Friday, February 26, 2010

4 Amazing Properties for Sale on Lake Como at under 250,000 euro

So who said Lake Como was expensive? Admittedly the villa above - Branson's Villa Casinella, may be, but there is still amazing value for money property to be found.

I recently had a client using my Lake Como Property Search services, with a maximum budget of €250,000 and a wish list including lake view, parking, central location, access to shops and bus & ferry links, as well as at least one bedroom! She had recently come across my article Why invest on Lake Como? and wanted to check it out for herself.

So, here is what I found (and yes she did buy one of them - see if you can guess which one), so now there are only 3 left for you to choose from.

Laglio - home of Villa Oleandra and George Clooney or is it David Beckham now or some Russian vodka tycoon with a name that no one can pronounce?

1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 2nd floor apartment of 66 square metres with balcony and stunning lake views. Totally refurbished, with brand new kitchen and bathroom. Additional store room in basement.

Asking price - €170,000

Great income from vacation rentals of up to €900 per week in high season. Truly panoramic 180 degree lake views.


Sala Comacina - popular for the stunning views and the only island on Lake Como - Isola Comacina and its restaurant Locanda del Isola. This tiny village of only 700 inhabitants has 4 of the best restaurants in the area - Locanda del Isola, Taverna Bleu, La Comacina, La Tirlindana (my personal favourite) and also a pizzeria at the Proloco.

Sugar coated pink cottage-style 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment of 55 square metres with stunning lake views and within walking distance of all 5 restaurants, as well as 2 steps from the ferry and bus stops. You can't get more convenient than that! Plenty of garden space + a lake view terrace and balcony + laundry room.

Asking price €189,000

Great rental income potential of up to €800 per week as Sala is extremely popular. Put in a jacuzzi in the garden and the rental  incomes will go even higher!

Colonno, located between Sala Comacina and Argegno.

Choice of 2 - 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom 50 square metre brand new apartments with large balcony, stunning 180 degree views and a shared swimming pool (new for this summer), as well as a proven holiday rental income! How could you not be attracted by this package. It even includes all the furniture, pots, pans, etc. all ready to rent out for this summer.

Everything is brand new and used for only 1 season of rentals to date.

Asking price €225,000, but if you exclude the garage (and there is ample free parking on the street below),  it comes down to only €200,000.

Rental income received (and receipts demonstrated)  for 16 weeks rental between April and October 2009, totaling over €10,000 euro per apartment. With a new pool for this year, the income potential increases massively!

Argegno, in a small hamlet just above the village lies Muronico and the Montagna Sole development (the sunny mountain), so-called as it gets all day sun - from sunrise to sunset. A small exclusive development of 3 villas with private pools and 4 apartments with shared pool and perched on the edge of a steep slope and so affording massive panoramic view of the lake below.

Scheduled for completion by end of March 2010 and just 1 remaining unsold. These stunning 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartments of 60 square metres, sleep up to 6 people each and share a large swimming pool and incredible views. All 4 apartments face the lake. The remaining apartment is ground floor level with a garden.

Asking price €250,000

Massive rental potential because of the swimming pool -  a rare commodity on Lake Como! - They are currently being rented for high season at €1650 euro per week! If you don't believe me check them out at Montagna Sole

SO the question is which one did she buy? Answers on a postcard please...............

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lake Como Restaurant Guide

People keep asking me about what restaurants I would recommend to visit during a vacation on Lake Como. So here goes. To make it user friendly I have listed them in geographical order from South to North. I have also added a € key to give you an idea of cost.

Restaurants: (from Como going North)


€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€ Villa D’Este – 031 348720
What can I say! If you have the money it is a great dining experience, especially in the summer, when you get to sit outside in the garden. The jacket and tie rule makes it a bit stuffy. You could always go for pre-dinner drinks to the bar instead. Dress up though and expect to pay over the odds.

€€€ Ghatto Nero – Closed on Monday - 031 512042
You need to book. Stunning setting, great food. There is a parking service. You arrive
and they will take you up the hill to park and then bring you back in their car.

Laglio - George Clooney’s village
€€ Ristorante Osteria Vecchio Molo – 031 400730
Fish restaurant. Lots of lake fish specialities. Don't go if you don't like fish,as there is no other choice. Good local food. Tables outside in the summer.

€€ La Corte – closed on Tuesday in winter - 031 821455
Pizzeria and restaurant. Consistently good food and reasonable prices. A huge pizza selection and one of the best 'Milanese' I have ever eaten.

€€€ Hotel Belvedere – 031 821116
Lovely setting on a nice day for a light lunch right by the lakeside.

Sala Comacina

€€€ La Tirlindana – Closed on Monday - 0344 56637

You must try the lemon ravioli! Small portions, but great food from the Spanish/Italian chef and the French/Italian owner. Delicious desserts! Book at weekends. Stunning location in the cobbled piazza (leave your high heels at home) overlooking the island.

€€€ Taverna Bleu – closed on Tuesday – 0344 55107
Lovely, peaceful lake-side setting – good varied menu. Great lake fish dishes. Make sure you look at the prices on the wine list before ordering. Don't just go for the owner's suggestions!

€€€€ La Locanda dell’Isola – 0344 55083 – closed mid-October to mid-April
Join the stars (Clooney, Pitt, Madonna, to name a few)at one of the most famous restaurants on Lake Como, serving the same menu since 1947! At 62 euro for a 5 course meal including as much wine as you can drink, it is amazing value and a real experience. Not to be missed – great for either lunch or dinner. They now do a 'light' menu where you miss out one of the main courses either the salmon trout or the chicken. Don't forget to ask for this. Book in high season.

€€ Ossuccio (the next village)
Crotto La Sorgente –closed on Tuesday
– 0344 55270
A trout farm. Usually a set menu with polenta. Rustic charm. Up in the hills above the village.

€€ Hotel Plinio – closed Wednesday - 0344 55158

Nice lake-front setting and good value set menu. Maybe lunch there after market day on Tuesday, followed by a trip to Villa Balbianello.

Further afield:
Tremezzo (Fraz. Roghero)
€€ Fagurida Trattoria –
closed Monday – 0344 40676.
A real experience with platters of meats, cheeses, polenta and braised beef, with wine in earthenware jugs – yummy! You need to book. Ask for a table with a view.

€€€€ Al Veluu - closed on Tuesday -0344 40510
Stunning views and good food from this place. Slightly upmarket - or at least they think they are!

By Boat:
Best way is to get public boat from Cernobbio across to Torno. As you get off the boat, you will see the restaurant on your right.

€€Hotel Belvedere, Torno – closed Tuesday - 031 419100
Book a table on the lakeside terrace. Would recommend the spaghetti ai frutti di mare and the salmon ravioli

Try the local wines – very good and full-bodied reds from Valtellina – Sassella and Inferno

€ Around €15-20pp inc. wine
€€ Around €25pp inc. wine
€€€ Around €35-50pp inc. wine
€€€€ €50+ pp inc. wine