With Il Sereno as your base (and the hotel’s attentive concierge at your fingertips), your Lake Como sojourn is bound to make lasting memories that inspire you to return to this slice of Italian paradise again and again. Here are the top things to do while in the region.
Both casual hikers and adventure seekers will find a trek suited to their skill level in Lake Como. And no matter what time of the year you visit, incredible scenery awaits. Montepiatto is one of the most well-known hikes in the region, and guests of Il Sereno can start and finish this four-hour loop directly from the hotel’s Torno perch. Along the way, you will see charming villages and Massi Avelli, which are fifth- and sixth-century tombs. For a more relaxed experience, consider Pliniana Hiking Trail, a 30-minute hike around 16th-century Italian Palazzo, Villa Pliniana. Here you’ll soak up lake views and get a chance to see the historic lush gardens and terraces. Should you prefer to explore on two wheels while still challenging your fitness, consider biking around Lake Como.
Even landlubbers are hypnotized by Lake Como’s turquoise waters, and boating is an obvious pastime when in the region. The tranquil waters make it easy to explore several destinations surrounding the lake, like the famous village of Bellagio, Villa Carlotta, Menaggio, and Cattedrale di Como. Il Sereno has access to two custom-designed Riva Jetto boats and guests can arrange chauffeured outings wherever you wish. Boatyard Cantiere Ernesto Riva has been handcrafting boats in the neighboring town of Laglio for more than 300 years, and experiencing this high level of Italian craftsmanship near the town the boats were created delivers an even deeper sense of place. To make it even more indulgent, the hotel will pack a delicious picnic and wine for your boat cruise to keep you satiated while you explore in style.
Exploring the Gardens
The gardens in Lake Como are dramatic, historic, and breathtakingly beautiful, and the terrain is like nothing else on Earth. Lush foliage, native plants, and pristine landscaping make exploring the gardens quite thrilling. One of the region’s most famous gardens are those at Villa Balbianello, a retreat favored by society figures in the 18th century. Expect elaborate terraced gardens with blooming rhododendrons and azaleas and magnolia, cypress, and oak trees. Villa Serbelloni is another can’t-miss spot, with 50 acres of parks and gardens surrounding the Neoclassical-style villa. Here you can peruse the same land that Leonardo da Vinci and Queen Victoria once visited. Finally, with the booking of a lunch or dinner reservation you can get access to the glorious Villa D’Este, a Renaissance-era palace. There’s a 24-acre private park filled with centennial plants, jasmine, and rose bushes.
Italy is synonymous with luxury cars and scenic destinations, so why not pair them together? A driving excursion is a great way to get the lay of the land and also see what has inspired carmakers over the last century. Whether you’re an auto enthusiast or a casual cruiser, be sure to rent a car (maybe a classic Italian marque like Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Maserati) and drive from Torno to Bellagio. Along this route, you’ll enjoy twists and turns along SP583 with spectacular views along the way. Other routes include Bellagio to Varenna where you can stop in traditional leather shops and historic churches. There’s also Torno to Tremezzo, where you can tour the Cantiere Ernesto Riva boatyard and some gelato.