From the stunning scenery of Lake Como, dramatic coastlines of Cinque Terre and the canals of Venice, to the culture, art and beauty of Milan, Florence and Rome, it’s time to plan the ultimate northern Italy road trip!
What’s it like to have lunch at Grand Hotel Tremezzo overlooking Lake Como..
As I pulled up outside Lake Como’s Grand Hotel Tremezzo, I felt like a Hollywood movie star. Ferraris screeched to a halt outside, glamorous 40-somethings strutted into the glass lifts, and champagne corks popped at T Beach across the road.
Over 100 years of history, stunning panoramic views and a string of celebrity fans make this one of the most desirable places to stay on the lake. With its 5 star rating, beautiful gardens, luxurious top floor suites, brand new spa and floating swimming pool, I couldn’t resist but stop by and check it out.
I’d been invited for lunch, but before that was treated to a tour of the hotel and its impressive grounds. The art nouveau building has numerous old-fashioned salons and reception rooms with regal colour schemes and plush fabrics, but there’s also a modern touch in places. The newest suites have simple, contemporary marble bathrooms, with TV screens and breath-taking views. Not to mention the jacuzzis on the terraces! Of the 90 rooms and suites, the most prestigious is the Greta, named after Greta Garbo.
Is it possible to visit Lake Como on a budget?
So you’re reading this because you want to visit Lake Como, but don’t have George Clooney’s millions. Don’t worry – it turns out you don’t need them!
I visited Lake Como in late September, as the busy tourist season was coming to close. I was keen to sample some of the finer things in life… but also wondered whether this was a place that could be done on a backpacker budget.
I’m ready to reveal my top tip for how to travel to Lake Como in style.
When I was researching routes from Milan Malpensa airport to Lake Como, it became clear this was a route taken regularly by people with large budgets. Yes, there are trains and buses, but they aren’t particularly direct to the main tourist towns in the centre of the lake. The simplest way to travel – by car. I decided to test out one of the transfer services on offer, to find out if it was worth splashing the cash.
I’d recommend reading my guide to travelling from Milan to Lake Como for other ways to reach the lake. Plus if you don’t want to splash the cash, be sure to check out my guide to visiting Lake Como on a budget.
I booked my transfer with Lake Como Transfers – a company with an impressive set of Trip Advisor reviews. In fact, they’re rated number one of things to do in Menaggio. The email exchange with Jenny on the concierge team was friendly, and although I was booking just a few days before my trip, they had availability and my transfer was booked with ease. With everything confirmed, I was informed my driver would be waiting at the airport with a sign.
I was met in arrivals around 6.30pm by Lorenzo, a young, impeccably dressed Italian holding a sign saying “Mrs Chloe”! He wore a suit and instantly reached for my luggage and wheeled it out of the terminal. He was very welcoming and spoke perfect English.