Monday, July 28, 2008

Honeymoon to...Lake Como, Italy

Just a half hour from Milan, Lake Como is an oasis of tranquillity with a winning combination of lush Mediterranean foliage and snowy alpine peaks. The lake is surrounded by beautiful villas and resort villages as well as hiking paths. It is one of the top romantic destinations in the world with plenty to do and beautiful, unparalleled sights to see.

Things to Do & Sights to See
Ristorante Il Caminetto Cookery Lessons
Within the walls of this family owned and operated restaurant, you'll learn how to prepare prepare handmade pasta, risotto and a fabulous stuffed and rolled meat. The chef, Moreno, is a fluent English speaker and his lessons are enlivened with stories and anecdotes. The cooking lesson is in the morning, and you finish off the day with a dinner among your fellow classmates and Moreno, partaking of the dishes you prepared earlier in the day!

Villa Carlotta
One of the historic villas to visit situated on Lake Como. Wander the lush gardens then have a bite to eat at the cafe on site. The top floor of the villa has an incredible view of the lake, and is a particularly cool place to visit on a hot day.

Villa Balbianello
Accessable by water or walking from the town of Lenno, this villa has been used in two different movies (Star Wars Episode II, and Casino Royale). Filled with beautifully kept gardens and amazing views, this villa is definitely not one to miss.

Piazza Cavour
This historic town square began in 1876 and features the historic monument called "Weaver," which commemorates the 25th anniversary of Rome as a capital of the state. A fun place to visit with more amazing views.

Castello di Vezio
A small hike from the town square of Varenna will get you to the medieval Castello di Vezio. Once there, enjoy the spectacular views and historical ruins of this amazing castle. For lunch, try the small medieval-themed restaurant il Feudo. The grounds of the castle also host a falconry, managed by a full-time falconer whom you can meet and greet.

Lake Como is surrounded by amazing villages and resorts. Some of the notable villages include:

Known as the pearl of the lake. It is easy to get to by ferry from other cities on the lake.
720m above Como, this village is great for hiking trails and beautiful views of the lake and the Alps.
This walled town has a historic center and lively squares with nice cafes. There are several walking paths near town. Como makes a good base if you're traveling by train.
Built against the mountains, Menaggio is a lively resort with a lakeside promenade. It is popular with outdoor enthusiasts for walking or hiking, swimming, windsurfing, and rock climbing.
This fishing village has picturesque narrow alleyways and streets below a castle (Castello di Vezio) and a lakeside walking path.

Sumptuous Italian cuisine. Need I say more?

Where to Stay
There are many wonderful places to stay around Lake Como. Some of the following are:
Hotel Centrale Bellagio
Located near the center of Bellagio, this small hotel is full of beautiful gardens and an incredibly friendly staff. The owner, Giacomo Borelli, will do everything to make your stay enjoyable. Read more about this hotel right here.
Hotel Aurora
Run by the Gregorio Family, this hotel is accommodating with a warm, friendly atmosphere. There is a restaurant and pizzeria on the terrace directly on the lake, a sun deck, water ski and wake board school, canoe and kayak rental, and a rich buffet breakfast. Read more about this hotel right here.
Hotel du Lac
This intimate hotel is set in a villa dating from 1812. The staff is very friendly and accommodating and breakfast is served on the terrace on the shores of Lake Como. Read more about it right here.
You can view more great hotels via Trip Advisor.

Quick Facts
Language: Italian, although most hotel owners speak English.
Money: Euro is the currency used in Lake Como.
Weather: Rather than explain it all, here is an extremely helpful website with weather explanations for every month.
Get there: Fly into Milan, then take a taxi or charter service to the location you are staying around Lake Como. Some places are only accesable by water taxi or ferry, so be sure to plan for this as well.

Picture Credits:
Ristorante Il Caminetto Cookery Lessons here.
Villa Carlotta via Trip Advisor.
Villa Balbianello via Trip Advisor.
Piazza Cavour via Flickr.
Castello di Vezio via Trip Advisor.


Anonymous said...

Heavenly destination is right. Beautiful. Lots of variety of things to do.

Fifi Flowers said...

That would all make for a WONDERFUL honeymoon! WOW!


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