Visit one of the many villas overlooking the lake
We loved Villa Carlotta with its small collection of restored rooms and much larger and diverse gardens. Explore the 17th century villa and enjoy the views from the balcony of boats darting across the lake from town to town. You could spend hours in the gardens enjoying the various ‘rooms’ or sections. There are formal and organic spaces created over 70,000 square metres to explore.
Villa Carlotta is open daily from March to October and on selected days during the winter. Adult admission is €10 and children under 6 visit for free.
A private boat cruise
I absolutely covet this experience and unfortunately this time it was not to be. Take a 2 hour or half day tour of the major sites in a classic wooden topped speedboat and you are bound to feel instantly glamorous. If you have an active imagination and a smaller budget ride the many ferries that connect Lake Como’s pretty towns. Just add scarf and shades and stand on the deck of the boat in awe of the beauty that surrounds you.
Taxi Boat Varenna day tours were recommended to us by the host at the apartment where we stayed. We saw the boats out on the water and they looked so sleek and elegant.
Ferries depart from various towns along the lake throughout the day. The main ports are Como, Bellagio and Mennagio – visit the local ferry operator for timetables and more information.
Watch the sunset at the water's edge
I defy anyone, even the most hardened and grumpy of souls, to not be entranced watching the sun edge its way down over the horizon, behind the alps. We saw a few sunsets on the days we visited but none matched the rose hued beauty of the sun descending behind the mountains from Bellagio.
Shop the boutiques and experience a food festival
Como is a thriving city and we browsed several stores selling beautiful homewares and fashion. You will also find local produce stores with a variety of specialties from the Lombardy region.
A carefully chosen accessory always helps me feel more glamorous. Bellagioseta in Bellagio is world famous for its selection of silk scarves, ties and leather goods.
Sophia Loren famously said “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti”. Far be it for me to argue with the great actress. If you are looking for an amazing meal in Lake Como attend the local food festival. Apart from enjoying a delicious meal you will notice that the people of the city are dressed to impress.