We just returned from ten glorious days at Poggio Verde and exploring the area. I wasn't sure how much there would be to do and see nearby but in those ten days we didn't come close to seeing all there is in the area. Our whole party (14 friends in and out at various times) felt that we needed to come back as soon as possible not only for the things to do but the wonderful ambiance of the villa and grounds, the beautiful kitchen (we love to cook!) and of course the time with friends.
Staying in this villa is like being transported back to the 19th century. The recent renovations (which were really more of a restoration) were remarkably in keeping with the original villa. The furnishings are beautiful and from the period but the modern conveniences are all there. There is an informal table in the kitchen area that became our gathering place when we weren't outside. The covered patio outside the kitchen is ideal for meals when it's warm enough, and the view from there is stunning. The formal dining room is warm and just lovely. We enjoyed extended dinner times there. The views from the upstairs windows is just beautiful, especially at night when the lights in the distance twinkle.
We like to cook and there is an excellent supermarket 5 minutes away so we had most of our meals at home. We did try to get to Fumagalli, as often as we could for a cappuccino and "brioche" (croissant) and pick up some bread or one of their beautiful AND tasty desserts. We went to a couple restaurants and enjoyed the spots we visited. We look forward to checking out more of the good spots nearby on future visits.
There are ping pong and foosball and badminton and croquet and I believe a bocce set is in the works.
I can't say enough positive things about this very special place. I enthusiastically recommend it for groups of four couples, and one of our party was particularly excited about the idea of coming back with a group of girlfriends for some Italian cooking lessons or painting or touring other grand villas in the vicinity. Groups who like to walk could take hikes in the mountains above Lecco or Como. And of course a day of shopping in Milan is always a possibility.
A car is definitely needed, but it's possible to drive the 15 minutes to Merate and park the car(s) and take the train into Milan (35 minutes) or up to Switzerland (an hour or two depending on how far you want to go), or over to Verona or Venice, or down to Florence (under 2 hours!).