Beautiful, beautiful Lake Como. We spent two blissful nights here on our way to the training camp in Cesenatico. Honestly, I could have spent about a fortnight, sunbathing by the lake, drinking in the view and feasting on delicious Italian fare, with as much gelato as I could possibly manage thrown in on top, of course!
We stayed at The Hotel Belvedere in Bellagio, owned and operated by 5 generations of strong Italian women who have fiercely protected and nurtured the place over the years. The warm welcoming feel of a small family run establishment still very evident despite being much larger than I anticipated. These chicks are clearly onto something.
The hotel itself is set within stunning, immaculately maintained grounds right on the edge of the lake and is a calming retreat set above the hustle and bustle of Bellagio. I absolutely loved the sleepy vibe, luxurious without being in any way ostentatious, or even particularly expensive. My personal favourite touch was the herb gardens ready to season and flavour the food served on that nights menu.
I honestly can’t recommend this hotel enough, however If you are staying for only one night, my advice would be to head out for dinner. My top tip would be a restaurant named ‘La Fontana’, heavily frequented by locals which is always a good sign. If you like miniature portions and lots of fuss then this place probably isn’t for you, if however, you like proper traditional Italian food – simple, delicious and in portions large enough to feed a family of five, then look no further! Nirvana! We went in all guns blazing and watched the servers eyes widen with shock as we ordered with Joey Tribbiani like gusto, we then proceeded to really impress / disgust them as we scoffed the lot before weaving a very slow, contented & slightly tipsy path back to the hotel.
I have visited a fair few parts of Italy and this one definitely takes the win. The perfect antidote to a frenetic London. Until next time, Lake Como.