Location: A beautiful lake in the North of Italy, close to Milan ( The fashion capital of Italy) Lake Como has been popular as a holiday destination since the days of the Roman Empire. The Lake embraces breath-taking scenery amidst luxurious villas laden with private pools and gardens. All the towns around Lake Como are known for its picturesque beauty. It is famous among tourists who want to relax, cycle, swim and eat the home-grown fresh delicacies and a weekend getaway for the residents of Milan.
We decided to stay at Carate Urio a commune in the Province of Como in the Italian region of Lombardy, located about 45 km north of Milan and about 6 km northeast of Como. It has a population of 1,222 only.
The town is home to one of the world’s most luxurious hotel called Villa D’este and the famous holiday home of George Clooney and the Versace house.
Experience: We arrived late night at the small railway station of Carate Urio (a small town of Lake Como) from Switzerland, It wasn’t easy to move around the deserted station with the heavy luggage (6 bags) plus the baby pram. Moreover the old station had no escalators or lifts. It was pretty chilly and spooky until our friends picked us. On the drive, we began to acclimatize ourselves to this beautiful place with the most elegant villas on the banks of Lake Como. Our villa was located just after Villa D’este Hotel. We were greeted by little cats Gorge and Julie who were surprisingly awake to welcome us. But slumber took us over immediately after the arduous journey.
It was only in the morning, that things changed around me. Within me. As soon as I got up I headed straight to the balcony to see this breathtaking view that no words can describe. I stood there seeing the valley slowly removing the black veil from it as the sun moved up. The beautiful mountains covered with fog on one side and the landscape stepping out in its pristine beauty. My eyes couldn’t believe this innate splendor and the diversity that nature has to offer us. The different shades of green, blue, red, white on the palette of the naked sky with the cultural overlay of the human presence. Time stood still for me there!
At noon we visited the Lake Como city side. We walked through the narrow streets, stopped at Italian fashion stores along the way and had the world’s best pizza for lunch. My mouth is watering now while writing about it and am so tempted to have it again. It really was the finest pizza ever, as thin as a paper. Pizza with wine did the trick for us. The city side of Lake Como had a lot of college students walking around, cycling and just lazing with their friends and family. It was a moment in peace, in happiness, in tranquility.
The second afternoon we did a day trip to Menaggio – another town of Lake Como. On the way to Menaggio we stopped at a farm-house restaurant for lunch. It was a family restaurant running for ages. We had the most delicious home-made pasta and wine. After lunch with the owner, we went to see the farm and were fascinated to see the fresh strawberries, berries, grapes, tomatoes. The view from the restaurant was unbelievable.
We continued our drive to Menaggio and reached the lake front. Menaggio was heavily influenced by Germany too as all the hotels had their names written in German as well as Italian. It appeared to be a perfect recreational summer resort. We visited a small church in the area and stopped at a lake side café to have some hot coffee. I made two German friends by the Lake.
The next morning we drove to Lugano (Lugano is a city in the south of Switzerland which share the border with Italy). The city lies on Lake Lugano. Lake Lugano is situated between Lake Come and Lake Maggiore. We crossed the Swiss border at Chiasso and reached Lugano in less than half hour. It was a rainy day and we went for a nice lunch at Lugano. Since it was raining heavily I could not capture a lot on camera but the memories are etched in my mind. The place is alive in my heart. We visited a beautiful lake side café and grabbed a hot Cappuccino with apple pie. On our way back we drove around the city. Saw the Lugano Casino, the lake and returned back to Carate Urio.
I visited various other cities in Italy but there was nothing like Como. This is the place I would consider for my retirement. It’s peaceful & blissful in its true sense…
Here are some pictures:
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