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The Italian Lakes are grandeur, comfort and elegance incarnate. A lofty claim, sure, but once you’ve laid eyes on this land of perched villas and verdant hills, you’ll forgive our hyperbole. Truly incredible walks lead us through the charming
Supplier: Butterfield & Robinson
With its warm climate and Latin Character, Lugano is a carefree town nestled between the peaks of San Salvatore and Monte Bré. The swaying palms and cypress trees give it a distinct Italian feeling, and it is the largest town in the Italian-speaking Tessin canton. Due to its pleasant climate and breezy Mediterranean ambience, Lugano is one of the all time favorites and most visited resort areas during the warmer months. The old town has many buildings of historical interest. Palazzo Civico is filled with restaurants and boutiques and is the pulsating heart of the town. The irregularly shaped Lake of Lugano is spectacularly picturesque as is the bordering scenery. Indulging in some excellent shopping along Via Nassa. Lugano offers a wide variety of cultural, art and musical events each offering a unique way to explore the city's history and traditions. The famous Thyssen-Bornemisza art gallery, Villa Favorita, attracts countless visitors. Historic churches including Santa Maria degli Angioli and the cathedral San Lorenzo are well worth a visit.
This summer and winter holiday resort in the province of Novara is situated on the west side of Lake Maggiore on the slopes of Mount Mottarone, looking out over the Borromeo islands. The lakeside is very attractive, with a wide avenue of trees and flowerbeds, lined with hotels and villas set amongst trees. From here you have a panoramic view of the Borromeo islands. The avenue opens out on to Piazza Marconi, overlooked by the neoclassical church of Sant’Ambrogio, designed by Zanoia and built in 1790. It has a single nave and contains seventeenth century paintings by local artists and nineteenth century sculptures by Somaini. Beyond the piazza lies the Villa Ducale which was built within a beautiful park in 1770 and at one time belonged to the philosopher Antonio Rosmini who died there in 1855. It is now a study centre dedicated to Rosmini and contains mementoes and rare editions. Rosmini College, founded in 1852, is in Viale Marconi. The church has Rosmini’s tomb and a monument to him by Vela. Stresa also hosts national and international conferences and congresses which are held in the modern Palazzo dei Congressi.
The lake of Como, or better lake Lario, is of glacial origin and occupies the cavity cut out by the glacier of the Adda that, in the quaternarian époque extended over the two southern branches of the lake before coming out in the Brianza leaving there morenic hills and other small lakes. Its passage is marked by erratic boulders which are frequently found especially on the central promontory of the lake.It is the third largest subalpine lake but the deepest of all of them having a maximum depth of 410 metres. Its form of an overturned “Y” with two branches of Como and Lecco and with upper basin of Colico gives it its perimeter of 170 Km.
The peninsula of Bellagio extends with the town and its suburbs, on the banks, the false plain and on the hills which precede the northern extremity of the Larian promontory. For its position it has
stupendous views of a large part of the lake with its mountains. Due to its excellent walks and its 800 beds for tourists Bellagio is one of the most famous resorts on the lake of Como ( Lario). About 150,000 visitors per year come to Bellagio to lose themselves in the characteristic little steep streets which house many shops or in the romantic gardens of Villa Melzi or in those of Villa Serbelloni.
The particular fascination of Bellagio conquered poets and artists ever since the Renaissance and ever since the nineteenth century a great number of well known foreign visitors have visited it from Shelley to Longfellow and from Stendhal to Flaubert and Liszt.
In ancient times we have references to paleovenetian and gallo-insubric colonies after which followed the roman conquests in the second century b.C. On the rear of the promontory where the Villa Serbelloni now stands Pliny the Younger had his villa built which was one of the two that he had on Lake Como and was called “Tragoedia”. It was on this site they say that Stilicone, when he defeated the Visigoths at Bellagio, built a fortress given its dominating strategic position.
The vegetation is of Mediterranean, alpine and subalpine variety. On the banks we find cypresses and pines, on the sunbathed slopes vines and olive trees and on the mountainside chestnut trees, beeches, walnut trees and conifers. The calendar of flowering includes : narcissus and lily of the valley in March, the highly coloured azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias in April and May whereas roses. oleanders and hydrangeas decorate Bellagio from June to September. Notable also the wonderful range of autumn colours in the gardens and parks of Bellagio starting in September and October.
The climate. The temperate and moderate climate favours the vigorous and varied growth of vegetation. The mean winter temperature does not fall below 6-7° C. whereas in summer the level is between 25-30° C. The summer temperature is mitigated by the “breva,”, a light breeze characteristic of the Lake of Como.
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