Perched on the hillside, in the ancient town of Argegno. In front of you Lake Como lies stretched out in all of its glory. In the distance you see a paddle steamer lazily making its way across the lake.
You set the breakfast terrace table with a fresh brioche and a pot of steaming coffee. Another day on the lake begins....
The property is in a typical Italian house (three floors, each with a self-contained apartment) Ours is on the second floor, to reach it, you have to walk down about 20 steps .It is on a private road that is exclusively for the use of the residents in the house which is gated.
The apartment has gas central heating as well as a traditional log fire. Hot water is provided on demand from the gas boiler. There are two large bedrooms each containing a queen sized bed and a single daybed, which can convert to a double if needed. The kitchen is a brand new traditional kitchen fully equipped for all budding Italian master chefs. Drinking the water is fine as it comes from the alpine reservoirs. There is a utility room with washing machine, gas boiler and storage. The bathroom has been newly tiled with Italian marble floor and wall tiles .It has a bath/shower bidet w.c and sink with large vanity unit with large mirror.
The living room has a table that can seat 6, L-shaped sofa , single armchair, LCD TV, DVD.
There is a satellite dish that is pointed at the Astra satellite (we can receive a selecton of the free to air English speaking TV channels. We have a good selection of movies c.d’s and books available for your enjoyment. Internet is available by way free Wifi.
The balcony is large enough to enjoy alfresco dining. Every window has great lake views with the best reserved for the picture window.
We are located about 6 mins away from the village centre with a very safe pedestrian path, taking you down through the heart of the village with narrow cobbled lanes and archways, and leaving you in the middle of the Piazza where you can get fantastic ice cream made on the premises at Zoë’s. The village has a small mini market to provide you with all the basics .There is a bank with international cash machine, a small harbour with marina, fishing tackle shop, cable-car station ,to take you into the mountains to the village of Pigra where you can have the experience of Como from the sky (cable cars run every half hour with a break from 12- 2).The village has its own pebble beach with an adjoining pizzeria where you can hire sun loungers etc. or fish to your heart’s content. There is a small food market in Argegno on Monday mornings where you can get fresh meat, fish veg and locally produced cheeses. There are numerous small bars in the village and a fantastic selection of restaurants and snack bars and in the surrounding areas (La Grillia 2km up the road that the property is on,is one of our favourites with great value in a beautiful rustic Italian setting).Café Colombo is a tiny beautiful wine bar in the corner of the square with Italian 'tapas' and snacks available all day and a great Happy Hour (Free antipasti )at night. .There is a new restaurant, recently opened in the village piazzo beside the fountain, called La Piazzetta www.piazzettargegno.it which serves a wide selection of food from pizza (best in Argegno) to fine dining i.e. fresh tuna tar. The owner Christian is very nice and will try to cater for all your dining needs. Others restaurants we recommend are, Villa Belvedere, www.villabelvedere-argegno.it beside the ferry port and Crotto dei Platini www.crottodeiplatani.it (3 mins down the road towards Brienno).These are situated on the Lake with fantastic food in a magical setting. A delightful new wine bar Bistro Argegno , is only recently opened with a fantastic range of good wines available very cheaply. This also serves antipasti in the evening.
The village lies on the main lakeside road and therefore is on the main bus route up and down the lake .It also has a ferry port stop for passenger ferries (both slow ferry and hydrofoil) and these are a great way of seeing the lake which is at its best when viewed from the water. You can get daily rambler tickets so you can hop on and off at your leisure.
Bellagio is one town not to miss. Taxis are available from Café Colombo in the village Public transport is both inexpensive and reliable and runs very frequently.
Car hire is recommended as you need to explore the lake to optimize your time there although we prefer to laze on the balcony with a bottle of locally produced Prosecco and just watch the world pass by.
Within a 10 min drive north you have a huge selection of beaches, both sand (man-made) and pebble all along the lakeside. Swimming there is very safe as there are no tidal currents to worry about. Recommended is a day out on the lake on a boat which can be hired from the local boat yard ‘Turatti’ in Argegno (200 metres past the church, opposite the cable car station),tell them we sent you. No experience is necessary as the boats are very simple to operate and there are no hazards like shallows or sandbars (Como is the deepest lake in Europe). There are plenty of places to tie up for lunch or you can simply stop the boat are jump off for a swim in the warm freshwater. There is a fantastic lakeside pool (lido) in Menaggio 15min drive with an on-duty lifeguard .There is a large supermarket in Lenno (10 min drive away, north) or a shopping centre with hypermarket in Como town (20 mins drive ,south).For some retail therapy I would recommend Bellagio with current Milan fashions and some good bargains to be had in Italian designer sunglasses, handbags etc .Como is famous in the region for its silk. There is a huge outlet centre called Foxtown (info on net) just over the border in Switzerland (15 mins from Como) where the Milanese go to do serious shopping. Don't forget to bring your passport.
Italian life around the lake starts very early (the local bakery is usually sold out of most of its bread by nine thirty) and ends quite early with dinner starting at about 7and bars closing around midnight. Also everywhere is very child friendly. Getting your timing right is very important as most shops close from 12.30 until 3 and most restaurants finish serving lunch at 2 with not another bite to be got until about 5 when they fire up their pizza ovens. There is a small shop in the village where you can get most of the basics but I suggest you go to in Bennet Shopping Centre in Como Nord where there is a very large supermarket which will cater for all of your needs.
With regard to place to visit top priority is a slow ferry on the lake to anywhere!
Best places are Bellagio (a must for lunch), Menaggio, and Como lakefront (also great for shopping with a flea market on Thursday mornings and all day Saturday).
You must visit some of the villas with the most popular being Villa Carlotta http://www.villacarlotta.it/ this has beautiful gardens and is open to the public.
Villa Balbainello http://villabalbianello.com/ is another beautiful villa to visit. It now has a new next door neighbour – Virgin boss Richard Branson.
We have included some information leaflets in the 'Va Bene' folder with regard to places to visit.
Of course Switzerland is only 30 mins drive away and Lake Lugano is well worth a visit. A trip to St Moritz (1.5 hrs) will certainly be one of the highlights of your trip. I do hope this is of some help to you and don't hesitate to ask any more questions that you may have.
The most important thing is to enjoy 'La Dolce Vita' with a glass of vino on the balcony.