A Lake Como Cruise to See the Villas of the Rich and Famous:
From Baveno on Lake Maggiore, it was an hour’s drive for us to Lake Como (Lago di Como) to enjoy a cruise on the third largest lake in Italy and the deepest glacial lake in Europe. Mention Lake Como and George Clooney immediately springs to mind….for many women at least. Whilst Lake Como has always been the home for the rich and famous, it was only when George Clooney bought his Villa L’Oleandra near the village of Laglio that the Lake attracted even more paparazzi interest.
Everyone, especially women, wants to see where George Clooney lives and dream of an encounter with one of the sexiest man alive. Our tour guide jokes about being friends with George and that she has a lunch date with him after the boat trip.
A Boat Cruise on Lake Como
Lake Como is a popular holiday destination for boating, windsurfing and those who want to enjoy walks in the hills surrounding the Lake. However, if you are just passing through, one of the popular things to do in Lake Como is to take a boat trip to enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscape surrounding this wishbone-shaped lake. George Clooney and his Villa L’Oleandra may be a tourist attraction, however the shores of Lake Como are lined with many other luxurious palaces and villas with their magnificent gardens and famous residents. Occupied since Roman times, the Como masons were very famous and respected in the past and they built beautiful structures, and some of these palaces with their grand gardens are scattered around the Lake.
We boarded our boat at the harbour in Como town and at Cernobbio, we cruised past Villa d’Este, once the favourite retreat of Caroline of Brunswick, the estranged wife of King George IV. Villa d’Este was turned into a hotel in 1873 and these days it is frequented by celebrity guests. Nearby is the Villa Erba, once the home of the Visconti family. Today Villa Erba is a conference centre with a small museum dedicated to the film director. Movie buffs will remember the The Night Fox, residing in the Villa Erba estate in Ocean’s Twelve.
Our one hour cruise passed the mansions and villas of many of Lake Como’s rich and famous residents. There were too many to remember but some of these included the homes of Versace, Sophia Loren, Sylvester Stallone and the homes of Lake Como’s silk tycoons.
It was very windy, choppy and cool on the Lake and to our greatest disappointment, we didn’t get close enough to Laglio and although our guide pointed back in the general direction of where Clooney’s house is, she obviously didn’t know him well enough as the villa that she said was his, wasn’t the right one. We were hoping to at least cruise to the towns Lenno, Tremezzo and Bellagio where some of the famous historical villas such as Villa Balbianello, Villa Carlotta and Villa Melzi are located, but it seems we did not have time for this.
With so many attractive residences to gawk at, the one-hour cruise soon came to an end. Although George Clooney and his famous Lake Como villa eluded us, I’m sure that George was happy not to have another boat load of tourists peering at his residence. Anyway, perhaps we might bump into him when we’re roaming around Como town, says she, hopeful as ever!