Bellagio – by boat from Como

This is an excerpt from the book “Lake Como” by Enrico Massetti.

Bellagio
Bellagio – Photo © Alex Molchan

It is no mistake that Bellagio is called the “pearl” of Lake Como. It is undoubtedly the most famous resort on the lake. For centuries, Bellagio’s scenic location has enchanted artists and writers, not only from Italy but also from abroad. It is situated on the tip of a headland that divides the lake into the two legs of Como and Lecco.

The town stretches along the coast, and part of it goes up the slopes of the peninsula.

Because of its location Bellagio has a great variety of views; indeed, it offers a good view of the whole lake. On the northern horizon, one can see the Pre-Alps.

Some of the best views can be seen from the park of Villa Serbelloni and the top of Monte San Primo. On an unusually bright day, one can make out the Alps, from Mont Blanc to the Ortles, and the Madonnina on top of the Duomo of Milan.

Both the historic center situated at a higher level dominated by the Romanesque Basilica Of San Giacomo (enlarged in the Baroque Age) and the more recent arcade lake-front are all preserved intact. Among the aristocratic villas let’s remember Villa Serbelloni, first castle, then country residence and transformed into a villa at the end of the 15th century. Later once again restructured in the 17th and turned into a hotel during the last decade of the 19th century, it is presently appointed headquarters of conventions and study tours.

Villa on Lake Como
Villa on Lake Como

The park – the lake’s most extensive – extends all over the entire peninsula to the small town’s mount with a splendid view onto the two branches of the Lake. Viewing the lake is the Neo-classical Villa Melzi, from the extraordinarily severe and elegant forms, realized between the 1808 and 1810 and based on Giacomo Albertelli’s project for the Count Francesco Melzi, vice-president, and Chancellor of the Kingdom of Italy.

Described by Stendhal, this noble residence as well had among its guests famous personalities: from the Emperors Francesco I and Ferdinand of Austria to the musician Liszt. Worthy of mention as well in Bellagio, Villa Trivulzio, built in the 18th century and restored a century later with its grand English-style park, and Villa Trotti, in its neo-Gothic remake with Moorish decorations and with rarities that enrich the park.

Where to stay in Como

There are hotels, apartments, villas, and B&Bs available, check it out and make a reservation here.

Where to stay in Bellagio

There are hotels, apartments, villas, and condo-hotels available, check it out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Lake Como” by Enrico Massetti.

William Dellorusso
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy

Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.

The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.

The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)

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