Villa Pliniana is synonymous with iconic stays in Lake Como. While the Villa and natural setting are key ingredients for an unforgettable experience, our passionate, committed staff are an essential part of this opulent formula. We recently sat down with Danilo, our head of villa security, to gain insight into his everyday life, his interaction with the hotel, and to discover the best places in Lake Como.
One Day In Como With Danilo
Danilo was born in Como and has been living on the Pliniana grounds for over 15 years. One of his favourite pastimes is fishing. He wakes up between 03:30 and 04:00 in the morning to go fishing. For him, the best spot is in the northern part of the lake near a picturesque village called Gravedona. This village is the perfect destination for visitors who seek peace and tranquility. Danilo recommends Cantina & Bottega, a special place where you can eat sumptuous pasta in a typical Italian cantina.
On his way back to home, Danilo sometimes stops off at Il Portico, a local restaurant renowned for their steamed fish. Danilo fell in love with the magic of the place immediately. It’s a very charming establishment, owned by renowned chef Paolo Lopriore, and located in the town of Mezzegra.
When asked about his favorite spot on the lake, Danilo says it has to be the village of Pognana. It’s very close to where he moors his boat. After work, he enjoys viewing Como’s spectacular sunsets from one of the village’s terraces, before going back home at night. On week nights, he often frequents La Cava, a restaurant accessible by boat and renowned for their artisanal pizzas.
Danilo loves the water. He was once a professional sailboat teacher, and enjoys hiking in his spare time. He highly recommends the hike from Brunate to Bellagio and the hike on the Lemna Alps, depending on guests’ fitness levels.
Life In Lake Como
Over the years, Danilo has witnessed everything from impressive thunderstorms on the lake, to more subtle changes to fauna and flora and the restoration and transformation of Villa Pliniana.
Danilo says Villa Pliniana and Lake Como have changed a lot over time, and that the difference between the old and the new Villa Pliniana are truly striking. After a long and meticulous restoration process, the villa has been returned to its former splendor, a fact he seems very happy about!
Danilo finished our tour by telling us a romantic story that took place at the Villa in the nineteenth century:
In Paris, Emilio Barbiano Belgiojoso met the beautiful Anne Berhtier de Wagram. Emilio and Cristina moved to Paris to avoid Austrian police attention due to their political involvements. They became lovers and fled from Paris to Villa Pliniana in April 1843 where they lived in splendid isolation until 1852. Their passion and happiness nurtured a popular legend; stories were told about them diving at night, right from the loggia, wrapped in a bed sheet.
Because of this legend, one of the rooms in Villa Pliniana carries the name of Anne Berthier de Wagram. Casa Wagram is so closely connected to the lake that you can seemingly almost touch the waters from its windows. Casa Belgiojoso is the suite right next door.
You can read more about these lodgings here.
So the next time you come to Villa Pliniana, don’t forget to ask Danilo for some recommendations – he’ll be delighted to tell you about the lake’s history. Private lake and fishing excursion can also be booked on request.