Dramatic Lake Como – Paradiso Ceramics Australia | Handmade in Italy


Dramatic Lake Como

When we tell people we’ve been to Lake Como, there are nearly always two responses: "Oh, isn't it beautiful?" and "Did you see George Clooney?"

Answering the second question first, no, but then I didn't look for him. (Though one member of our party would have swooned if she did!) I tried to ban our group from making any mention of GC during our three-day stay, but I didn't succeed.

Back to the first question, yes, Lake Como is just beautiful. Although I had heard it was something special, I wasn't prepared for how stunning the wide lake surrounded by soaring mountains would be, with charming towns and colourful villas hugging its shores and foothills.

Our rented villa was on the lake, looking across the water to towns on the other side which glittered with lights at night. 

To our left, snow topped Swiss alps towered above the hills.

A footpath along the waters edge, just outside our back gate, meant it was an easy walk to a neighbouring village.

The weather was fine and mild and perfect for a leisurely stroll and drinking in scenery on our first day.

On day two we hopped on a bus and boarded a crowded public ferry which carried us across the water to Bellagio.

Situated on a peninsula between the two southern branches of the lake, Bellagio is known for its cobbled footpaths, elegant buildings and expensive shops. We enjoyed walking up its steep lanes, exploring the stores selling a giddy array of clothing, footwear, homewares and food.

An attempt to have lunch at an outside café was thwarted by a rain shower but we still enjoyed the atmosphere inside the old restaurant.

On our last day, a short drive south along the winding, narrow roads took us to Menaggio, a small and quieter town that is centrally located on the western shore of the lake. 

We wandered along the elegant lakefront, taking in the gorgeous views of the lake and majestic mountains. 

Piazza Garibaldi is the heart of Menaggio. Here, and in the surrounding small squares, there are many bars, restaurants and ice cream parlours with lake views. 

We braved the cool breeze and tucked into a delicious lunch at an outside café a stone's throw from the water.

The town was charming, alive with colourful buildings and boutique stores.

We had visited many churches in our three weeks in Italy, but this was the first with a nativity scene - well, village really - where every character had been crocheted. Corn cobs, grapes, ponds, trees, carts, bridges and even ovens, were all made from wool. It was wonderful! 

One would need months to explore all the towns, sights, walks and history of Lake Como, but we were thoroughly enchanted by all we saw during in our short stay.

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