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When visitors come to Lake Como for the first time, they are taken aback by the splendid vistas.
With alpine peaks reaching down thousands of feet to meet the deepest lake in Europe. The lower slopes are covered in dense foliage and are set off against the spring and summer explosion of colour from the multitude of ornate gardens scattered around the Lake.
Winter time can see a few days of snow on the lake itself and this adds to the mystical nature of the "Lago di Como". Lake Como's owes a lot to its ancient architecture and the enduring desire to live or stay in this beautiful region. Dating back to Roman times and with architecture stretching back through the centuries, with outstanding examples of the Renaissance, Victorian and Art Deco periods. The 17-19th centuries however are recognised as the period when most villas were constructed and to this day the privately owned properties are popular with the rich and famous. The larger more spectacular villas however are generally owned by Governemnt bodies or international organisations. This has helped the region to benefit from a tourist industry that never ceases to be amazed by the location and sees a large number of people return year after year.
The famous Menaggio & Cadenabbio Golf Club 18 hole course is both challenging & beautiful.
Golf is very popular with around 82 courses in the region of Lombardy. People are always amazed how courses can be constructed within these mountainous areas. One of these such courses on Lake Como has a world famous course nestled on the hill above Menaggio along with many others, such as the Villa D'Este Golf Club built in 1926, which dominates Montorfano Lake above Como, has spectacular views from 1200 feet and is the host to several amateur tournaments each year. Carimate Golf Club just 18km from Como and the 9 hole Golf Club Lanzo course in Lanzo Intelvi, 28km from Menaggio. With many others scattered throughout the lake region.
Menaggio & Cadenabbia Golf Club in Grandola e Uniti, founded over 100 years ago. With a destinctly British atmosphere, the course was designed by four English gentlemen back in 1907 & only became Italian in the 50's.
The fairways are fairly narrow and challenging, an enchanted forest, as it has been described. The golf course has magnificent views and a wonderful clubhouse with sumptuous food and a wonderful ambience.
Lenno & the famous Villa del Balbianello, a popular Hollywood film location.
Lenno is modestly different from the other lakeside towns in that it is almost hidden by a deep inlet between the promontory of Levedo and the headland of Portezza.
Lenno provides spectacular views of Bellagio and a visitor can see the famous Villa Balbianello and elegant gardens by taking a short boat-trip along the promontory. This "attractive retreat" was created by Cardinal Durini in the 18th century and is still one of the most beautiful and romantic villas on the lake. A little further around the promontory is Richard Bransons villa aswell.
Lenno is the starting point of a coastal area, known as Tremezzina, which ends at the Maiolica. Rich in history with ancient tombs and with many important archaeological finds, Lenno has a rich Roman heritage. Not far from the village, there is Azzano, where, in an area called Giulino, that Benito Mussolini and his mistress Claretta Petacci were shot dead, in 1945.
Lenno has a quiet and relaxed waterfront, with car parking, a good selection of restaurants, a lido and boat hire available. Lenno is also the starting point for a panoramic, though strenuous, hike up Monte di Tremezzo, 1,700m high.
Menaggio & the famous Villa La Gaeta, one of the James Bond film locations.
Menaggio is one of the most popular towns on the lake and is one of the three towns of the "Golden Triangle"; Menaggio, Bellagio and Varenna, all of which have car and passenger ferries and access to the train service in Varenna. Reached by car from Como or Lugano in Switzerland or via the pass from Porlezza on Lake Lugano, Menaggio is well placed for all Lake Como's activties and sights!
The heart of the "old" town gathered around Piazza Garibaldi close to Menaggio's harbour, features mostly 19th century buildings in the Italian alpine style, painted in pretty muted tones. The higher part of the town has a more medieval feel, featuring narrow alleys, steep stairs and stone buildings. The 'old' and 'new', the shops, restaurants, cafes, public squares and alleyways, the tree shaded lakeshore promenades bordered by flowers, and the well-kept villas form a wonderful and serene place to holiday.
As with Lenno, Menaggio, like other of the principal towns on Lake Como, had become a well-known tourist retreat, attracting the very wealthy who built wonderful lakeside villas, many of which have now been converted to comfortable, sometimes grand, accommodation.
Things To Do
Lake Como is visted by millions of people year round, but the seasons do play a part. With skiing, water sports, hiking and Golf as the primary outdoor activities the weather conditions play a big part.
With a mild winter climate at lake level in general and a sub-tropical climate in the summer, Lake Como is ideally situated to take advantage of all these activities, and excellent as a base for exploring or for day trip skiing without the costs!
Downhill and cross country skiing are available in the winter months close to Lake Como in the various local resorts (Pian delle Betulle, Piani di Bobbio & Cainello) and also an hours drive away at international resorts such as Madesimo & St. Mortiz.
Windsurfing, sailing, scuba diving are all popular summer activities with both training and equipment available for hirein various towns around the lake. The Northern and Southern ends are the most popular for wind based activities due to the shape of the Lake and channeling of the wind. There is never any shortage of things to do with historical trips, villa visits, helicopter & float plane rides, ferry excursions, trips to Milan, restaurants, shopping in Como, the Moto Guzzi factory, being just a few!