24 Hours in Lake Como

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Lake Como

Elizabeth Brady

Spring in Italy's Lake Como (or Lago di Como) is an enchanting time for a visit. The crowds – which clog the roads on the lake's perimeters, and populate the water with boats – have not yet arrived en masse, the weather is gorgeous and hotel discounts are available. I recently tagged on an extra day to a week long stay in Italy, and took the time to decompress at Como's stunning Grand Hotel Tremezzo.
Spring in Italy's Lake Como (or Lago di Como) is an enchanting time for a visit. The crowds – which clog the roads on the lake's perimeters, and populate the water with boats – have not yet arrived en masse, the weather is gorgeous and hotel discounts are available. I recently tagged on an extra day to a week long stay in Italy, and took the time to decompress at Como's stunning Grand Hotel Tremezzo.

It's easy to see why Como maintains such a classy reputation: Palm trees are contrasted with snow-capped peaks for backdrops, historic towns have been preserved along with centuries-old palaces, and golden, pastel and cream-colored villages dot the opposite shores of the lake in most directions. A drive along the winding roads, a ride on a boat, or a trip up the funicular to Brunate all provide endless scenic overlooks and photo ops.

I snapped some photos using – believe it or not – my iPhone camera, and the images reveal that Lake Como really is as tranquil and picturesque as Clooney & co. profess it to be. Click through to see some highlights from a 24-hour escape to one of Europe's most glamorous vacation spots.

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24 Hours in Lake Como
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24 Hours in Lake Como (PHOTOS)

Como is only a 30 minute train ride north from Milan, but upon arrival visitors find themselves immersed in a completely distinct and historical retreat. Villages like Colonno (pictured above) are notable for their refined charm and positioning directly on the lake.

Lake Como is one of the deepest in Europe, nestled in the shape of an "upside down Y" in the Alps and the Grigne mountains.

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo is more than a century old, and occupies a former palace. Sophistication in every detail gives all guests a taste of the A-List life, from the three pools, to the private gardens and five dining options. Ornate fabrics, drapes, antique artwork and furniture create a romantic feel.

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo's beach lounge is perched directly on the water in front the floating pool, and constitutes some of the only sandy beachfront land on the entirety of Lake Como. It's a pleasant spot to look across the lake to the village of Bellagio on the opposite shore.

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo is its floating pool. Since water temperatures in the glacial lake remain cold year-round, the pool allows for more comfortable swimming.

Boating is a popular attraction at Lake Como, and both ferries and private charters allow visitors an opportunity to view the scenery from the lake itself. To organize a private ride, speak to the front desk at your hotel, or reach out to Capritime Tours.

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo's balconies are the perfect place to read a book, drink some locally-produced wine, or take in impressive views of the lake and the surrounding mountains and gardens.

Lake Como, as viewed from the waterfront of Cadenabbia-Griante, north of Tremezzo. With vistas like this in every direction, it's not hard to see why writers, artists, celebrities, aristocrats and filmmakers alike have all been inspired by the area's beauty.

Villa Carlotta's botanical gardens are arguably Tremezzo's biggest attraction (luckily for me they're located adjacent to the Grand Hotel Tremezzo).

Palm trees are a main feature of the hotel's 20,000 square meter park and gardens, which rise up on a hill behind the villa.

Outdoor drinking and dining at the lake in the village of Cadenabbia-Griante makes for a perfect afternoon diversion.

Two of Italy's finest treats: Prosecco and pistachio gelato.

La Terrazza has the flexibility of being an open air or glass-enclosed restaurant. From the dinner menu, I highly recommend the penne with asparagus, Italian white truffles and delicate prawns – it's a perfectly satisfying way to end a long day lakeside.

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