Lazy days on Lake Como, Italy
Updated: Jun 1
What can we say that hasn't been said before? It's Lake Como!
Gorgeous water, quiet days beside its shore, and sunshine that lasts all day with stars all night.
After some harrowing miles on the road from the city of Como, where we stopped for lunch on our way from Milan, we managed to not be run off the road by all the scooters and found ourselves at Villa Greta, in the tiny lakeside town of Laglio, for a week with old friends. I buzzed the bell outside the villa and, as the gates slid open, this is what I saw:
The owner, Manuela, had a spread of food waiting for us on the terrace, along with chilled prosecco. We were off to a good start!!! The villa was stunning, and we immediately made ourselves at home and enjoyed some time by the pool, which overlooks the lake. Not a bad view with our boat bobbing in the blue water!
Our week in Laglio was uneventful, lots of walks (and dodging cars...the roads are realllllly narrow), visiting towns and villas (the stunning Villa del Balbianello and the beautiful grounds of Villa Carlotta). We even made a long-anticipated purchase…a new butter dish! Two years ago, Joe broke our butter dish and we decided to buy one on our next trip to Europe. The pandemic sidelined us, but when we started traveling again, the hunt was on… Croatia and France were not a success in the butter dish department, but the town of Bellagio was! Behold the new butter dish! Way nicer than the plastic Rubbermaid container we'd resorted to using.
My favorite surprise? An afternoon in the city of Como, which I wasn't expecting much from since it seems to be derided as "the city" when compared to the quaintness of the surrounding towns, but we loved it!! After a quick trip up and down the Como-Brunate funicular, we ventured into the heart of the "city" for amazing shopping and an awesome lunch of Pugliese cuisine, something new to us.
Joe ate pasta with horse meat (yes, horse) and for dessert we enjoyed this dome of deliciousness - Sweet Passionata, which consists of ricotta cream covered in Apulian almond paste. Wow. Insane. I could have had six!
Least favorite surprise? Well, come on, we were on Lake Como, there is nothing not to love. But it was pretty funny when four of us walked to Carate Urio to catch the ferry to Bellagio...
only to learn (45 minutes later, and assuming that time in Italy is up for interpretation so schedules don't mean much) that the spot we were waiting at doesn't actually have a ferry stop at it - contrary to the schedule posted, the docking area and the signs! That's Italy for you! The real stop was about one mile down the road - but we decided to drive to Como and catch the ferry from there to Bellagio instead.
We'd alternated dining out and in, with each couple cooking a family meal for everyone on our nights home, but on our second to last night the eight of us decided it was time to step it up. We went to the next town, Carate Urio, and enjoyed a Michelin starred meal at Aquadolce. Gorgeous lakeside location, great service and, above all else, the best company of friends.
Our last night's meal was a mishmash of everything we didn't finish during the week, a little of this and a little of that. We were winding down and already anticipating missing the quiet, comfort, and beauty of what had come to feel like home.
After a week of waking up to this view out of our bedroom window every morning it was time to say goodbye.
The next day we waved as our friends headed for the train back to Milan, and we packed the car for a ride down to Genoa and the Ligurian coast.
I'd wanted to visit Lake Como for years and was so glad we finally had the opportunity to experience the towns and flavors of the lakes region. I still think we'll explore other lakes (Maggiore and Garda are on our list, as is Lugano, which is primarily in Switzerland but shares its shores with Italy), but, as our first, Lake Como will always be the lake we compare the others to. We were leaving big fans and we can't wait to return!
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