I’m sharing my first instalment of my trip to the beautiful Lakes of North Italy/South of Switzerland. The first Lake we headed for was Como. This is probably the most well known of the Italian Lakes, not because it is the largest of them all, but probably because it is the most quintessential of what you imagine the lakes to be like with tonnes of old school glam.
I was fortunate enough to be in the passenger seat when driving there because I literally could not take my eyes off the Lake views. Lake Como was lined with pastel colour properties, some giant villas and beautiful green cypress trees.
Where we stayed
We stayed in Tremezzo, which is home to the famous Grand Tremezzo Hotel, and it is fair to say it is absolutely striking but comes at a hefty price tag, one beyond our means, but I searched for other beautiful hotels in the village which had the same romantic charm and came across Hotel Villa Marie.
It is situated right on the Lake front and the views are undeniably stunning. If you go in the summer months you can take full advantage of the pool and lounge chairs overlooking the rest of Lake Como.
It is a small hotel, with less than 50 rooms and is great value for money, we were able to stay in the gigantic junior suite at a very reasonable price given the wow factor it offers.
What we did
The best way to get around Como is by boat. You can either get a private water limo, hire a boat or get on the water taxi. The water taxi is the most economical way to get around and it stops at all the tourist favourites, Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio and Villa Carlotta. You can go further afield too, down to Como centre, but we had already stopped there on route from Milan.
Bellagio is the most popular, with its pretty winding streets full of little shops and restaurants, it is picture perfect but also pretty hectic considering it’s size so if you are looking for something a bit quieter than Varenna may be the place for you, not quite as colourful but definitely still as charming.
Como is full of loads of little villages so if you fancy going off the beaten track I would suggest hopping in a car and just stopping as and when something takes your fancy.
We only had 2 days here so we didn’t get to cover everything, so sadly didn’t make it inside any of the villas, but we have already said we would return without hesitation and so I hope to cover those next time.
Where we ate
You can’t go wrong with food in Italy full stop, but we discovered the most romantic restaurant we have ever been to… keep reading to find out more.
Our first night, we were recommended to try a small local restaurant called Antica Trattoria del Risorgimento. It doesn’t have a website but we were assured it was a family run restaurant with all local produce and homecooked food. I had the best truffle ravioli, and that was just the starter! There were only about 6 tables in total so it felt pretty exclusive.
Next up, as I stated above, most romantic restaurant ever, I know, it’s a pretty brave statement to make, but here’s why:
This incredible hidden gem restaurant was set high in the hills of Tremezzo and so you will need to drive or get a taxi up there. I think it was my favourite meal to date just because everything about it felt so special. It is someone’s home that they have opened and welcome people to enjoy their home cooked food with all vegetables grown in the garden itself! This little treasure is called Al Vellu, and I can’t recommend it enough, it was a highlight of the whole trip!