Lake Como is beautiful. So glorious in fact that it is difficult to express in words until you actually see it. Despite the numerous crowds it attracts every year, Lake Como has managed to sustain its majestic quality. Surrounded by overbearing mountains, sleepy villages and opulent villas, we adored spending a long weekend in Cernobbio.
The Lake has a long history of captivating all the stars in the book (George Clooney has a house there) and has been the prominent backdrop of many films such as James Bond’s Casino Royale and Ocean’s 12. Can we blame really them? The lake stretches across many towns such as Bellagio, Varenna and Tremezzo and we recommend exploring them by a local ferry (those who are really chic will hire a private riviera) where you can visit some of Lake Como’s precious jewels.
For garden lovers we suggest visiting Villa Carlotta where the plush landscape rolls down to the water’s edge. For the James Bond fans (and those who want a taste of the glamorous life) we suggest visiting Villa Balbianello which can only be reached by boat. The villa is so beautiful that it will quite literally leave you breathless.
Where to stay: We stayed in Cernobbio that sits 10 minutes from the lively town of Como, in the truly outstanding Casa Toldino, a stylish and impeccable property with stunning lake views. Casa Toldino has 3 bedrooms and you need to book the whole property. The host, Jennifer, was exceptional in supporting us during our stay with great insights on local restaurants and information on sightseeing opportunities. You can book this property through Airbnb. https://abnb.me/oDuTaw7Jf7
Where to Shop: We suggest strolling through the streets of Como which is crammed with independent shops and a joyful way to spend the day. Located at the southern tip of the lake, the town of Como is famous for its silk production which you can visit at the museum of silk- perfect for a late afternoon visit.
Where to eat: In Cernobbio, we dinned Il Gatto Nero, an elegant restaurant with a great lake view just above Casa Toldino which can be reached by foot. We also loved dinning at Osteria Beuc, both restaurants adored by locals. The food at Trattoria del Glicine is also superb. The restaurant was awarded for a Michelin star in 2019 and we recommend trying the rabbit ragout whilst sitting on terrace overlooking the lake. For an unmissable breakfast, head to Poletti and try their famous cappuccino and brioche. Can it get any better than that?
Where to go for an Aperitivo: If you are north on the lake and the day is drawing to a close, head to Grand Hotel Tremezzo (it’s about 40 minutes back to Cernobbio). One Martini on the terrace will make you never want to leave. If you are staying in Cernobbio for the evening, we recommend Harry’s Bar- the lake view never gets old.
How to get the from UK: The closest airport to Cernobbio is Milano Malpensa, approximately 45 minutes by car and Milano Linate is approximately 1 hours and 10 minutes. Direct flights from London are available 7 days a week from London Gatwick, City and Heathrow.
Our host, Jennifer, also has another wonderful property in Cernobbio called Lovely Cascina https://abnb.me/vhqhY5dKf7.
For more information and to book both properties, you can contact her direct on +39 3381811932.