I am not a huge fan of Milan, Italy’s second biggest city and the most important in terms of business. Sure, Piazza del Duomo is fascinating, and Galleria Umberto next to it is also a must, but Milan can be disappointing after visitnig Rome, Florence, Venice; Naples or……well any other Italian cities. Huge buildings, traffic, smog and the color grey everywhere won’t help you a lot falling in love with this city. However Milan is in Italy hence it is surrounded by fantastic places perfect for one-day getaways if you need something pretty to see.
One of them is for sure Lake Como. This glacial-origin , Y-shaped lake has a lot to offer with its spectacular coast, picturesque villages and glorious sunshine. And, well, yes, it is also Italy’s deepest lake. It’s only a one hour train ride from Milan’s central station. The Lake is surrounded by the Alps and some wonderful villages like Menaggio, Bellaggio or Varenna full of colourful villas, flowery gardens and cobbled streets. It’s absolutely no wonder that also stars like Greta Garbo, Hitchckock or Frank Sinatra and now George Clooney were regular holidaymakers in the region. George Clooney also bought Villa Oleandra in Laglio and brought his friends and colleagues—Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
There are regular boat lines bringing visitors from one coast to another and you can enjoy your drink at one of the many bars located near the beach. And yes, in the summertime you can take off your clothes and take a bath in the refreshing water, there are some tiny beaches available.
Where to go?
- Como: founded by the Romans in 196 B.C. , popular holiday resort. The best to do here is to take the funicular and go up to Brunate to enjoy the incedible view over the lake.
- Bellagio: definetely the most popular resort of the lake with its narrow streets, aristocratic villas and endless beauty.
- Varenna: it has also Roman origins there is a long “lungolago” a pedestrian road running by the lake and you can also climb the infinite steps up to the mountainside. VArenna is also one of Italy’s most colourfull towns.
- Tremezzo: its most important sights is Villa Carlotta, an impressive classisisct styled palace that oce was the present for Princess Charlotte of Prussia,. Poor one. Now either its gardens or the rooms can be visited.
- Menaggio:you can visit the ruins of an ancient castle, but villas, spectacular palaces wonüt be missing either.