The beauty of Lake Como, and why you should rethink spending your holiday at the beach
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Close to the Swiss border, on the Italian side of the Alps, lies Lake Como, named Europe's most beautiful lake by The Huffington Post in 2014. Tugged neatly in between lush green mountains, the area around the lake benefits from hot and humid summer, and mild winters. Hundreds of century-old baroque and Venetian villas and churches lie scattered around the 160 km shore line, making the area around Lake Como a never ending cultural exploration. Not surprisingly, the idyll atmosphere has made the lake a popular destination for celebrities as well. In fact, it’s only a short drive north of Como on the Western shore to get to George Clooney’s house! The beauty of Lake Como can be taken in from wherever you are; it is easy to rent a car or a bicycle and go around to the many museums and open gardens linked with the villas. Another possibility is to hop on the ferry bus and take it all in from the water. Or, if more interested in seeing it from above, take the funiculare from Como up to the mountain city of Brunate; you won’t have to hike, but you’ll have a view extravagant enough to gain extra followers on Instagram. And if that isn’t good enough as an #instamoment, Lake Como is home to numerous Michelin-starred restaurants and cozy Italian tavernas serving sturdy, Italian dishes. Yet, whilst you can still assure yourself that olive oil and garlic will be involved, the combination of freshwater and mountain herbs also gives way for some local flavours quite different from the rest of Italy. Risotto al Pesce Persico for example, uses a fish native only to Lake Como, and can therefore only be enjoyed here. Lastly, don’t leave without trying pizzoccheri, a cheese drenched, cabbage and buchwheat-pasta dish sacred to any childhood spent in Como. Despite the area’s rich cultural heritage, Lake Como remains the grand pearl. And with the prospect of much less sand between your cheeks, staying at this lake might just end up being the best decision you could make.
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