minute.. You won’t regret forgetting your to-do list and calling this place home, even if just for a few days.
If you are lucky enough to visit, check out my list of must see’s/must do’s below… They won’t disappoint. You are going to want to stay while….like forever..
The view of the lake at La Messaria… Stunning. Not to mention the service and food is equally impeccable. Serious advice – Dessert is not to be missed here. I had the Tiramisu and was absolutely sold. (I might have had two!)
A Bellagio lunch must!! Amazing wine selection, and their creamy buffalo mozzarella appetizer cannot be beat. It’s cute and quaint inside, but we really enjoyed sitting outside on a nice day.
A Michelin-star restaurant overlooking the lake; We sat outside on the terrace and started the night with wine.
Brilliant and Farm to table – Modern with a tasting menu twist – The Market Place offers a fresh, thoughtful and curated menu.
Chic setting, casual menu – My favorite. Located in the Villa d’Este, this restaurant is a lunch go-to. With a Mediterranean menu, I can always find the perfect vegetarian option that doesn’t make that night’s pasta feel so bad…
Food is amazing, but paired with the historical setting… It’s located right on the lake and you can literally feel the water breeze. I had the tomato with lemon appetizer. Amazing!
Sips!! Rustic interior and an ambience to beat, this cocktail shop offers unusual spirits and innovative spritzes. Apparently you can order off-the-menu drinks… Definitely going to ask about that next time…
One of my favorite outdoor scenes in Como… It’s a short jaunt out of the city but seems like it’s many miles away. (PS It’s in a hotel that is also worth a stay!) A highlight of their seasonal menu are the truffle dish options – To die for!!
Can’t possibly link one here, but I recommend wandering Veranna and finding a local spot to dine. We stumbled upon one that I can’t find, but the husband and wife who owned it ate their dinner with their son next to us while we were eating ours, and we talked the night away. Was so special.
This is a must – It was one of our favorite parts of Lake Como – Getting on the lake! Your hotel will probably have a boat company provider, (that’s what we did!), and I SO encourage you to take a ride. It is worth the spend to go privately. Madison and I sat in the back and truly took in the view. I’ll never forget it.
An eastern shore city – Varenna is a quaint village and worth exploring. It’s like taking a trip back in time – You are suddenly transported. Wander around the local shops and the town center. You won’t regret it!
Bellagio is placed between the two southern branches of Lake Como – where you can wander cobble stone streets and truly get lost in the beauty of this town. I recommend wandering with no real plan.. That’s when the best adventures happen!
20-30 minute hike (workout of the day!) that leads to a ruined castle and surprisingly an old town – Vezio. We weren’t even sure the town was accessible by car, but after speaking to a few locals (the friendliest people ever!) we learned that there was a very old road tucked in the town that led to the main street. This city was worth the exploring. There is also a tower in the middle of town and the views are amazing!
Simply majestic – This museum is a must-visit. The botanical garden is breath-taking, and the art collection hosts many of the greats.
Walk along Como’s Waterfront
No better way to start a morning than to grab a cup of coffee, and take a walk down the sandy shore. Mad and I started many morning this way – It’s a great way to reset and there is no view quite like it.
Lively, energetic, entoxicating – People dance into the night here and I can’t say that I blame them. Our few nights at Hotel Tremezzo were two of the best on our trip. Do not miss the wood-oven pizzas served under the umbrellas.
This hotel is located on the Lake Shore in Varenna and has an absolutely stunning view of the water. We had a lovely balcony, and the hotel has quite a few delightful dining options. If you want to be in Varenna for a night or two, this is the perfect place to do so!
With only 30 rooms, this place is hard to book. But the modern architecture of this hotel is not worth missing; even if for an afternoon sprit. With gardens aplenty, the location can’t be beat
With 25-acres of gardens, I couldn’t have been more amazed. We had a very comfortably sized room with a beautiful lake view, and thoroughly enjoyed the options of 3 restuarants, 3 bars, tennis courts and pool / spa. This hotel is truly (in all sense of the word) GRAND.
Quiet and reasonably priced, Russall is peaceful, quiet and comfortable. Relax over lunch with the view of the lake and mountains, play tennis at their local court (we love to play, even though I never win!) or lay by the pool – This hotel staff is friendly and I highly recommend a stay.