By Danielle Snyder
Lake Como, Italy was the final destination of my honeymoon, and could not have been more tranquil, romantic or enchanting. With its shimmering water, exquisite gardens and low-key vibe, the area has a certain indescribable quality that makes it one-of-a-kind.
As with any trip, I mined my friends for tips, read articles and talked to locals. The below recommendations were the highlights from our stay.
WHERE TO STAY
I loved the Grand Hotel Tremezzo. It’s about an hour drive from Milan airport and in the town of Tremezzina. I could have spent days on its “beach” (floating pool) overlooking the lake and enjoying the breathtaking views from the hike on the historic property. The hotel opened in 1910 and maintains an old world sensibility — though in 2012 they added a more modern floor to the top. I prefer the historic aesthetic so recommend making sure you request a room that suits your style.
WHERE TO EAT
We tried a number of restaurants but my two favorites were the casual pizza spot near the pool at Hotel Tremezzo for lunch (its thin-crust pizza is the jam) and dinner at Ristorante da Paolo in the town of Menaggio. Menaggio is not as touristy as Bellagio and I loved the street vendors! I bought a few bracelets and a blouse made by local artisans. It’s a very small town so I recommend arriving about 45 minutes before dinner to walk around and explore.
WHAT TO DO
Take a boat tour on the lake! It’s the most magical place to be on a boat and there’s so much history. A lot of people recommend getting dropped off in the town of Belaggio. It wasn’t my favorite town — it’s become very touristy — but we loved our lunch at old-school restaurant La Punta, and it was worth going to Bellagio for it. La Punta has the biggest wine selection and a group of local fisherman catch its fish daily. Our waiter was Nick, whose family has run the restaurant for 60+ years. They serve the best pomodoro sauce I’ve ever had. I got the recipe for you below ;)
Bring a good book and spend some of your time reading while overlooking the lake. There is a certain calm in the air at Como that makes reading a good book heavenly. I read The Red Notice by Bill Browder and couldn’t put it down. It’s a real page-turner that also happens to be an important read.
Visit Villa Balbianello, the historic villa built for a cardinal in the late 18th century. If you love interior design you won’t want to skip this excursion.
Visit (or stay at) Villa d’Este, built in the 16th century, it’s considered one of the most exquisite properties in all of Europe. We didn’t make our way over this time, but we’ll just have to go back!