Lake Como is an excellent idea for those who like to travel to shorter destinations that can be reached without a plane. You can reach this interesting location by car, you will need six and a half hours from Zagreb, and you can also visit places on the road like Verona or Sirmione on Lake Garda. The offer of accommodation is diverse and numerous, from private apartments, houses, boutique hotels to all those luxury five-star hotels.
At the foot of the Alps in northern Italy, Lake Como deserves its reputation as a playground for the rich. Almost abandoned during the winter, the lake in the form of a pillow comes from sleep in mid-March, when Italians and tourists go to enjoy the sunshine of glamorous places like Bellagio, Menaggia, Tremezza, Varenna. In recent years, the city of Como, in the southwestern part of the lake, blossomed blissfully in the most interesting place for visitors with bank accounts of all sizes.
The recently opened luxury hotel, Hilton Lake Como, besides the designed rooms with a spectacular view of the lake from the bed, offers other unforgettable experiences for its guests. For warmer spring days, there is the Aperitivo rooftop bar with infinity pool where you can enjoy the Aperol Spritz, an Italian refreshing speciality, overlooking the city of Como. While many hotels are closed from November to March, Hilton will welcome you throughout the year so you can as well enjoy the winter days at the Eforea Spa & Health Club where you will find everything you need for relaxation.
Before you go to the city of Como, we suggest you to go at the most beautiful viewpoint. For years, the famous yellow funicular rises to Brunate, a small town situated about 1,600 meters above the lake (return ticket, 5,30 euros). Upon arrival, leave the masses behind you, continue on foot down a steep rocky road, less than a kilometre long, which will bring you to Faro Voltiano, a lighthouse at the nearby top. The award for completing the trip is the mildness of loneliness and unbeatable panorama of the city and the lake.
Without the invitation for a private party in the luxurious villa beside the lake, the night scene of Lake Como is limited. In Como, you can walk in the evening to Fresco Cocktail Shop, a comfortable bar that delivers Italian classics and offers an exceptional drink offering to satisfy even the most demanding ones. Order drink named Flor, a refreshing spin on Aperol, menta and champagne, and it is complemented by a creamy foamy fruity passion (9 euros).
A dinner table with a view can be booked on the top floor of the Hilton Hotel at the Terrazza 241 restaurant, offering 360 degree views of city lights and lakes. In addition to aperitifs you can try Italian delicacies such as butterfly caps with martinium butter, mussels fried in butter with martini, ravioli stuffed with mussels or other shellfish.
During the sightseeing of Como stop in the famous café bar Cremeria Bolla, which has been since 1893 a favorite place for morning caffeine addicts. Enjoy the top cappuccino on the terrace, the delightful view from which you will see how the city streets revive. Then head to the nearby cathedral with the green dome, the Duomo di Como, whose origin dates back to the late 14th century. Among the treasures in the interior is a collection of ancient paintings by Renaissance artist Gaudenzia Ferrari.
When you have already seen Como, we suggest visiting two more picturesque towns, Bellagio and Varenne, which became very popular at Instagram due to its “colourful” architecture, beautiful views of the lake and the Alps, and narrow alleys filled with bars and restaurants hiding true Italian hedonism. Both are about 50 minutes away from Como, and if you are not with the car, you can get to them by bus or boat.
Many famous people are faithful visitors of this magnificent lake, and many of them, like George Clooney, have their own hidden luxury villa, where they come with seaplanes that you can often see as they go down to the lake. Many of the beautiful villas on the shores of Lake Como remain a private domain of privileged residents, but some are open to visitors. One of the most beautiful is the magnificent Villa Charlotta, the former marquis of the 17th century, which functions as a museum today. Located across the lake in Tremezzo, a twenty-minute drive by ferry west of Bellagio, the large villa today features artwork, including sculptures by Antonio Canova. But the most interesting are the romantic Italian gardens surrounding the villa, where on about 20 hectares are grown camellias, rhododendron, roses and citrus trees (entrance, 9 euros).
You can complete this itinerary for 48 hours on Lake Como. But we certainly recommend that you steal another day and enjoy the real sweet life offered by this world-famous luxury oasis.