On the 'sophisticated' western leg of Lake Como where Lombard aristocrats built their lakeside villas and orchestrated gardens, this three storey white villa topped with a Captain's tower manages to combine luxury, generous space and an easy welcome to guests who would like their own terrace on the water. With a private dock and boathouse and a dreamlike stretch of furnished garden, this is a place people come to be good to themselves.
The villa entrance off the lake road is into the middle level of the house and leads to a hall with a grand staircase to the upper floor and a 'hidden' staircase to the lower lakeside level. Off the hall are a spacious living room with French doors to a terrace with lake and mountain views. To one side is an adjoining reception room with period furniture, a study and a WC, while on the other a paneled billiard room/conservatory also has access to a furnished lakeside terrace. On the upper floor is the dual aspect master bedroom with ensuite bathroom with separate shower and private terrace with direct lake views. There is also a double bedroom with lake views, a double bedroom with garden view and a bathroom. On the lower garden level is a spacious well-equipped kitchen, a dining room with fireplace and direct garden access and a large fitness area and sauna. Also on this level is a double bedroom with an in-room shower and separate WC, and the laundry room. There are attractive furnishings throughout the villa, which complement the elegance of marble mosaic flooring, the lovely Murano chandeliers hanging from high ceilings and the delicate frescoes that decorate nearly every room.
While the lake road passes close to the back of the villa, it is not a main thoroughfare nor used for truck transit. Happily, all the bedrooms, living room and dining room face the lake, which further minimizes any disturbance. Lakeside, both from the terrace off the living room and from the long furnished garden one can sunbath in complete privacy, snooze in sun loungers placed throughout the garden or gather to dine by candlelight at sunset. Riva del Lago's private dock allows guests easy access for swimming and means they can rent their own boat or call water-taxis when the mood to get away strikes them.
Naturally, at Riva del Lago the easiest way to move about is by rental boat, water taxi or ferry. These put Bellagio, the 'Pearl of the Lake', and the gardens of Villa Melzi, Menaggio, or Isola Comacina, the Lake's only island, close at hand. Likewise, a ferry or a short drive will bring you to Como, a city famous for the silk factories that still draw top designers. Once in the mood for shopping, a passport and the highway into Switzerland will have you in Mendrisio's famous luxury outlets. On the return, however, do stop over in the Poletti pastry shop on the outskirts of Cernobbio - another reason for believing you have stumbled into paradise....Read more
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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