Friday, June 1, 2018

Tunnel on the Lake Como Road

Latest Proposed tunnel - announced 10th April 2018


Mayor Guerra and engineer Tarantola presented a new route. It will costs more than €20 million


The long-awaited tender is now fixed for November 2018. It still has a long way to go, but from that meeting in the Town Hall of Lenno convened by Mayor Mauro Guerra in the presence of the "father" of project  - the engineer Bruno Tarantola  - there is finally agreement on the correct route.

Present were the mayors of Argegno, Colonno, Griante, Grandola ed Uniti, the deputy mayor of Sala Comacina and the president of the mountain community Lario-Intelvese.

The plan is designed to ease the traffic congestion in the narrow stretches between Argegno and Ossuccio.

Fingers crossed that they actually do go ahead with it this time!

Restaurant Guide Lake Como 2018

Suggested Restaurants – from Como going North

On Lake Como as elsewhere in Italy, there is a huge variety of places to eat, from small family-run Osteria and Trattoria to top-class restaurants. Here are just a few that we have tried and tested over the years, which you may not discover on your own (listed from Como town going north up the western shore). Menus are usually in English, but watch out for the cover charge or ‘coperto’ which is an extra per person charge. Many of these restaurants close out of season (November to February), so get your hotel to call in advance and reserve a table for you.

Key - based on 2 people having 2 courses (except for pizzerias) including ½  litre of house wine
€ up to 30                    €€ 30-50                      €€€ 50-80                    €€€€ 80 -100+

Como Town
€€ Il Pomodorino     
Via Cinque Giornate, 62b                   031 240 384    ristoranteilpomodorino.it         open 7/7
Located in the cobbled back-streets of Como town, but well signposted. Offers a large selection of all home-made produce including the pasta and the bread as well as a varied menu including meat, fish, pasta and pizza (wood oven).

€€ - €€€ Il Pepe Nero
Via Pietro Boldoni, 26            031 260333     pepenerocom.com                   open 7/7
Very central and easy to find, opposite the Coin store behind Piazza Cavour. Has both indoor and outdoor seating. Good selection of dishes and wines. Stylish dining atmosphere (no pizza).

€ - €€ Taverna Spagnola
Piazza Volta 33/Via Grassa                 031 272 460                                        closed Wednesday
Just off Piazza Volta, down a side street. As the name suggests, this is a Taverna, not a restaurant (although it is not actually Spanish), with freshly cooked, fast/simple dishes – pasta, meat and huge pizzas. Tables are wooden and the atmosphere is usually buzzing. You can eat till late, often until midnight. Good food at a very reasonable price – always full of locals.

€€ Le Colonno (part of the Hotel del Duca)
Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini,                   031 264 859    albergodelduca.it                     open 7/7
Run by the same family for 15 years, the Santarelli’s, this cosy, friendly restaurant offers traditional Italian cuisine, specialising in fish. They also do excellent pizzas.

€€ Loft           
Via Boldoni 3                                      031 267846                                                     open 7/7 ((lunch)
A panoramic restaurant & bar on the 5th floor of the ‘Coin’ store just behind Piazza Cavour. Serves great food, as well as cakes for afternoon tea. Only open at lunch-time with daily menus, great on Sundays. It’s worth popping in just for a coffee or a drink for the view over the roof tops of Como.

Cernobbio (one of the more pricey towns to dine)
€€ - €€€ Albergo Centrale                                                   
Via Regina, 39                        031 511 411    albergo-centrale.com               open 7/7
A great location on the main road running through Cernobbio, very central and always excellent food, with a great choice of pasta, meat and fish dishes (no pizza).

€€ - €€€ Harry’s Bar
Piazza Risorgimento, 2                        031 512 647                                                    closed Tuesday
Very popular with well-heeled Italians. A stylish lakefront restaurant in the main piazza. Attentive service and a quite pricey menu. Superb for dining al fresco. (no pizza)

€€ - €€€ Il Ghatto Nero
Via Monte Santo, 69                           031 512 042    il-gatto-nero.it                          closed Monday
Located in the hills above Cernobbio, affording stunning views of the lake below and the city of Como. Popular with Villa D’Este guests, the food is always excellent, with a huge choice of menu and an excellent wine list. Set on various levels, it has a very intimate atmosphere. Ask for a lake-view table outside on the terrace in summer. (no pizza)

€€€ - €€€€ Villa D’Este, Veranda Restaurant
Via Regina, 40            031 3481         villadeste.com                                      open 7/7
Hailed as one of the best hotels in the world by Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler and Forbes Traveler, this represent luxurious, attentive, formal lakeside dining. Dine either protected by huge glass windows which disappear into the ground in the summer or al fresco. Open for both lunch and dinner (don’t forget your jacket and tie in the evenings). Traditional Italian haute cuisine with an extensive wine list and a knowledgeable sommelier. (no pizza)

Moltrasio
€€€ Imperialino
Via Regina Vecchia 24            031 346 111    hotel-lago-como-imperiale.com           closed Monday
The restaurant is part of the 4 star hotel Imperialino and is mentioned in the Michelin Guide 2010. The lakeside location is romantic and the food is traditional Italian with an imaginative interpretation. Popular with businessmen at lunch-time and for candle-lit dinners in the evening. (no pizza)

Laglio
€€- €€€ La Locanda del Cantiere
Via Vecchia Regina, 91           031 401 400    lalocandadelcantiere.it              closed Tuesday
An interesting restaurant located in a former boatyard, located on the lower lake road and run by Father and 2 sons. The restaurant has huge windows overlooking the lake and an outside dining area in the summer. The varied menu changes weekly and there is a lunch-time specials menu at a reasonable set price.

€ Bar Il Saggitario
Via Regina Nuova 6                n/a                   n/a                                                       closed Tuesday
If you are looking for a real local experience and want to sample food cooked by mam and served up to the local workmen at lunch time only for the princely sum of €12 for 2 courses including house wine. There is no menu, as it changes daily, but there is usually 3-4 choices of pasta, followed by 3-4 main courses. It is more of a café/bar than a restaurant, but the food is always good.

Argegno
€€ - €€€ Il Sorriso                  031 817001     ristoranteilsorriso.it                             open 7/7
Located in the heart of Argegno, with outdoor & indoor dining Superb seafood with a difference. Try the crab pasta or the octopus with blueberry sauce and save room for the orange tiramisu. Not much for the meat lover except a superb kebab.
€€ - €€€ La Piazetta
Piazza Roma, 6                        031 821 110    piazzettargegno.it                                 open 7/7
Offers a welcoming and stylish interior in the winter and al fresco dining in the piazza in the summer. The seasonal menu is always with a twist - pasta with unusual sauces, blackened salmon, fresh tuna, seafood risotto or chestnut risotto in the winter, as well as crispy based pizzas & home-made bread.

€€ (lunch) - €€€ (eve) Hotel Belvedere                   
Via Statale                               031 821 116    villabelvedereargegno.it                       open 7/7
Lovely lakeside setting. Recently renovated and under new management, it has a varied menu and the setting is superb!

€€ - €€€ La Barchetta
Piazza Roma, 2            031 821 105    www.ristorantebarchetta.it                              closed Monday
Try the menu Degustazione menu to sample some local specialities. The menu changes according to the season, so you will find pizzoccheri, chestnuts and porcini in the winter and fresh asparagus, artichokes and seafood in the summer. Their all-year round speciality is fillet steak with porcini mushrooms and potatoes.

€ - €€ Ristorante La Corte  
Via Milano 14             031 821455     www.hotelargegno.it                           closed Tuesday in winter
Part of the Hotel Argegno, family run restaurant and pizzeria – good all round restaurant with an excellent choice of meats, pastas and a huge pizza list – all delicious!

Sala Comacina
€€€ La Tirlindana
Piazza Matteotti, 5       0344 56637    ristorantelatirlindana.com                               closed Monday
A delightful location in the piazza, overlooking Isola Comacina. Run by a husband and wife team of French-Spanish chef (Patrizia) and husband Freddie, a French-Italian, the food reflects their eclectic mix of cultures. Everything is home-made. Try the lemon ravioli. Portions are not large, so you can easily eat all 3 courses. The desserts are delicious.

€€€ Locanda del Isola
Isola Comacina            0344 55083     comacina.it                                                      closed Tuesday
Located on the only island on Lake Como, this is a real experience. This is where all the stars go when they visit the area!  The menu has not changed since 1947 and today you get the same 5-course menu for €64pp including as much wine as you like. It is massive meal, so make sure you are hungry and is available at either lunch or dinner time from April to October. You even get a short history of the island during the coffee ceremony, presented twice daily by the unforgettable Benvenuto. Note: credit cards are not accepted. To get there you park in Sala Comacina and get the water taxi across.

€€ - €€€ La Comacina          
Via Statale, 14             0344 55035     ristorantelacomacina.it                         closed Monday
On the main road by the bank in Sala Comacina, a stylish restaurant with a lovely balcony overlooking the lake. Run by a husband and wife team, Gianni and Cristina, it serves home-made pasta, fish of the lake and steaks, as well as seasonal dishes and special theme nights e.g truffles or suckling pig. Also closed on Thursday during the winter

Ossuccio
€€ Crotto La Sorgente
Via P. Castelli, 5         0344 55270     crottolasorgente.com                                       closed Tuesday
You would never just stumble across this ‘secret’ restaurant. Dating back to 1962, it is actually a trout farm in the hills above Ossuccio. Full of rustic charm, and featuring river trout, fished daily from fresh water beds provided by the nearby Perlana waterfall – smoked, dried (missoltino – a lake speciality), grilled or served with sage and butter- all served along with a health dollop of polenta.  If you book in advance you can order sausages, pork ribs, cassoella (cassoulet) or Brassato (melt in the mouth beef braised in red wine).

Lenno
€€€ Lido di Lenno
Via Comoedia, 1         0344 57 093    lidodilenno.com                                               Open 7/7
Located on the angle of the bay of Lenno, where they have constructed a beach/lido area as well as a stylish nightclub on the beach with Bedouin tents! A haunt of Milanese footballers, this restaurant is only open in the summer, as it is set in a marquee. The menu changes regularly, based on fresh local produce, they also have a BBQ grill for meat and seafood. Offers an international menu and an excellent wine list – over 100 different wines from all over the world.

€ - €€ Il Cris
Via Armando Diaz, 7              0344 55 131                                                                closed Tuesday
An excellent find, just off the beaten track, down a narrow driveway, just above Lenno. A well-kept secret, here you will find great pizzas, excellent pasta, amazing steaks and seafood (try the seafood basket – a seafood stew served in a pizza-base bread basket). Cash only.

€€ Hotel Plinio
Viale C. Lomazzi, 3     0344 55158                                                                closed Wednesday
With a lake front terrace in the pedestrian lake-front of Lenno, they serve a daily set menu with home-made pasta, meat and lake fish dishes. A good venue for lunch on Lenno market day (Tuesday), followed by a trip to Villa Balbianello.

Tremezzo
€€ - €€€ La Darsena
Via Regina, 3              0344 43166     www.centrohotelslagocomo.it/darsena_tremezzo        open 7/7
The restaurant is part of the hotel and is located right at the front in a stunning lake front position overlooking Bellagio. Indoor dining with panoramic lake-view windows or outdoor dining, so be sure to book a table on the terrace in the summer. The menu changes regularly and is based on local, seasonal produce.

€€€ - €€€€ Grand Hotel Tremezzo
Via Regina, 8              0344 42491     grandhotel tremezzo.com                                             open 7/7
Refined al carte dining at the 5 star hotels La Terrazza lake-view restaurant. The terrace offers stunning views of Bellagio, almost directly opposite and very romantic with its twinkling lights in the evening. Dress code of smart, casual attire (no jeans).

Tremezzo (Frazione Roghero)
€€ Fagurida Trattoria
Via St Martino, 15      0344 40676                                                                 closed Monday
A real local and rustic experience with platters of meats, cheeses, polenta and braised beef brassato), with wine in earthenware jugs. Try the antipasti della casa. Ask for a table with a view.

€€ - €€€ Al Velu
Via Rogaro, 17            0344 40510     alveluu.com                                         closed Tuesday
Stunning views and good food from this elegant restaurant perched on a hill in a hamlet above Tremezzo.

Menaggio
Menaggio is one of the larger resorts and as such offers a large selection of restaurants. If you are staying there, ask your hotel for their recommendations or if you are visiting just for the evening, go early, have an aperitivo in one of the lake-front bars (suggest Hotel du Lac), then browse the menus displayed outside each restuarant and take your pick, depending on taste and budget.

Aquaseria
Crème Caramel
Via Molino Nuovo 7   0344 50932                                                                 closed Wednesday
Down on the lakefront in Aquaseria is a real gem, the Crème Caramel. In summer they have tables so close to the lake that you can almost touch it and they serve some of the best pizzas for miles around, but only in the evenings. The lunch-time is a set menu at €15 with good home-cooking and 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Concordia steam boat is back on Lake Como after a 5 year gap




The Concordia is back! Steamboat lake tours will take place every Sunday from 5 June to 18 September and also on Thursdays in July and August.


You can depart from Como at 10.30am and arrive in Bellagio at 12 (stopping in Tavernola, Cernobbio, Argegno & Lezzeno). The cost is the same as a standard ticket. For €13  you can take a tour for an hour and a half,  to admire the beautiful villas of  Melzi, Monastero, Cypress Carlotta and Balbianello.

Another option is to start from Bellagio at 16.15 to arrive at Como at 17.50 (again the cost is the same as a standard ticket).

Or you can do a one hour tour of the lower lake with apericena (aperitivo) departing from Como at 18.15 (cost: €18).



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lake Como Expert on Channel 4's A Place in The Sun

I was asked to assist with the recent filming of Channel 4's 'A Home in The Sun' on Lake Como. It was filmed last September and aired at 9pm Monday 29th June on More4.

For the area, the budget was very low at only £50,000, but they did manage to find some properties for the potential buyers, but way up North at the top end of the Lake. If you don't mind being out in the sticks and doing some serious renovation then maybe that's OK.

However, for most people Lake Como represents prime real estate and the prices reflect this. Most people aim for the western shore between Como and Menaggio or maybe even a little further to San Siro, but anything beyond that is usually seen as just too far to drive. The lake road narrows just after Argegno (at Colonno) and this makes access more difficult in high season, when the lake road gets very busy.

The eastern shore (Como to Bellagio) is also less popular because of lack of sun in the winter and the late arrival of the sun even in the summer - the steep mountains behind the lake, stop the sun reaching the lakeside villages until 11am in the summer in some places and stop it shining at all in the winter - so be careful where you buy!

Another part of the lake with sun issues is the Bellagio to Lecco leg, which suffers from similar problems to the Como to Bellagio leg. However, the opposite shore, the Lecco to Varenna leg has plenty of sun and the most amazing sun sets. Some of it is blighted by road noise, so be careful if you are looking for a lakeside property there.

If you are looking for a lakeside property, you need a serious budget - prices can be as high as €10,000 per square metre. But if you are prepared to drive only 3 minutes from the lakeside, you can pick up some lovely properties with lake views at a fraction of this cost.

For example, if you are looking for a rental income work-horse take a look at this - a unit of only 4 apartments, sharing a large pool and already with a good rental income history - they meet all the criteria for a good rental income holiday home, and can be purchased from as little as €275,000 for a 2 bedroom apartment with lake views - http://www.lakecomoproperties.com/properties-for-sale/montagna-del-sole-2-bedroom-1-bathroom-apartment-with-pool/





If you are considering buying a home on Lake Como - check out the Top Ten Tips - http://www.italytravelandlife.com/2015/07/ten-best-reasons-to-buy-property-on-lake-como/









Monday, February 9, 2015

Luxurious Accommodation for Expo 2015


Why stay in an impersonal hotel in Milan when you can stay in a stunning apartment or villa on Lake Como?










Scheduled to run from May 1st to 31st October 2015, with the very topical them of 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life'

Lake Como is ideally situated only 30 minutes from Milan with a superb climate, lots of leisure facilities (golf, sailing etc.) and some of the best restaurants in Northern Italy. Transport links are superb and easy - motorway all the way from Expo or trains direct to Como town.

We can offer you a selection of high-level accommodation to suit your needs. We can also provide all the extra services that you may need (taxis, drivers, chefs, maids etc.) to provide you with the perfect stress-free environment for you visit to Expo 2015.

Take a look at some of these examples of Expo 2105 accommodation options:


Villa Lilla, Argegno - sleeps up to 10
5 bedroom luxury villa with private pool
Prices from €70 pp per night







Villa Rosa, Argegno - sleeps up to 12
4 bedroom villa with private pool
Prices from €31 pp per night






Villa Lucia, Laglio - sleeps up to 10
5 bedroom villa with private pool and jacuzzi
Prices from €82.50 pp per night







Luxury Penthouse, nr Argegno - sleeps up to 8
3 bedroom luxury penthouse with private pool
Prices from €40 pp per night







Stunning penthouse, Sala Comacina - sleeps up to 8
3 bedrooms, stunning roof terrace, shared pool
Prices from €40 pp per night











Spacious apartments, Argegno - sleep up to 6
2 bedrooms, shared pool between only 4 units

Can be rented individually to sleep up to 6 or as a group of 4 to sleep up to 24
Prices from €28 pp per night







Expo 2015 villas and apartments
For more superb options for Expo 2015, sleeping from 2 to 12, visit our web site - http://www.lakecomoproperties.com/category/rentals/