Monday, November 18, 2013

Autumnal Beauty in Lake Como

 Lake Como

"This lake exceeds anything I have ever beheld in beauty."
-- Percy Bysshe Shelley

After visiting Lake Como for the first time, I understood why the poets were inspired. Lake Como is a beautiful and romantic lake. And with the backdrop of the Alps, it is truly awe-inspiring. It has the kind of beauty and majesty that would inspire great art. In fact, the story of the writer Mary Shelley and her husband Percy Shelley gathering with their friends on a dark and stormy night on another lake (in Switzerland) in 1816 and creating the tale of Frankenstein was never far from my mind. I could imagine it happening in Lake Como, especially with scenic views such as the one above. (Go here to read more about the creation of this gothic horror story.) As I was soon to discover, Switzerland was only thirty minutes away.

I loved being at Lake Como in October. Because the weather was cool and the skies were often cloudy, the views of the lake were dramatic and magnificent. The cool weather and gray skies created the kind of atmosphere that made it easy to imagine the presence of the poets. And I loved wearing a sweater and jacket to go exploring each day. Bundling up at night and going to cozy restaurants for dinner overlooking the lake was the perfect ending to our days. Our favorite restaurant was Il Gatto Nero


There was fall color and inspiration everywhere. We took a boat trip around the lake and enjoyed the spectacular views. We would be stopping at Villa Carlotta and the picturesque village of Bellagio.

Gorgeous views along the way

Old and colorful buildings on the lake

Privately owned villas

Villa Carlotta

Villa Carlotta's spectacular gardens

The climb up affords beautiful views

On the way to Bellagio

The village of Bellagio

Narrow cobblestone streets took us to shops and restaurants

Shutters, awnings and window boxes add to the charm

The legendary Villa d'Este

 Villa d'Este

The following day we took a day trip to Lugano, Switzerland which was just thirty minutes away

Just a short drive and we arrived at Lake Lugano

The charming town of Lugano

The open-air market was filled with fall produce. Just gorgeous.

Look at those porcini mushrooms!


A giant squash

Lovely chestnuts

Chrysanthemums in fall colors completed the scene


 My trip to Italy contained so much beauty and inspiration. The gorgeous fall produce I saw in Italy and Switzerland was impressive. Since returning home I have been going to farmers markets and cooking with seasonal produce whenever I can. I made this Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Apples from Food and Wine magazine. Filled with fall vegetables and fruit, it is perfect for this time of year. And it is delicious and healthy.

Go here for the recipe. Enjoy!


  1. It all looks stunning. I've still never been to Italy but this region is at the top of my list for when I finally do make it there.

  2. Sunday, your photographs are perfect! Thank you for sharing. It was clearly the most wonderful adventure!

  3. Looks like you had a MARVELOUS trip!I agree it is inspiring!

  4. Kept expecting to see George Clooney in one of your pictures! It's very beautiful there, and you've captured it so well. I still prefer Tuscany and the southern regions of Italy to return to for visits, as I find it more "alive".

    1. Kathy, I was hoping we might see George but never spotted him! Our tour guide pointed out his villa on the lake. Gorgeous!

  5. I've always wanted to go to Lake Como. Maybe someday!