Lake Como

For a break from the city there's nothing better than a trip to Lake Como. Around the shores of its three conjoined stretches of water stand the most enchanting luxury villas, stunning gardens and romantic restaurants.

Where to begin? You're spoilt for choice. Bellagio is the heart of Lario. The village climbs up a green promontory; along its banks and in the surrounding area are several of the most well-known houses on Lake Como, including Villa Serbelloni and Villa Melzi.

You really should see Villa Melzi's English garden, brimming with rare plants and age-old trees.

To explore the other wonders of the lake, why not take a trip on one of the many tourist boats. We suggest you stop off at Lenno on the western shore of Lario.

The village is known for containing Villa del Balbianello, a sumptuous 18th-century residence and for being the set of several international films.

A little further around the lake from Lenno is Tremezzo, another famous town, known for Villa Carlotta, a magnificent lake-front residence dating back to the late 18th century.

Villa Carlotta has a large collection of artworks and is set in a sizeable botanical garden which figures in the list of Great Italian Gardens.

Want a postcard view? Take the cable car that links Como with Brunate.

It takes just a few minutes to climb 500 metres and enjoy a fabulous view: on a clear day not only can you see the town of Como and the lake but also the western Alps, a good stretch of the beautiful Padana Plain and even part of the Northern Apennines. Not bad, right!?!

Why visit it

For a romantic get-away.