48 hours in Lake Como, Italy
Known for glitz and glam, Lake Como has an adventurous side, too. Spend 48 hours experiencing both sides of the lauded lake in Northern Italy.
Words by Keven Amfo
Spa time at the new Mandarin Oriental
Wake up in your elegant room at the recently opened Mandarin Oriental. Housed in Blevio's 18th century Villa Roccabruna, the rooms are styled in MO’s minimalist, chic aesthetic — and many feature private terraces overlooking the lake. Enjoy breakfast here, then take a dip in the floating swimming pool, or enjoy a massage and Turkish bath at their five-star luxury spa, before venturing out for the day.
When you're fully rejuvenated, head out to meet renowned local chef, Luigi Gandola, for an afternoon spent hunting and gathering your very own black truffles. Luigi and his well-trained dogs will lead you into the woods on his family's land high above the lake. After sourcing your own truffles, return to the family-owned restaurant for a bespoke meal using your truffles and prepared by Luigi himself. Leave with some truffles and a bottle of olive oil to take home.
Shopping for silks
Before you head to dinner, put in a little shopping. Known as the 'Silk Capital' of Italy, the towns surrounding Lake Como have been responsible for the majority of the weaving, colouring, and tailouring of silk for the major fashion houses dating as far back as 1400. Stock up on traditionally made scarves, ties, and shirts at Azalea, which produces pieces for Missoni and Versace; and at Mantero, known for the styles they make for Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Cartier.
Dinner with a view
End your day with dinner at Il Gatto Nero. The restaurant's enviable location in Cernobbio overlooks the lake, and their outdoor terrace is simultaneously homely and luxe. Enjoy a traditional Northern Italian meal with local ingredients and fabulous wine.
Gather some treats
Wake up and follow the sweet scent of freshly baked goods to Pasticceria Poletti in Cernobbio. Indulge in one of their famous croissants and an espresso on the leafy terrace. After, grab some provisions at the local market. Proscuitto, Parmigiano, fresh focaccia, and bountiful fruits and vegetables make the perfect picnic-style lunch.
Go boating in style
When you're fully fueled, follow the lake north to Laglio where you'll find Como Classic Boats. Rent the Riva Tritone for four hours - the rare and beautiful wooden boat has a built-in 'giardinetto' (sun pad) which is perfect for enjoying prosecco while taking in the sights. Cross the lake north and head to Nesso to see the beautiful hidden waterfall. Pause and have a refreshing swim amongst the crashing falls.
Dinner on a private island
Have your captain drop you in the early evening on the little island of Comacina. The tiny island has just one restaurant - which happens to be fabulous. Enjoy a short tour of the island, followed by a drink before an indulgent four-course dinner with local wine, then take a taxi boat home.
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