Just over an hour’s hop, skip, train and a ferry from Milan, Lake Como is one of those places you simply must visit. Bellagio, known as the pearl of the lake, was our destination for this much-awaited Italian adventure. It was our second visit in fact – we just couldn’t get enough of this gorgeous village.
Century-old buildings in sherbet yellows and terracottas, with charming green shutters and tiled roofs, line the cobbled streets – an interior enthusiast’s dream! I guarantee you’ll be inspired to bring a taste of Italy back with you and into your home after witnessing these architectural delights.
Much of the buzz centres around the shoreline, abundant with chic boutiques, traditional gelaterias and restaurants, with courtyards and terraces nestled under a canopy of wisteria. It’s hard to find a more romantic setting. The views are simply spectacular whichever way you look, and are best enjoyed with an Aperol in hand. Punta Spartivento is high on my list, with panaromic vistas of the lake and snow-capped mountains.
Once you’ve explored the banks of the lake, it’s worth venturing up the narrow stairways where you’ll find a treasure trove of artisanal shops and enotecas, brimming with Italian charm. From colourful silk scarves, fine leather bags and jewellery to expert wine sellers, there is plenty to chose from.
For those, who have dreamed of exploring Como on a traditional taxi boat, I’d recommend a visit to Villa del Balbionello. The scene of many a blockbuster – James Bond and Star Wars to name a few – the gardens are simply stunning with their manicured hedges and expert topiary. Not to mention the views, which are second-to-none. It truly is one of those unforgettable places.
It’s also worth exploring Varenna if you have time. The train and ferry both pass through, so it’s more than likely you’ll find yourself here. Follow the narrow walkway from the ferry port a few paces and discover a maze of intricate alleyways and picturesque cafes. The train station is also a marvel in its own right.
The interiors edit
Achieving an Italian aesthetic is all about embracing natural materials. Think wooden beams, terracotta tiles, stucco walls and exposed brick. When it comes to colour, go for earthy tones and introduce touches of yellow for added warmth, while wrought-iron accessories will round the look off perfectly.