Motti Verses
Motti Verses

Living in a painting – Lake Como Italy

Italy was always one of my favorite countries to visit. Trust me, I have explored endless corners of all its regions. This time, one of the most amazing lakes in Europe was the destination. A true Italian I respect explains its beauty so charmingly. “Are you looking for a 365 days retreat?” asks Alessio Colavecchio,General Manager Hilton Lake Como. “Relax, enjoy great Italian food, beautiful colors. Live in a painting – Lake Como”, he says with confidence.

Well said Alessio, Lake Como is the most glamorous of Italy’s lakes, hemmed in by the snow-capped Alps with picture-perfect villages on the water. It ripes for exploration, with forested mountains providing memorable views.

Here are my recommendations for a 3 days visit to this picturesque lake, making Como as your starting base:

Bellagio – a lovely town with a great deal of character on the shores of the lake (photo by Motti Verses)

Day 1 – A narrow, snaking road travels north, perched halfway up the hills above the lake. With its twists and turns, it’s a great place to test your car’s performance with the narrow lanes and blind corners testing even the most experienced driver’s ability. The road snakes its way through quiet, rustic villages with breathtaking views over the lake, and authentic lakeside restaurants and lidos down below. Keep following the signs towards Bellagio. It is a lovely town with a great deal of character on the shores of the lake. A few hours’ stroll will make you the happiest.Late afternoon, we embarked our car on the ferry to Cadenabbia on the other side and drove south back to Como at sunset. What a day!

Bellano – located at the foot of Mount Muggio (photo by Motti Verses)

Day 2 – The main road, continued by the SS36 highway will take you rather fast to the remote part of the lake. We chose Bellano as a starting point. The village is located at the foot of Mount Muggio with a dreamy landscape. A lovely promenade is the perfect place for a stroll. Walk down to the pier then return to the piazza for a coffee or aperitivo. The narrow alleys meander through Bellano lined with medieval houses, are recommended, before driving south on the lake road to Varenna. In the past it was initially a fishing village, but after the buildings of several villas, now it is one of the most elegant destinations of Lake Como.

Varenna – one of the most elegant destinations of the lake (photo by Motti Verses)

Walking alone Varenna will leave you speechless. Take your time. We drove further south to Lecco. The town is in a lovely location at the southern tip of the lake. The highlight is the waterfront area, with its views along the lake and between the mountains, and the surrounding old town of Lecco. A short hour will do to appreciate the setting. Walk or bike on the promenade around the waterfront area. It  is very lovely and you will want to allow the time to stroll around,  enjoying the views before heading back to Como.

Como’s Duomo is certainly the most impressive building of the city (photo by Motti Verses)

Day 3 – Discovering the city of Como is a magical experience. Como’s Cathedral (Duomo di Como) is certainly the most impressive building of the city, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and dating from the 14th century. Its Gothic image with the stone statues on its facade and its characteristic small towers wasn’t completed before the 18th century. Get lost in the narrow streets of the old town and enjoy a coffee in the bustling Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini or Piazza Cavour in front of the Cathedral and next to the harbor. It is recommended to take the cable car which crosses the mountain on the east side of the lake and leads to the mountain village Brunate, which also offers great views of the lake. We skipped it, as the queue was long and endless. Try to start your day there the earliest.

Piazza Roma Ristorante Como” – a generous host and delicious servings (photo by Motti Verses)

For a marvelous Dinner experience we highly recommend “Piazza Roma Ristorante Como”.This is the best place to go if you want to feel well taken care of both through the generous host and the delicious servings. An intime salon and a kitchen where the two chefs do their magic are the scenery. The fish platter for appetizer and the catch of the day were superb. An evening to cherish.

General Manager, Alessio Colavecchio:”Relax, enjoy great Italian food, beautiful colors. Live in a painting” (photo by Motti Verses)

Accommodations – On the slopes surrounding the lake, Hilton Lake Como is  – for my money – the perfect place to call a home away from home. One will never forget the panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains from this rooftop infinity pool and sky-high bar. “Normally I would say a room with a view, well, Hilton Lake Como is a view with a room”, says General Manager Alessio Colavecchio. “We offer a fantastic rooftop terrace and please, just enjoy it”. We sure did. Every day and evening.

One will never forget the panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains – Hilton Lake Como (photo by Motti Verses)

Lake Como Italy – living in a painting

About the Author
The author is the former Head of Public Relations of Hilton Resorts and Hotels in Israel
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