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Lake Como

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A mediterranean lake

Lake Como, located only 40 km north of Milan has for ages been a major tourist attraction due to its mild climate and beautiful surroundings. The rich and famous of all times have built their villas and landscaped their gardens here, along the panoramic shores of this lambda shaped beauty.

Starting from the city of Como itself, you may want to discover the western shore first, as this is where most of the historical villas and gardens are located. Not to be missed either is the city of Bellagio , situated at the intersection of the three branches of the lake.

Your first stop along the western shore would be Cernobbio with Villa d'Este surrounded by its italian gardens that still are in their original state (see the brochure for a description). The Villa nowadays functions as a top-class hotel .

Continuing north along the old Via Regina you pass picturesque villages until you see the only island of the lake, Isola Comancina that used to be a stronghold during the Middle Ages. You can take the boat across to the island to dine in the famous restaurant there.

Past the isle the most beautiful part of the shore begins, the Riviera della Tremezzina . Near Lenno look for the Villa Arconati Visconti Balbianello with its splendid loggia overlooking the lake.

Further north, at Tremezzo , you'll find Villa Carlotta , which hosts sculptures of Canova and paintings of Hayez and is again surrounded by a beautiful garden (entry at 9€).

The last stop along the shore would be Menaggio , from where car ferries depart for Bellagio . The timetable of the more or less hourly service can be downloaded here (pdf).

In Bellagio you may visit the beautiful park of the Villa Serbelloni hotel and Villa Melzi with its gardens .


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Copyright (C) Stef Smulders. All rights reserved.

Published by Sutro Media





"A unique introduction to 'the Italian way"



A charmingly lighthearted recollection"





Living in Italy

expat italy

Would you dare to follow your dream
and move or retire to Italy?

Stef & Nico did, although their dog Sara had her doubts.
Now from your comfortable armchair you can share in
the hilarious & horrendous adventures they experienced
when they moved to Italy to start a bed and breakfast.


For lovers of amusing travelogue memoirs who like a good laugh
Glossary of Italian words included! Learn a bit of the Italian language along the way
Practical advice on how to buy a house in Italy pleasantly presented within the stories



A charmingly lighthearted recollection” Kirkus Reviews

A comical, often downright hilarious account” Reader’s Favorite Review

Smulders’ storytelling artistry is wildly entertaining” Blogcritics/Reader Views