Recommendations: Lake Como (Lower Western Bank)

Lake Como is the shape of an upside down "Y" and it covers an area of 56 sq miles so covering the entire region in one visit can be challenging.  For the week we were here, we stayed in Laglio, a town on the south western side of the lake.   Thus all these recommendations are best if you were staying on that side of the lake. 
Lake Como from our boat
Where to Stay: 

Hotel Grand Tremezzo: This elegant five star hotel is located in the town of Tremezzo close to area where the why "Y" splits into two.  If you have a higher end budget, this could be a good place to stay as it has tours for it's guests and a pool in the lake. 

Villas: Lake Como is known for it's exquisite villas and if you are coming with a large group, this is going to the be the best option.  There will be plenty of options to choose from but I couldn't recommend our villa, Villa Negri, enough. 
Hotel Grand Tremezzo 
Where to Eat:

Trattoria del Fagiano: Located north of the main road in Moltrasio, this local jaunt came highly recommended.  Don't expect any menus here as you show up and the owner will choose your four course meal which will include their speciality, pheasant.  If you have a larger group, be sure to make a reservation and brush up on your Italian. 

Al Cucchi: Located in the center of Como, this restaurant has everything off your Italian wishlist.  We came here for dinner one night (if it's beautiful out that's a plus because they have plenty of outdoor seating) and our eyes were bigger than our stomachs as we ordered way too much food.  The mussels marinara, veal milanese and ravioli all are recommended. 
Mussels at Al Cucchi
Bistrot Antichi Sapori: Located off the main streets in Bellagio, this was a perfect place to stop for lunch if you are making a day trip.  The terrace is small so you may not be able to sit outside but it's worth it for the bruschetta, lamb bolognese and a cold glass of house white. 
Bruschetta with Parma
Ristorante La Piazzetta: This small lakeside restaurant in the town of Argegno serves up delicious pastas and fresh fish from the lake. 
Pasta at La Piazzetta
Da Luciano: There is nothing better than an aperol spritz or a cold glass of white wine after a hot day in the sun and there is no better place than here.  Located in Laglio, this is the perfect quaint local hang out for a late afternoon cocktail with front row seats to stunning lake views. 
Samantha and I enjoying wine after the lake
What to Do:

Rent a Boat:  These seems obvious but you will be surprised at how few boats are on the lake.  There are plenty of options and even if's only for a few hours, this is highly recommended.   You can get up close and personal to some of the best villas on the lake and also go for a mid afternoon dip when the sun is at it's hottest. 
George Clooney's villa seen from our boat
Cooking Class: There's no substitute for learning from a local and that also includes cooking.  We went to Katie's cooking class for lunch which was located in her downtown Como apartment.  Katie and the all around experience was great and the food was delicious. 
Making ravioli in the cooking class 
Town Hopping:  One of the best parts about Como are the colorful lakeside towns that line the shores.  We went to a number of them including Argegno, Menaggio, Bellagio and Como.  If you have a car, you can drive to some but it's also just as easy to take the ferry.  
View of one of the many lakeside towns
Drive to Switzerland: Pending where you are staying in Lake Como, Switzerland can be a short 40 minute drive away.  The most popular town to visit is Lugano, which is a chic town on the lake but we were also told you could drive a bit further to the small town of Airolo known for it's skiing. 
Debra, Terri and Samantha in Lugano
Sunset on the lake


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